NEWBURYPORT — In a game between two closely matched programs that strongly believe they are on the verge of better days, Pentucket junior goaltender Sammantha Bomba made the difference.
A rising star in the Cape Ann League, Bomba halted four power plays and 15 shots in the third period alone to preserve a 2-1 victory for the Sachems over Amesbury in the consolation game of the Newburyport Bank Hockey Classic's Gulazian Division at the Graf Rink.
"It was crazy, there were rushes everywhere," Bomba said after the game. "We obviously didn't have the best record, but it was a great win for the seniors who aren't coming back. Amesbury is a rival. I know Triton-Pentucket is a rivalry, but whenever we play Amesbury, it's a great game."
In seasons that held fewer wins than losses, both the Pentucket and Amesbury high school hockey teams ended their seasons yesterday feeling their players will be ready to push Cape Ann League foes next season.
For the Sachems, who include students from Georgetown High, it was the first win in three tries over the Indians and a positive ending on a season that saw the program make marked improvements despite just three wins.
For Amesbury, which has a growing influx of players from Whittier Tech, finishing the season with six wins and another seven games in which they lost by one goal were signs that the proud program is on its way back.
"The kids played three periods of disciplined, hard, good hockey. That's what we're asking for and that's what they give us," coach Chris Kuchar said. "I'm proud of the way the kids battled until the end. Their goalie was outstanding. She came up with some point blank, phenomenal saves, and all the credit goes to her."