PEABODY — A slow start to the season could have doomed their postseason chances. But after putting together a modest two-game winning streak, the Masconomet hockey team is hoping that momentum will carry over for the rest of the regular season — and hopefully earning them a playoff berth.
The Chieftains defeated Lynnfield, 5-2, Saturday at the McVann-O’Keefe Rink, opening up a close game with three third period scores.
Now at 6-8-1 on the season, Masconomet needs seven out of possible 10 points in their final five games to earn that postseason invitation.
“Making the tournament is within our reach,” said head coach Andrew Jackson. “We have a lot of guys that are new this year, and it took a while for them to adjust to the speed and physicality. Now we’re starting to play together.”
The Pioneers took an early lead on a power play goal by Andrew Crampe, who beat Chieftains goalie Matt Cardillo with 2:55 gone in the opening period. But Masco answered with the next four in a row to put the game away.
Alec DiGiorgio knotted it up late in the first period, capitalizing on a Lynnfield turnover in its own end and walking in alone. He deked goalie Joe Bassi before depositing the puck into the corner of the net.
The Chieftains added a huge goal to go ahead, 2-1, with just 11 seconds remaining in the first period when Trevor Surrette buried a one-timer from the left side of the crease.
“Any time you get one in the last minute, it gives you a big lift,” said Jackson.
“One of the things we were trying to do was take fewer penalties, because lately we’ve been getting way too many. We only had four (Saturday), which I’m happy about.”
Cardillo was the story in the middle period when Lynnfield came out flying. The senior captain stopped all 14 shots he faced in that scoreless period, including a glove save to rob Nick Loconte. He later denied Crampe, who got off two quick point blank shots with just under five minutes remaining in the period.