As a result, Newburyport’s biggest games this season will come against nonleague foes. The Clippers have already played well against two Division 1 teams — Braintree and Springfield Cathedral — in the early part of this season, and they have a 4-1 victory over reigning CAL champion Triton to their record. However, they have not played well against weaker CAL foes like Masconomet (1-4-1, 0-2-1) and Pentucket. They tied Masconomet in December, and nearly gave a point to Pentucket last evening.
“I don’t want to make excuses, really,” Yameen said. “We try to pound into their heads the mental aspect of the game. We need to look at each and every team like a challenge. We did too much standing around, and we’re not getting to the net with speed.”
For Pentucket’s part, senior goaltender Samantha Bomba continued to play the part of the league’s top goalie, making save after save to keep her team in the game. She finished with 28, 12 more than her counterpart, Newburyport’s Alex Buckley.
“Newburyport and Triton are the two teams that are strong in our division,” Pentucket coach Bill Burns said. “That’s a very good Newburyport team. We had opportunities, but we didn’t finish. They did, but we’ll learn and build on it.”
Goal-scoring may be one potential area of concern for Newburyport as it prepares for a late-season run in the state tournament. The team has scored 11 goals in its last five games, and appears to be missing last year’s top goal-scorer, Cam Roy, who tallied more than 100 career points in three seasons before joining the Bridgton Academy hockey team this winter. The Clippers will host two-time defending Division 2 South champion Franklin tomorrow in what figures to be another difficult nonleague test.
“We’re going to have to score ugly goals,” Yameen said. “If we got to the net quicker, we would have had five or six goals. We’re standing around, and not getting to the net with any speed. There were rebounds out there, we didn’t get to them, and it cost us. We’ll take the win, but if we don’t wake up quickly, we’ll give up six goals to Franklin.”