, Salem, MA


February 7, 2013

Kick Saves: Peabody making progress

Some of the older players on the Peabody High girls hockey team have been through a lot.

This season, they’re proving that adversity truly made them stronger.

The Tanners toppled Brookline, 6-4, last night at Boston University’s Walter Brown Arena to improve to 5-12. That fifth victory was a significant one, as it marks the most wins in Peabody’s seven varsity seasons.

Peabody has had strong leadership from captains Julia Henry and Waverly Cohen. It’s an unselfish group with players like junior ace Courtney Smith willing to move between forward and defense with no complaints, and senior goalie Joanna Amebliotis sharing the cage with eighth-grade counterpart Jillian McCormick.

There’s a pride in Peabody building with the girls hockey team. With each passing day, and each win, the memories of several years ago are fading.

One of the best signs of progress is the way the Tanners have played in close games. Their win over Everett came by a 3-2 margin, and last night’s triumph had some obstacles to overcome. Peabody killed two penalties in the third period and shook off a 1-0 Brookline lead in the first. Brookline closed it to 5-4 in the third period, but Smith completed her hat trick with 6:18 to play to make sure Peabody came out on top.

“We made some mistakes, but in the third period we held them to one goal,” said Larry Minehan, Peabody’s coach since the program’s inception in 2006.

Sophia Post (13 goals) had an excellent game last night and is one of several talented freshmen who have the future looking very bright for the Tanners.

“She was everywhere and made it very difficult for Brookline,” said Minehan, who also highlighted freshman Hannah Travers’ hustle, as well as sophomore Laura Miele and Bella Piscatelli.

Peabody also has some strong middle school players. Defenseman Kaydee Purcell, a seventh-grader, scored her first varsity goal last night and has been a force on the Tanner blue line at times this season.

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