By Jim Sullivan
---- — After suffering the first league loss of the season to Masconomet Wednesday night, the Newburyport boys hockey team was at it again at home against Pentucket Saturday night. The Sachems paid for the slight as the Clippers struck early and often for the 6-1 bounce-back win.
“I thought we played well,” said Clippers coach Paul Yameen. “It was a good bounce-back win for us, and it’s two points, and it’s a league win. I believe that means we at least get a share of the Cape Anne League title, and we’ve got a big game (against North Reading tomorrow) night.”
As could be expected, the Clippers (9-2-4 overall, 8-1-1 CAL) started the evening off bringing the heat, camping out in Sachem territory and firing off five shots in the first two minutes on Pentucket goalie Samantha Bomba. Sachem Bob Hallowell was called for high sticking soon after, and Nate Hickman took advantage with the power-play goal, assisted by Jayson Dylingowski to put Newburyport up 1-0 with over 12 minutes to go in the period.
Newburyport’s Tyler Cusack struck next with a flip-top goal over Bomba’s right shoulder, assisted by fellow senior co-captain Nick Mombello and junior Nick Federico. The Clippers skated into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead.
Clipper Connor Wile started the second period off on the right skate with a slap-shot goal, top-shelf, assisted by Hickman. The Sachems (6-7-1 overall, 3-6-0 CAL) answered back with a breakaway goal on Port goalie Alex Buckley, assisted by Ian Mitchell. But Pentucket’s euphoria would be very short-lived, when nine seconds later, Newburyport’s fourth goal of the night was scored by Tim Brennan, assisted by hot-shot youngster Tyler Therrien.
Therrien started the third period off with a goal assisted by AJ Williams, and Dylingowski ended the period with a quick goal of his own, assisted by Wile to end the evening’s festivities.
“The way we’ve been playing, everybody’s going to give us a challenge,” said Yameen, who was all business after the game. “I like the way we played. We’re not looking ahead to anyone else, we’re just looking to go game-by-game.”
“When you play a good team, you’ve got to be disciplined,” said Sachems coach Bill Burns. “(Newburyport) is a good team. We need to play a disciplined game when we play a team like this. They’re at a level that we have to step up to, we have to skate with them. Our first time out, I think we did a little bit better against them than we did tonight. I think we got a little bit lost in our defensive scheme, and the slot was open a little bit. And, with a team that talented, when you make mistakes, they’re going to capitalize.”
Burns went on to praise Bomba for keeping things respectable, calling her one of the two best goaltenders in the league. Still, he knows his team has a lot of work to do down the stretch.
“We have areas to improve,” said Burns. “Our goal is to still to make the tournament and I think we have a very good chance at it.”