By Jim Sullivan
---- — NEWBURYPORT — It was a big night of hockey for both sexes at the Graf Rink last night as the Masconomet girls team made its Newburyport debut by tying Medford 4-4, while the Masconomet boys team handed the Clippers their first league loss of the season, 4-3.
The Newburyport boys team (8-2-4 overall, 7-1-1 CAL) knew it would have a fight on their hands with Masco (5-8-1 overall, 3-5-1 CAL) providing the only league dent on the season until last night with a tie back in December. And the Chieftains didn’t disappoint, taking advantage of a Travis Wile penalty for high sticking, followed by one for Port goalie Alex Buckley for cross-checking that gave the Chieftains a 5-on-3 disadvantage. That allowed Mike Castro to score the first goal of the night assisted by Alec DiGiorgio and Anthony Anzalone.
Newburyport started the second period on the defensive, playing from behind for the first time in a while. The Clippers were still down a man when Masco’s Tyler Costello scored top shelf on Buckley only 20 seconds in unassisted.
Now down 2-0, Wile made another trip to the box for high sticking, allowing Surette to score a wrap-around goal, assisted by Jared Brann.
Chieftain Jeff Panella went to the box for slashing with eight minutes to go, allowing Connor Wile to score from the blue line amid heavy traffic, assisted by Jayson Dylingowski and Tyler Cusack.
The third period started with Brann being called for hooking, allowing Dylingowski to grab another point from the blue line to inch the Clippers within one, assisted by Connor Wile and Ben Ventura.
The penalties on both teams continued to pile up, and the Clippers spent the rest of the period swarming Cardillo. They would be too short-handed most of the time to make a comeback.
“We get what we deserve, period,” said Clippers coach Paul Yameen. “I think I’ve got to bring a Division 1 team in here — a Franklin or a Beverly or a Triton to play consistently the way we want to play. It’s just not happening. Maybe I’ll take the blame on that. Maybe I’ve got to look in the mirror. Because it shouldn’t happen this late in the season, and it’s still happening.”
Yameen also blasted the referees.
“I’m not making any excuses, because both teams had a lot of penalties,” said Yameen. “But that was one of the worst officiated games I’ve ever seen in my life. How do you get a flow in a game when it’s whistle after whistle after whistle? It’s like a youth hockey game. But I’ll say this again, we got what we deserved.”
The lady Chieftains saw a 4-1 lead evaporate in the third period as Medford picked up the three needed goals in the last 10 minutes, the last goal coming in the final 37 seconds.
Alex Casale scored the lady Chieftains’ first goal of the night assisted by Syndey Sheerin. Kendra Dow, Katie Terbin and Olivia Mombello also had goals, and Jen Sena Moner, Kylie Currier and Tracy Long had their assists, respectively.
“We had two very strong periods,” said Masco girls coach Nicole Twomey. “But there are no excuses for what happened in the third period on our end. No excuses. We just didn’t come ready to play in the third period, and that’s the period where you need to seal the deal. It was nice to have the fans here. Right now, it’s tough to find that silver lining.”