Brittany Smith was an accomplished player for the Marblehead co-op girls’ hockey team, racking up 100-plus points in her career.
Add another achievement to the list: her first victory as head coach at her alma mater after the Magicians skated to a season-opening 2-1 over the Beverly/Danvers/Ipswich co-op at the McVann-O’Keefe Rink Monday morning.
“I’m so excited,” Smith said. “The circumstances make everything a little more difficult, but we powered through.”
Smith, a 2014 graduate of Manchester-Essex – a member of the co-op hosted by Marblehead – earned her first win in the third game of the season for the Magicians (1-1-1).
Sophomore Sophia Zerilli and eighth-grader Elsa Wood scored 1:03 apart in the second period to provide Marblehead all the offense it would need against the Panthers, who were playing their first game of the season following several postponements amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to a longer wait than most for the season to begin, Beverly/Danvers/Ipswich had held only five practices since teams were permitted to begin holding them in mid-December — none on a full sheet of ice. The Panthers have also temporarily relocated out of Raymond J. Bourque Arena on the campus of Endicott College in Beverly (the facility is closed this winter) to McVann-O’Keefe for their home games.
“Getting everybody into hockey shape again is the biggest challenge,” BDI coach Danielle Finocchiaro said. “You put the masks on and it makes it even more complicated. Were just trying to take advantage of that full-ice training as much as we can.”
The Panthers have only 13 players on their roster, seven from Danvers, four from Beverly and two from Ipswich.
Shea Nemeskal, a sophomore from Danvers, scored 8:03 into the third period for the Panthers, who outshot the Magicians by a 23-15 margin. That included a 16-4 edge in the third period, but freshman Lily Francoeur rose to the occasion for Marblehead.
“I think the difference in the third period was that Beverly started to put two girls in front of the net – one in the high slot as well – so they got extra shots from there,” Smith said. “We made a little adjustment there and then pulled it through.”
Duxbury 6, Hingham 3 — Dan Najarian considers himself lucky to have a player of Ayla Abban’s caliber to make his life as a coach a lot easier.
The sophomore pieced together her second hat trick in three days, powering the Dragons (6-0) to a come-from-behind win over the rival Harborwomen (1-4-1) at The Bog.
“This is getting a little bit ridiculous, quite frankly,” Najarian said. “She’s got 12 goals in six games now. It’s not just that she’s scoring. She’s scoring timely goals. She’s scoring when we need her to score.”
After Duxbury’s Katie Geis tied the score at 1 and Ani Flaherty evened it at 2 in the first period, Abban converted on a breakaway to make it 3-2 Dragons with 5:44 left in the second period.
She added two more in the third, and also Geis scored her second of the day to help put the game out of reach.
“The team’s just really starting to work together, getting some good passes and some good shots on net,” Abban said.
Junior forward Kathryn Karo delivered twice for Hingham in the first period and junior forward Ryan Maguire added a goal in the third, but the Dragons simply had too much firepower.
Belmont 3, Winchester 2 — Senior Emma O’Donovan netted two goals and sophomore Bridget Gray made 24 stops in goal to propel the Marauders (3-0-1) to the Middlesex League win at O’Brien Arena. Senior Sam Rocci also scored.
HPNA 6, Central Catholic 3 — Kaitlyn Bush had a hat trick and Kira Connors made 22 saves on 25 shots as Haverhill/Pentucket/North Andover prevailed at Veterans Memorial Rink in Haverhill.
Cape Cod 5, Nantucket 0 — Junior Eve Abboud and freshman Bella Roberts each scored twice in the Cape & Islands victory for the Furies (1-0-1) at Charles Moore Arena in Orleans.
Newburyport 3, Masconomet 2 — The Clippers scored their first win as a new program at Henry Graf Skating Rink after ending their previous co-op arrangement with Masconomet.
“I believe because we’ve had to deal with so many restrictions due to COVID-19 it’s enabled us to put some of those ‘first nerves’ to the side,” said coach Melissa Pacific, who previously, had a 12-year run at the helm of the girls’ program at Phllips Exeter. “Everyone has come together to embrace this season and we are so happy to be playing.”
Senior Shannon Brennan, sophomore Hannah Gross and Junior Fiona Dunphy tallied the first goals for the new program in the Northeast League.
St. Mary’s 9, Archbishop Williams 0 — Caitlyn O’Donnell and Kasey Litwin each netted a pair of goals as the host Spartans (2-1-1) cruised to the Catholic Central win at Connery Rink.
Archbishop Williams 5, Bishop Feehan 2 — Sophomore Matt Keenan potted his first two varsity goals in the Bishops win at New England Sports Village. Senior James O’Toole added two goals and fellow senior Conor Kelly scored once and tallied two assists in the Catholic Central League matchup.
Belmont 2, Winchester 2 — The host Marauders (3-0-1) rallied to earn a Middlesex Liberty League tie at Skip Viglirolo Rink. Sophomore Ryan Griffin posted 34 saves while senior Ben Fici and sophomore Peter Grace each scored once.
Duxbury 2, Marshfield 2 — Brady Clark delivered the dagger in the shootout, powering the Rams (1-0-2) past the Dragons (2-2-2) at The Bog.
Nick Souretis also scored in the shootout for Marshfield, and Dan Allen delivered for Duxbury.
Earlier in the game, Will Nolan gave the Dragons a 1-0 edge through 1, then Ryland McGlame tied it up for the Rams in the second period. T.J. Jones put the Dragons back in front in the third, but Will Doherty provided the equalizer less than two minutes later.
Neither side scored in OT, then Marshfield found a way in the shootout. The game counts as a tie for the purpose of standings.
Hingham 6, Whitman-Hanson 1 — Six players found the back of the net for the Harbormen in a Patriot League win at the Rockland Ice Rink, including the first career tally for sophomore defenseman Chase McKenna. Lars Osterberg, Drew Carleton, Sean Garrity, Aidan Brazel and Evan Corbett also scored for Hingham (4-0). Erik Dean made 46 saves for the Panthers (1-2).
Masconomet 8, Saugus 1 — Sophomore Michael Bevilacqua scored twice and six other players connected for goals in Masco’s Northeastern Conference win at the Valley Forum in Haverhill.
North Quincy 4, Plymouth South 2 — Tyler Kelly scored twice as the Red Raiders doubled up the Panthers in a Patriot League game at Quincy Youth Arena. Mike Gorman (first varsity goal) and Sean Feeney also scored for North Quincy (2-1).
Rockland 6, Cardinal Spellman 2 — Nick Blonde had a hat trick and assist, and John Henry added two goals and an assist as the Bulldogs (2-1) prevailed in a nonleague game at Rockland Ice Arena.
Tewksbury 4, North Andover 2 — The junior trio of Aaron Connelly, Sean Lane and Jason Cooke (2 goals) each scored in the Redmen’s Merrimack Valley Conference victory at the Breakaway Ice Center.
Archbishop Williams 70, St. Mary’s 61 — The Bishops (5-2) dealt St. Mary’s its first loss of the season behind 21 points form sophomore guard Andre Mills of Dorchester in the Catholic Central matchup. Senior center Jack McCarthy (Braintree) added 18 and senior guard Will O’Malley (Dorchester) had 17.
Bishop Fenwick 63, Cathedral 61 — Max Grenert netted a team-high 19 points and Alex Gonzalez (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Mike Yentin (12 points, 14 rebounds) each recorded a double-double for the Crusaders (3-2) in the Catholic Central win in Peabody.
Arlington Catholic 46, Austin Prep 38 — The host Cougars held Austin Prep to 3 points in the fourth quarter and freshman Cecilia Kay provided an offensive spark, racking up 25 points and 12 rebounds in the Catholic Central League win.
Malden Catholic 51, Fontbonne 34 — Junior guard Andrea Turner had 11 points and five assists to lead the host Lancers (1-0) to the nonleague win.
Trevor Hass, Colin Bannen, Matt Doherty, and Peter Santo also contributed. To report scores, call 617-929-2860/3235 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.