This Whaler Sports Roundup includes updates on the boys hockey team, which won its second straight game on Saturday, the girls basketball team, the girls hockey team, and the boys basketball team.
O’Keefe’s Three-Point Afternoon Leads Boys Hockey To Road Win Over Martha’s Vineyard
Senior Whaler center Colby O'Keefe scored two goals and added an assist for his second consecutive three-point game to lead the Nantucket boys hockey team to a 4-1 road win over Martha’s Vineyard – improving their record to 2-1.
"He's just playing out of his mind,” Moran said of O’Keefe after Saturday’s game. “I think he's playing so well because he's concentrating on playing and he's not letting these guys get under his skin. He's paying attention to the game and he's not playing outside of his emotional capability. He's keeping it all locked in and it shows. He's concentrated, he's good, he's keeping his head in the right place, and it's really paying off for him.”
The Vineyard began the game with a couple of strong shifts, but aside from that Nantucket dominated in every area of the game.
O’Keefe scored his first of two goals with 11:54 left in the first period – ripping a wrist shot from the high slot through the five-hole of the Vineyard goalie to make it 1-0 Nantucket.
Less than two minutes later, senior defenseman Hunter Strojny took a shot as he creeped down the left wall, which created a juicy rebound that senior winger Braden Knapp was able to bury to extend Nantucket’s lead to 2-0.
"They played well. I think the first period they probably could have played a little bit better,” Moran said. “They weren't playing to their fullest potential but then they kind of turned it up and they stayed ahead of them I think for the rest of the game, which was nice. It was good to see. They knew what they had to do, and they went out and did it. I'd like to see probably a couple more goals. We had the opportunities for it, but we just couldn't get it home. Ryan (Davis) had a couple of really good opportunities. Colby had more opportunities. Jeremy (Jenkinson) had opportunities.”
The Whalers outshot the Vineyard 7-6 in the first period despite the Vineyard getting two power plays to Nantucket’s zero. The Whaler's penalty kill was excellent all day – killing all six of the Vineyarder’s power plays on the afternoon.
“Overall, I thought it was a good game and a very physical game, which we expected it to be,” Moran said.
Senior goalie and captain Griffin Starr was forced to make a nice save in the final minute of the first period on a Vineyard forward who snuck behind the Whaler’s defense and created a breakaway opportunity for himself. Starr was up to the task however as he was all afternoon – allowing just one goal on 14 shots.
"He played well and that one goal that they got was like a garbage goal,” Moran said. “That wasn't anything that he did wrong it was just junk, you know what I mean? Everybody's swinging at the same time, and it went in. He had a great game as well. He's been on fire. The kid is solid."
Sophomore winger Jeremy Jenkinson got the Whalers going in the second period with an off angle shot from the right side of the net in the period’s first five minutes to make it 3-0 Nantucket. The goal was assisted by O’Keefe.
“It was good to see Jeremy sniping one there,” Moran said. “I just got a funny feeling he is going to scoring more and more out there. He also had a big hit on their biggest kid after he was sort of on top of Ryan and sort of crosschecked him in the back of the helmet. Then in the next sequence that hit sort of just happened. It was right place at the right time. Not retaliatory or anything, just a good, solid play.”
The Vineyard had a golden opportunity after getting a power play chance with 3:33 to go in the second period, but the two-minute man advantage produced very little offensive zone time thanks to Nantucket’s penalty kill.
With 1:09 remaining in the period the Vineyard received another man advantage after a knee-on-knee hit that gave the Vineyarders a five-minute major power play. Nantucket killed the first 1:09 off – leaving the Vineyard with 3:51 of power play time to begin the final period. Nantucket outshot the Vineyard 13-5 in the second period.
The Whalers penalty kill continued to dominate in the third period and with 1:41 remaining in the Vineyard’s five-minute power play it was O’Keefe sneaking away for a breakaway chance that he buried with a pretty wrist shot to make it 4-0 Nantucket.
That goal was seemingly the dagger. The Whalers then proceeded to kill off the remainder of the major penalty and allowed just three shots all period. The Vineyard did score a goal with 4:38 remaining in an offensive sequence that produced the first sustained offensive pressure for the Vineyarders since the first couple shifts of the game.
Nantucket will now begin a two-game stretch against a pair of Div. 1 programs. They will travel to Barnstable on Wednesday, December 20 for a 4 p.m. game and then have a 10-day break before resuming their season on Saturday, December 30th when they host the Framingham Flyers at 2 p.m.
“This will be a big test for our hockey team,” Moran said. “We want to put together a couple of good performances here against two strong programs that based on last year were pretty even in terms of (MIAA) rankings.”
Girls Hoops Still Searching For First Win After Loss To Monomoy
The Whaler girls basketball team is still searching for their first win of the season three games in after losing to the Monomoy Sharks at home 58-38 Friday evening.
While Nantucket lost 58-38, Whaler head coach Raf Osona said after the game that he felt like his team learned a lot from this matchup and that it is one that will help them grow moving forward.
The Whalers next game is scheduled for Tuesday, December 19 on the road at 3:15 p.m. against Bristol-Plymouth.
Below are some photos taken during the game by Chris Tran.
Pekarcik’s Two Goals Not Enough To Propel Nantucket To Win Over Falmouth
The Whaler girls hockey team lost to the Falmouth Clippers 9-2 on Saturday, dropping their record to 0-2 this season.
Senior forward and captain Emerson Pekarcik was a clear bright spot in the game - scoring two goals for the Whalers. Senior captain Claire Misurelli had two assists. Junior forward Mayson Lower picked up one assist.
Nantucket competed with the Clippers for much of the game. Falmouth held a 2-0 lead after one period when they scored two goals in 10 seconds 13 minutes into the game.
Falmouth tacked on two more goals in the second period before Pekarcik finally put the Whalers on the board with 4:25 to go in the period after crashing to the front of the net to bury a nice feed from Misurelli to make it 4-1.
Falmouth retook their four-goal lead with 2:09 remaining in the period but Pekarcik cut it to 5-2 after picking up a loose rebound and ripping a wrist shot from the slot 24 seconds later.
The Clippers depth and experience ultimately helped them pull away however – scoring the game’s final four goals.
Nantucket’s next game is on the road Saturday, December 23 at 3:30 p.m. against the Sandwich Blue Knights.
Below are some photos taken by Chris Tran from Saturday's game.
Boys Basketball Falls To 1-2 Following Loss To Martha’s Vineyard
The Whaler boys basketball team was hoping to build on their narrow, hard-fought victory over the Dennis-Yarmouth Dolphins on Thursday when they traveled to Martha’s Vineyard to take on the Vineyarders Sunday afternoon, but Nantucket ultimately walked away losing the game 58-47 – dropping their record to 1-2 this season.
We will have more on this game in Wednesday’s Current in conjunction with Nantucket’s next game – which is scheduled for Tuesday, December 19 when they host the Barnstable Red Hawks at 5 p.m.
Monday, December 18:
NO GAMES SCHEDULED
Tuesday, December 19:
The girls basketball team will be on the road facing Bristol-Plymouth at 3:15 p.m.
The boys & girls indoor track team will be on the road in Barnstable for a meet at 3:30 p.m.
The boys basketball team will be at home taking on the Barnstable Red Hawks at 5 p.m.