Sports

Offense leads Peabody/Lynnfield girls hockey past Beverly/Danvers

Peabody's Jen Flynn looks for a way to the net. (Spenser R. Hasak)

BEVERLY — The Peabody/Lynnfield girls hockey team jumped out to a four-goal lead in the first period and never looked back en route to a 5-2 win over Beverly/Danvers at Raymond J. Bourque Arena Wednesday afternoon.

“We had a little bit of a slow start, but we settled down quickly and got a great team effort today,” said Peabody coach Michelle Roach. “We got everyone into the game today and worked out some new pairings, so it was a solid game for us.”

Peabody was led by sophomore Jen Flynn, who netted two goals. Freshman Maria Pierce added one goal and one assist, while senior captain Kathryn DiGiulio and freshman Anya Pineo each had one goal. Junior captain Sammie Mirasolo had two assists and freshman Lily Piscatelli had one assist. Senior captain goalie Abby Buckley had 22 saves.

For Beverly, junior Emma Thibodeau and sophomore Emma Knott each had one goal. Junior Tori Shea had two assists, while sophomore Katie Nemeskal and freshman Kayleigh Crowell each had one assist. Sophomore goalie Julia Otterbein had 10 saves.

The Tanners were especially strong on the penalty kill, shutting Beverly out on four attempts and also netting a shorthanded goal.

“We have to stay out of the box for sure, but the penalty kill was working really well for us,” said Roach. “We pressured them the whole time and were able to keep it in their zone even when we were shorthanded. We even got a goal out of it.”

Peabody took a while to get itself going on the first period. Then, just over four minutes into the game, Flynn took control of the puck in the Peabody zone and dashed all the way up the ice, eventually finishing with a wrist shot over Otterbein’s shoulder to make it 1-0. Exactly one minute later, Mirasolo sent a pass in front of the net to an open DiGiulio, who knocked it in for a two-goal lead. Things remained there until there were just over four minutes left, when Pierce made a big play on the penalty kill. After gaining control of the puck near center ice, Pierce darted into the offensive zone and fired a puck off the post. The puck then bounced right back to Pierce’s stick to give her another chance, and this time she didn’t miss. Just 45 seconds later, Flynn scored her second of the game on a feed from Mirasolo to go up by four goals at the end of the first period.

The first half of the second period was pretty uneventful, but Pineo livened it up with a goal with just under eight minutes to go and made it 5-0 Peabody.

Beverly was finally able to get on the board with about four and a half minutes left in the second when Knott took a pass from Shea and flipped a shot into the net.

Peabody played more of a possession style game in the third period, getting only three shots on net. Beverly remained aggressive, and it paid off with just over a minute left when Thibodeau scored on an assist from Nemeskal to make it 5-2.

Next up for Beverly/Danvers is a game against Medford/Malden at LoConte Rink Saturday (4).

As for Peabody/Lynnfield (4-1-1), this was just the first in a stretch of some tough games in the coming weeks, with teams like Winthrop, Medford, St. Mary’s and Bishop Fenwick on the schedule. Next up will be a matchup with Winthrop Saturday (4) at James McVan/Louis O’Keefe Memorial Rink.

“That will be a big league game for us, and we’re going to come out and play hard,” said Roach. “This will be a good stretch for us coming up. I think we need to start ramping it back up now that the holidays are through.”

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