, Salem, MA

February 20, 2013

Masconomet girls blank Marblehead

By Matt Williams
Staff writer

---- — GLOUCESTER — Every team has to turn the page quickly after a loss, but the Masconomet girls took that concept to a new level yesterday.

Taking the ice just 16 hours after seeing a ten-game unbeaten streak snapped in a late loss to Burlington Monday night, the Chieftains bounced back with a thorough 7-0 win over Marblehead in a matinee at Talbot Rink.

“I thought we played well and we got stronger in every period,” said Masconomet coach Nicole Twomey. “(Monday) we said we’re moving on. That one was over and for a while now we’ve been looking at every next game as the biggest game on our schedule. That’s how we looked at Marblehead.”

The state-tournament bound Chieftains (12-4-2) had nine players record points, led by sophomore center Jensena Moner’s two goal, two assist effort. Senior goalie Alex Jones made 19 saves to earn her sixth shutout of the season and the 21st clean sheet of her career.

It was the first time Marblehead (9-11-1) had been shut out this season. The Lady Headers are just 1-6 in the month of February and fell out of state tournament contention with one game remaining against Burlington tomorrow.

Marblehead’s first line, led by captains Brittany Smith and Rachel McKay, put the pressure on Masco early yesterday. Jones was up to the challenge, with nine saves in the first period including a good tip-in bid by McKay and a crucial blocked shot by defenseman Lily Dow.

At the other end, Masco scored on its first shot of the game when Nancy Palermo roofed one over Aly Hopkins, and led 3-0 after one on goals by Moner and Meghan Hubbard.

“Alex is always good for us. We know she’s going to stop the ones she can stop,” said Twomey, whose Chieftains outshot Marblehead 15-10 over the final two periods and 20-19 for the game. “Marblehead’s shot count definitely decreased as the game went along and I was pleased with that.”

Captain Kendra Dow had a goal and an assist, including Masco’s only second period tally. The Chieftains scored three times in the third as they pulled away on Hubbard and Moner’s second goals and a late tally from freshman Emma McGonagle.

Dana Valletti and Olivia Mombello each had two assists for the Chieftains, who had a clear depth advantage over Marblehead that became a bigger factor late in the game.

“Our third and fourth lines have been through a lot this year and they’ve earned their ice time,” Twomey said. “Their resiliency and dedication have made a huge impact on our team.”

It was the second game back from an illness for Palermo, who had a goal and an assist. Masco got plenty of production from the blue line with two goals by Hubbard.

“Having Nancy back is great. It changes the dynamic for us in the defensive end and we’re definitely stronger with her in the lineup,” said Twomey.

Smith had Marblehead’s best scoring chance in the third period but Jones made a sprawling save to keep the puck out of the cage. Marblehead was 0-for-3 with the man advantage and didn’t have the same energy after peppering Jones in the opening minutes.

Masco got a critical goal on an offensive zone draw with 19 seconds left in the first. Moner won the faceoff cleanly back to Hubbard, who put the shot on net and scored as Maddy Warner had an effective screen on Hopkins (13 saves).

“Maddy comes to play,” said Twomey. “She’s worked her way up from fourth line to third and she’s now making a huge impact on our second line. She’s really turned it up and turned it on.”

Masco celebrates Senior Night today at Talbot Rink against Shawsheen (4 p.m.) and then finished the regular season against Cambridge on Friday.