There’s nothing in sports quite like playing goalie in ice hockey.
Between the bulky pads, the somewhat uncomfortable mask and the ‘butterfly’ style that calls for you to throw yourself to your knees against most normal instincts, it’s a position that isn’t for the faint of heart. On top of all that, you’re balancing on thin steel blades on the ice.
Playing goalie is a challenge, to say the least, and it’s a challenge that’ll be taken up by a number of new faces this winter. Of the six teams in the area, four of them graduated their primary goalie from a year ago.
Masconomet seems to have the biggest skates to fill, with Salem News Player of the Year and Northeast Hockey League MVP Alex Jones moving on to college.
The Chieftains, who co-op with Hamilton-Wenham, Triton, Amesbury and Newburyport, don’t have a natural goalie. They’ll rely on a pair of courageous defensemen: junior Molly Kelley and sophomore Andraya Ferraro.
“They both stepped back. They put in a ton of work over the summer on that craft. They went to camps and played in fall leagues, too. I’m a supporter of playing as many sports as you can, but when it comes to playing goalie there’s no substitute for getting experiences in games,” said Masco coach Nicole Twomey.
Kelley was rewarded for her efforts with a shutout in her first varsity start last night, a 2-0 win over Peabody. She made seven saves thanks to a tremendous effort by the defensemen in front of her: Meg Hubbard, Lily Dow and Kylie Currier, who slid back from forward due to an injury on Masco’s regular defensive rotation.
“We did what we needed to on defense and those three girls were certainly a huge part of it,” said Twomey. “The shots were low, but Molly made a few tough saves. Peabody has a few girls who can really shoot the puck.”