MIDDLETON — A three-point game from senior captain Sydney Cresta helped lift the Marblehead girls hockey team past Bishop Fenwick, 3-1, at Essex Sports Center Wednesday night.
Cresta scored two goals in the second period and dished an assist to Amy Vytopilova in the win.
“Sydney’s a great player,” Marblehead coach Marissa Maccario said. “We have given her skills to practice on throughout the year and once she conquers one thing she’s always on to the next. She’s a fun player to coach. We’re always throwing new ideas at her and she asks a lot of questions and it pays off.”
Fenwick’s lone goal came from Lexi McNeil in the third period. Crusaders coach Doug Anderson was disappointed with the effort, particularly early in the second period.
“In that second period we were just totally outplayed,” Anderson said. “Sydney Cresta, we tried to neutralize her by staying on her but she’s that good. We just have to play better positional hockey. We were all over the place in the second period and we don’t have enough speed to combat their best players.
“But I’m going to take the positive out of it,” Anderson added. “Daphne Jalbert (30 saves) played good in goal, we played strong at the end and did some things with our goalie out. It was just too little too late and you can’t turn it on that late. This is the second loss like this. We lost to Wilmington the same way with one bad period. We need more consistency and have to get back on the winning track.”
The Magicians went on the offensive first with a power play chance five minutes into the first period. But Jalbert made a sprawling save to knock the puck out of the crease to keep the game scoreless.
Later in the period the Magicians saw another scoring opportunity when Maddy Digiovanni found herself with a shot in the slot after an odd-man rush. The sophomore ripped a low shot but Jalbert made the pad save to once again keep the game tied.
The Crusaders’ penalty kill stepped for a few minutes on two penalties early in the second period, but Marblehead kept the pressure on. Cresta eventually found the back of the net on a low wrist shot for a power play goal to put Marblehead ahead 1-0.
Cresta lit the lamp a minute later. This time Mia Salah had a shot saved by Jalbert but Cresta finished on the rebound out front to extend the Magicians’ lead to 2-0.
After killing a Crusaders power play midway through the second, Cresta continued to make plays. The senior captain slipped by a few Fenwick defenders and dished a nice pass to Vytopilova who scored on the open net to put Marblehead out front 3-0.
“We’re usually playing with two and half lines so I think that the biggest thing for us is being conditioned,” Maccario said. “This team is always having upbeat practices and we get in the conditioning we need with drills and skating hard. We know the longer shifts are going to take place in the middle of the game too so we prepare for it.”
Marblehead continued to control the pace of play midway through the third period. Fenwick finally broke the shut out when Eve Weiss ripped a shot and McNeil found the back of the net on a rebound to cut the Marblehead lead to 3-1.
The Crusaders were whistled for a penalty a minute later, preventing them from gaining momentum after the goal. Jalbert was pulled in the final minute but Magicians netminder Grace Bertagna (16 saves) made two saves to close out the game for Marblehead.
“Grace has been doing so well for us recently,” Maccario said. “We’ve been working on things with her every week at practice and she has improved. If you want to be successful you need a goalie to get hot at the end of the year so it’s been great to see.”
Both teams are back on the ice this weekend. Marblehead (3-9-0) hosts Winthrop Saturday (4:30) while the Crusaders (8-5-1) host rival Arlington Catholic Sunday (9).