NEWBURYPORT — The Pentucket varsity hockey team defeated Rockport 4-2 in a physical first round matchup at the Newburyport Bank Tournament yesterday afternoon.
Trailing 2-1 going into the third, Pentucket capitalized on a lengthy power play after a Rockport skater was sent off for a 4-minute major. Sensing a chance to turn the game around, the Sachems scored three unanswered goals in a span of 1:03 to take the lead and ultimately secure the win.
For better or worse, the story of the game was Rockport senior Jon Ferrante, who had about as big an impact as one player can possibly have on a game, both positively and negatively.
After an evenly matched opening sequence, Rockport got on the board first following a defensive miscue near the Pentucket blue line. Ferrante grabbed the puck with nothing but open ice in front of him to put it past Pentucket keeper Robert Porter to give the Vikings an early 1-0 lead.
Seconds after giving his team the lead, however, Ferrante found himself in the penalty box after he cross-checked a Pentucket skater making a rush to the Rockport net. The Sachems quickly made the most of the power play opportunity, as junior forward Ben Klosowski received a pass from senior captain Patrick Slack and scored to tie the game at 1-1.
Pentucket’s puck control issues on the blue line stung them again shortly afterward, however, as another Sachem turnover gave Ferrante a second breakaway opportunity. Just like the first, Ferrante beat Porter to score his second goal of the game, giving the Vikings a 2-1 lead going into the first intermission.
The second period was a largely uneventful affair until the last five minutes, when things started getting chippy and players started going to the penalty box left and right.
It started when Pentucket defenseman Michael Kutcher was sent to the box for interference with 5:26 left to play in the period, giving Rockport its first power play of the game.