Magicians defeat Tanners, stay alive for states

Marblehead's Sydney Cresta (left) and Peabody's Jessica Robert chase down the puck. (Item Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

LYNN — The Marblehead girls hockey team simply could not afford a loss on Friday evening, and the Magicians fought back from a deficit twice to defeat Peabody, 4-2, at Connery Rink in a neutral-site game. The win keeps Marblehead alive in the state tournament hunt, as the Magicians now need just one more point to to get in.

“When you look at the wins we’ve had this year, this was definitely our best one,” said Marblehead coach Chris Wells. “That’s a good team, a playoff team, and we’ve talked about how we need to find ways to beat these teams. And coming back from behind twice to win this one was huge for us.”

Sydney Cresta led the way for Marblehead with two goals and one assist, while Bella Peters had one goal and one assist. Chloe Trudel scored one goal, while Grace Moroney and Abby Kalinowski each had one assist. Goalie Grace Bertagna had 13 saves in the win.

The Mirasolo sisters paced the offense for Peabody, with Sammie and Cassie each netting one goal and one assist in the loss. Jen Flynn had one assist, while goalie Abby Buckley had 25 saves.

The Tanners were done in by penalties, taking seven of them over the course of the game. They were caught in a 5-on-3 and a 4-on-3 situation as well, with the latter leading to the eventual game-winning goal in the third period.

“You can’t win a game from the penalty box,” said Peabody coach Michelle Roach. “When you take almost a period’s worth of penalties, you can’t expect to be able to do all of the other things you need to do to win. We battled hard through two periods, but (Marblehead) just fought a little harder in that third period and beat us.”

Both teams came out fast in the first period, with plenty of shots on goal. Marblehead earned three powerplays in the period, even getting a five-on-three opportunity, but the Magicians couldn’t capitalize on any. Peabody earned one powerplay, but the Tanners also couldn’t knock any pucks home. After some stellar play from both goaltenders (eight saves for Buckley, seven saves for Bertagna), the first period ended scoreless.

Marblehead amped up its aggressiveness in the second period, outshooting Peabody 11-4. But it was the Tanners who were able to take advantage of their few opportunities. With just under five minutes to play in the second, after killing off their fourth penalty of the night, Peabody took control of the puck in its own zone. Sammie Mirasolo took control around center ice and darted toward the net. Her first shot from the right circle was stopped by Bertagna, but the rebound bounced right back to Mirasolo’s stick. With one quick reaction, she knocked the puck home to give the Tanners a 1-0 lead going into the third period.

The third period is where the fireworks started going off. Cresta scored just 41 seconds into the period to tie the score for Marblehead, then Cassie Mirasolo gave Peabody the lead right back just over two minutes later. Less than four minutes went by before Marblehead tied the score again, this time on Cresta’s second goal. It was at this point that the Tanners’ penalty troubles really came back to bite them, as they were called for two penalties in short order to get stuck in a 4-on-3 situation with six minutes to go. Just as that 4-on-3 was about to expire, Peters knocked home a rebound to notch the go-ahead goal for the Magicians. About a minute and a half later, Trudel scored to give Marblehead a cushion and seal the win.

Peabody (10-6-2) now turns its sights to Bishop Fenwick as the cross-town rivals will battle for the Carlin Cup Monday at McVan/O’Keefe.

For Marblehead (9-6-1), a loss is still out of the question if the Magicians want to make the tournament. They’ll need a win or a tie in their final game, which will be played tonight against Cape Cod at Charles Moore Arena in Orleans.

“This whole year, we’ve been taking things one game at a time, one period at a time,” Wells said. “Now, with one game left, we’re just going to go down there and try to get to 10 wins.”

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