January 8, 2017
Olivia Fusegni put Marblehead on top Sunday, but in the end, Oakmont forged the tie.
By SCOT COOPER
SALEM — Two teams played a very up-tempo hockey game Sunday morning at Salem State’s Rockett Arena. When the buzzer went off at the end, Marblehead and Oakmont Regional had to settle for a 3-3 tie.
Marblehead (2-5-1) coach Emily Hudak had said after last week’s disappointing loss to Medford that her team needed to play with more energy and urgency for three periods every game.
That’s how it seemed Sunday. The Magicians came out flying and played an excellent first period. However, they could only get one puck past Oakmont goalie Bridgette Martin, who was outstanding between the pipes. Martin allowed one goal despite the fact Marblehead had several great chances.
Hudak said that her team did have a good start and played well. But Oakmont never quit, rallying from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits. Spartan Sarah Craig scored her second goal of the game in the third period to secure a point for the team from Ashburnham.
“(Martin) was excellent, especially early in the game. She seemed to stop everything, she made the initial save and covered it up,” Hudak said.
“We had our chances in this game, we outshot them, we had a lot of odd-man rushes, we kept shooting but she stopped just about everything,” Hudak said. “We had some really, really tough teams on the schedule to start the year, we’re pretty evenly matched with the teams we’re playing now. We have to keep playing hard.”
“The girls are getting better, we just can’t leave any points on the table if we want to get to the state tournament,” Hudak said. “I like how we skated hard all game, it was kind of like a light bulb went off in their heads, play hard and good things will happen.”
After Olivia Fusegni put the Magicians on top by one with 1:44 left in the first period, Sydney Cresta made it 2-0 halfway through the second period. Oakmont’s Craig scored her first goal from Taylor Sheppard with two Marblehead skaters sitting in the penalty box.
Cassidy Driscoll scored 29 seconds into the third period, but once again, Oakmont rallied back to tie it at 2-2. Marblehead responded just 85 seconds later when Cate Delaney made it 3-2.
Craig scored her second goal, another on the power play, with 10:20 left in the game to tie it.
Marblehead pressed to go ahead. Cresta hit the post behind Martin, and the Magicians had four shots on a late power play of their own. But they could not get that fourth score.
Senior co-captain Brynne O’Connor, who had two assists from the point, said that she and the other captains Fusegni and Lauren Perry have stressed to Marblehead’s younger players that they need every point they can get, if the team wants to achieve their number one pre-season goal, to get back to the state tournament.
“I think that we had a little more drive today than we had in the Medford game,” O’Connor said. “We have to play with a lot of drive if we want to make it to the states, that’s our biggest goal for this season.”
“All the girls were upset about what happened in the Medford game, we did not come out with the fire in that game,” O’Connor said. “We played much better today and we have to keep playing better with that drive every game.”
Oakmont (3-3-1) coach Joelle Vautour said she was pleased that her team kept battling back every time Marblehead went ahead.
“It was a really good game today, I thought it was one of our best all-around games we’ve played this season,” Vautour said. “From the goalie through the defense up to the forwards I thought we played very well and never stopped skating when we got behind.”
Marblehead will be back on the ice next Saturday, on the road, against Lynn-Winthrop.