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Sports

January 23, 2013

Newburyport hockey team primed for CAL title

(Continued)

Buckley has been Newburyport’s best player so far this season. He has played in all 12 games, allowing 14 goals (1.17 GAA). He has also posted three shutouts, one of which came in a 22-save effort against Beverly last week.

One negative: The Clippers have struggled to score goals. Senior defenseman Connor Wile is tied for the team lead with 10 points (all assists), along with forward Jason Dylingowski (5 goals, 5 assists). The Clippers do not figure to have a 30-point scorer on the roster, unlike most teams that make deep tournament runs.

Pentucket girls could go undefeated

Pentucket girls basketball coach John McNamara expected his team to go through its share of early-season struggles, after graduating a strong senior class that included All-CAL selection Sarah Higgins.

Thirteen games into the season, the Sachems (13-0 overall, 9-0 CAL) have yet to hit a single bump in the road, and may be destined for an undefeated season. They have passed every test thus far, winning 12 of their 13 games by double-digits. Pentucket’s most impressive victories came against Ipswich, Notre Dame of Hingham, Masconomet and Hamilton-Wenham. The Sachems also swept Dover, N.H. and York, Me. in the York Holiday Tournament. The Sachems do not have a single team remaining on the regular season schedule that they have not already beaten this season.

“We haven’t (talked about going undefeated),” Pentucket coach John McNamara said. “Three years ago, we won 26 straight games, and lost the last one (in the Division 3 state championship). We learned a lot last year when we started 3-3, and went on to win the state championship. In the past, a loss would be devastating. Now, we want to make sure we peak at the right time.”

The Sachems have won 29 games in a row over two seasons, spanning back to January 2012. Senior Alex Moore, Tess Noguiera and Coley Viselli have been the mainstays during that run, taking turns as the team’s leading scorer on any given night. McNamara says he has never heard any of the three CAL All-Stars complain about playing a reduced role.

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