PEABODY — The Marblehead High girls are one of the most established girls hockey programs around, while Peabody is still trying to find its footing.
Both teams came away from yesterday’s opener feeling pretty good, with the Lady Headers doubling up the host Tanners, 9-4, at McVann-O’Keefe rink.
The Tanners (0-1) improved in every period and battled Marblehead to a 2-2 tie in the third.
“It’s certainly not the Peabody teams of the past,” said Lady Headers coach Emily Hudak. “We knew coming in that they were really an improved team — and that showed.”
Peabody tied it at 1-1 in the early going and made Marblehead sweat a bit by making it 4-2 midway through the second. The Lady Headers, however, responded less than a minute later on two of Peabody’s four goals, putting their foot on the gas pedal when necessary.
Junior captain Rachel McKay totaled six points for Marblehead on two goals and four assists. Her center, Meg Gray, had a goal and an assist and winger freshman Brittany Lydon had two goals and a cross-crease assist to McKay in her Marblehead debut.
“That line looked like they’d been together all season,” Hudak said. “They were out there talking and clicking, and that’s what you want.”
Courtney Smith factored in three of Peabody’s four tallies, scoring twice and assisting on Courtney Cavanaugh’s goal. Captain Waverly Cohen had a pair of assists for the Tanners, and Sophia Post had a goal and an assist in her first game as a Tanner.
“I was very pleased. The girls did a great job, and that first line (Smith, Cohen and Post) played awesome,” said Peabody coach Larry Minehan. “That was not a 9-4 game in terms of the skating.”
Marblehead captain Brittany Smith had two goals and an assist, including an end-to-end rush that made it 3-1 and put the Lady Headers in the driver’s seat.