Sports Roundup: Nauset Snaps Boys Hockey’s 15-Game Win Streak

David Creed •

Three teams were in action on Thursday and the Whaler track team finished up their season on Wednesday. The boys hockey team was unable to extend their win streak to 16 games, the boys basketball team lost on the road, and the girls basketball team lost at home.

Nauset Scores 5 Unanswered Goals, Hand Whalers Their First Loss Of 2024

IMG 3060 2
Nantucket sophomore defenseman Soren Edwardes taking the puck up ice. Photo by David Creed

For the first time since December 10th, the Nantucket boys hockey team lost a game. The Whalers, who entered the game as the #2 seed in the MIAA's latest Div. 4 rankings with a 15-1-0 record, were on the road Thursday evening facing the Nauset Warriors, who entered the evening as the #1 seed in the MIAA's latest Div. 3 rankings. Nauset held a 14-1-1 entering Thursday's game with their lone loss coming against Nantucket on December 13th 6-4.

The Warriors came out on top this time around with a 6-2 victory after exploding for five unanswered goals in the third period.

"Getting out of there with a 6-2 loss, it's a hard one to take but you know what? It's over, and we just move forward and put that in the rearview mirror to focus on what's ahead,” Nantucket head coach Jack Moran said. “That's all you can do. You're not going to dwell on it. It is a learning experience. We played a hell of a game. These kids played their hearts out. We beat these guys the first time we got them, and we could have beat them again tonight. There's no doubt in my mind we could have held onto that lead, if not added to it, if we were left alone and (officials) let us play.”

IMG 2963
Sophomore forward Andrew Lavin. Photo by David Creed

The lead Moran referred to was earned 15 seconds into the game off the stick of senior winger Braden Knapp. It was an ugly goal in front of the net – assisted by senior defenseman Hunter Strojny – but it gave the Whalers a quick 1-0 lead they’d hold going into the first intermission.

Nauset responded well in the first period, but Nantucket senior goalie and captain Griffin Starr was sharp in net making several key stops. The Warriors came out firing in the second as well. Starr remained sharp and made an excellent leg pad stop 13 seconds into the period to keep the score 1-0.

But an offense like the Warriors can only be held down for so long. Junior forward Logan Poulin, who was all over the ice manufacturing scoring opportunities every shift, scored the equalizer just over two minutes into the second.

Then with just over five minutes to go in the period, the Whalers got a power play opportunity. With their top unit on the ice, senior center Colby O’Keefe tallied his 18th goal of the season to give Nantucket their lead back.

IMG 2854
Senior center Colby O'Keefe with the puck. Photo by David Creed

The Whalers led 2-1 entering the final period, and that is where things started to get interesting.

Moran said between the first and second periods, he told the officials to keep an eye out for some high hits/elbows as the game progressed and that he was told they were going to let the teams play because it was a good hockey game.

Through two periods, the Whalers had just two penalties. But in the final period alone they were called for four penalties and the Warriors got called for two (one was at the end of the game).

The whistles began to sound with 13:03 left in the third when Whaler senior defenseman Michael Culkins was cross-checked in the back and slammed against the boards, prompting a penalty to be called against Nauset’s Aaron Howard.

IMG 2878
Senior defenseman Michael Culkins. Photo by David Creed

After the play was blown dead, Howard approached Culkins with good sportsmanship to apologize for the hit, to which Culkins replied “you’re good” and gave the kid a fist bump to the chest before skating away.

Moran said the referee at the other side of the ice saw this interaction and interpreted it to be a negative one from afar, which led to the official calling Culkins for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

The call not only stripped Nantucket of a power play and opportunity to extend their lead to 3-1, but also put their best defenseman in the box for two minutes.

In the two minutes Culkins was sidelined, the Warriors scored two goals and suddenly had a 3-2 lead with 11:06 remaining in the game.

"Never in my career have I ever thought that the officiating could affect the game, you know, seriously lopsided, but it did,” Moran said. “The penalties that they called seriously cost us - especially that one where they called Michael when he got that cross-check against him and then got him for unsportsmanlike conduct. That set the tone, and then they just started calling us again and again and again. It's like 'What are you doing?' We're constantly in a man-down situation. We can't play (Nauset) in a shorthanded situation. We're never going to beat them. We have to play them five-on-five.”

Nauset’s firepower is what makes their team so dangerous, and the Whalers got a taste of it in the third. After the Warriors took the 3-2 lead, Colin Ward extended the Warrior's lead to 4-2. Seconds later, the Whalers were called for a slash and Nauset scored 28 seconds into the man advantage.

Suddenly, the Warriors led 5-2 after a four-goal explosion in the periods first 7 minutes and 29 seconds of game action. To make matters worse, Nantucket senior center and assistant captain Ryan Davis eventually left the game in the third with an injury and did not return.

IMG 2926
Senior center Ryan Davis left Thursday's game with an injury and did not return. Photo by David Creed

The Warriors went onto add one more goal and earn the season series split with Nantucket.

The Whalers won’t have to wait long to get back on the ice as their next game is scheduled for Friday, February 16th on the road against the Sandwich Blue Knights at 2:40 p.m. (weather permitting).

Track Wraps Up First Season

IMG 1646 e3a40f7172c3e2402cbe8afa5c931de5
Photo by Archie Ferguson

The Nantucket indoor track team wrapped up their first season this week with two athletes (Jaiden McInnis and Grace Hanlon) competing in the MIAA Division 5 Championship Wednesday at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.

McInnis competed in the 55m dash and his head coach Chris Miemiec said that McInnis had an excellent start, strong drive coming out of the blocks, and came in at 6.91 - which was good enough for 31st place.

Hanlon closed out her excellent season running a season best in the 1000m. Miemiec said Hanlon ran in heat two and had an impressive start leading from the gun.

“She went out on lap one at 37" setting an aggressive pace and continued to control the race through the first three laps leading the pack,” Miemiec said. “She fought through making smart adjustments and managed to finish with a season best of 3:22.74, a personal record by four seconds and good enough for 16th overall.”

Boys Basketball Ends Regular Season With Loss

Nantucket senior captain Carlos Aguilar led Nantucket with 17 points on Thursday against Monomoy. Photo by Chris Tran

Thursday’s Whaler boys basketball game was an ugly one. They went on the road and faced the Monomoy Sharks, who were the #19 seed in the latest MIAA Div. 4 bracket that came out on Tuesday while the Whalers were #15.

Nantucket lost the game 61-50 and were doomed by a sluggish and unproductive start to the game. The Whalers failed to score a single point in the first quarter, and Monomoy built a lead of over 20 points before the Whalers were finally able to get on the board a few minutes into the second quarter of play.

Nantucket head coach Willis Ferreira said after the game his team simply couldn't find a way to score. He said they have struggled to fill the voids left by senior guard Dwayne Martin, who was out for personal reasons, and sophomore guard Amare Bramwell, who was out with an injury. Senior guard and captain Carlos Aguilar also continues to be dealing with an injury and is nowhere close to 100 percent.

The injuries to his guards have forced players such as senior captain Jayquan Francis to slot into the role as the team’s point guard, a role that doesn’t maximize his abilities.

The Whalers have also missed sophomore big man Ethan Jarrett, who was lost for the season after sustaining an injury during the Whaler’s win over Martha’s Vineyard at TD Garden last month. The absence of Jarrett has put more on the shoulders of senior captain and center Jack Halik. Injuries have taken their toll on the Whalers this season.

Aguilar (17 points), Francis (15 points), and Halik (10 points) led Nantucket in scoring on Thursday. The Whaler’s regular season is now over. They finished with an 11-9 record and will now wait to see whether they will have the opportunity to host a round one tournament game or travel elsewhere to begin their playoff journey.

Girls Hoops Lose To Mashpee

382 A0057
Nantucket junior guard Mani Taveras going up for a layup during Thursday's game. Photo by Chris Tran

The girls basketball team is now 10-8 this season following a 51-32 loss to the Mashpee Falcons at home on Thursday.

The Whalers built a 9-4 lead after one quarter with three different players tallying baskets, in particularly junior guard Alana Ludvigson who drilled a three in the quarter.

But Nantucket wasn’t able to keep that lead going into halftime after being outscored 15-8 in the second quarter. Ludvigson scored six first half points while juniors Mani Taveras and Maddie Lombardi each had four points.

382 A0149
Junior guard Maddie Lombardi at the free throw line. Photo by Chris Tran

Nantucket trailed 19-16 entering the third quarter and kept it close for another eight minutes. While the offense remained slow and only mustered up 10 points in the third, the defense was sharp and kept Mashpee to 13 third quarter points.

The Falcons entered the fourth with a 32-26 lead and Nantucket was still in a good position to steal the game away from Mashpee late.

But the Whalers weren’t able to keep Mashpee’s offense in check in the final quarter – allowing 19 points while scoring just five of their own.

Nantucket already has a tournament spot locked up after earning 10 wins, but they still have a couple of games left in their regular season including a game at home against Bristol-Plymouth on Tuesday, February 20th at 5 p.m.


Friday, February 16th:

The boys hockey team is on the road facing the Sandwich Blue Knights at 2:40 p.m.

The girls hockey team is on the road facing the Dennis-Yarmouth Dolphins at 4 p.m.

Saturday, February 17th:

The girls hockey team will be at home facing Brookline at 2 p.m.

Sunday, February 18th:

There are no games scheduled for Sunday at this time.

Loading Ad
Loading Ad
Loading Ad

Current Sports