Lower Scores Four Goals On Senior Night, Whalers Lose 8-5

David Creed •

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From left to right: Emerson Pekarcik, Bailey Lower, Claire Misurelli, and Siena Monto were the four seniors honored prior to the girls hockey team's Wednesday game against Dennis-Yarmouth. Photo by Chris Tran

It was senior night on Wednesday for the Whaler girls hockey team, who honored four of their athletes before the game: Bailey Lower, Siena Monto, Emerson Pekarcik, and Claire Misurelli. Monto stood between the pipes in the first period before Ruby Muise took over to begin the second.

Nantucket hosted Dennis-Yarmouth and lost 8-5. While the Whalers remain winless and are still searching for that elusive win, Lower scored four goals in just her second game of action since returning after missing the first 10 games of the season from an injury sustained in the fall.

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Senior forward Bailey Lower. Photo by Chris Tran

Lower, who has been the Whaler's leading goal scorer two straight seasons, looked like her old self all night long and was electric every time she touched the puck.

The Div. 1 Vanderbilt lacrosse commit impressed her head coach Andrew McNeilly with how quickly she has gotten herself back up to game speed. McNeilly said she is probably playing "at about 60 percent" but wanted to return to support and play alongside her teammates.

"I can't imagine if she had full lung capacity and hockey strength to see what she could do," McNeilly said. "The team played really good. They were skating well."

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Emerson Pekarcik, Bailey Lower, and Claire Misurelli gathering together after a goal. Photo by Chris Tran

The Whalers trailed 3-1 after one period. DY struck first, but Lower scored her first goal on the power play with 6:52 left in the first to temporarily even the score 1-1.

Misurelli quickly scored 19 seconds into the second period with an off-angle shot to make it 3-2, but DY responded quickly and retook their two-goal lead with a power play goal 39 seconds later.

DY went onto score two more goals to extend their lead to 6-2 after two periods. Despite the commanding lead for the Dolphins, they had trouble all night with the line of Lower, Misurelli, and Pekarcik.

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Photo by Chris Tran

Lower scored on a power play 2:13 into the third with a slapshot from the slot. Then with 8:58 to go in the game, Lower used her speed to create a breakaway opportunity before executing a nifty backhand move to lift the puck over the shoulder of DY’s goalie – making it a 6-4 game.

DY answered 54 seconds later to make it 7-4 and then 25 seconds later Lower buried a rebound following a breakaway chance from Misurelli that created the chance – making it just a two-goal game once again with 7:57 remaining in the game.

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Photo by Chris Tran

The Dolphins tallied one more goal before the game was over, but Nantucket’s offense came to life in large part to the performance of Lower.

“For a team that is probably around 85 percent healthy, they really played great,” McNeilly said. “I am really looking forward to playing DY again next Friday at Tony Kent. It is going to be a good game, a really hard-fought game. Our power play was also great and its great that they’re starting to score on those opportunities.”

The Whalers next game is scheduled for Saturday, February 10th at home against Barnstable at 2 p.m.

Photography by Chris Tran.

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