Story by Matt Williams, Salem NewsLink to article
PEABODY — Masconomet’s senior captain Abby Gendron had the game on her stick, more or less, when she swooped towards the net in the last minute of action at Peabody on Saturday afternoon.
With the chance to leave behind a frustrating afternoon for the Chieftains with just one shot, Gendron wasn’t about to miss.
Scoring with 58 seconds left in regulation, Gendron’s high wrister to the stick side completed Masconomet’s comeback with two goals in the final four minutes to tie host Peabody 2-2 at McVann-O’Keefe Rink.
“Coming in on that off wing with the inside shot … Abby’s very talented and she can put the puck where she wants to,” said Masconomet coach Ryan Sugar, his team 1-0-1 this year and still unbeaten in Northeastern Hockey League play since late 2017 (10-0-3 over that timespan).
The Tanners (1-1-1) had complete control for the first 40 minutes of play, holding a two goal lead that would’ve been greater if not for some eye-popping saves by Chieftain goalie Molly Elmore. The game’s first power play went to the visitors, though, and swung momentum with 3:42 to go.
Masco captain Mikayla Vincent won the draw to start the advantage and Gendron dug it out of a corner before passing across the crease to freshman Isabel Hulse to get the Chieftains on the board.
“Work it wide, send it to the middle and we get Isabel right at that back post,” Sugar said. “That goal woke us up. We came out flying the next few shifts after that, and then we got it tied.”
Peabody got both of its goals from freshmen in the opening period. Sadie Gearen finished a behind-the-net feed from Sammie Mirasolo to give the hosts an early lead just 1:45 in. Fellow freshmen Maria Pierce alertly pounced on a bad bounce for a 2-0 lead late in the first.
With great energy from defenders Carolyn Garofoli and Catherine Sweeney, the Tanners were first to just about every loose puck and controlled the run of play. They outshot the defending league champions 12-6 in the first and 20-9 through 30 minutes, but Elmore made eight saves in the second and 25 in all to keep Masco’s deficit manageable at two goals.
“Our defensemen made good choices. They were getting into lanes, keeping the puck low for cycles, making smart chips so we could pick it up and go the other way,” Peabody coach Michelle Roach said. “We’ve never taken a point from Masco and we had them running for 2 1/2 periods, so there are a lot of positives.”
Speedy sophomore Jen Flynn created a couple of nice rushes for the Tanners and was robbed by Elmore on a one-timer midway through the second. The Masco goalie also made a great save early in that period when she lost her stick and still fought through a bunch of goalmouth traffic to get a shoulder on a Mirasolo bid.
“Peabody out played in at least the first two periods. They came out flying and Molly held it to where we still had a chance,” Sugar said.
Defenseman Meghan McElenay had an assist on Gendron’s tying goal, which came just as Elmore got the bench for the extra attacker.
Peabody junior goalie Abby Buckley made 13 saves, including a denial of Hulse on a clean breakaway at the end of the first period. Anya Pineo and Reilly Ganter turned on good efforts on the Tanner blue line and captains Jess Robert and Kat DiDiulio played well up front.
“Anytime you have a two goal lead and you don’t win it’s a little disappointing,” said Roach. “That’s a really good point for our program, though. We like points.”
Masconomet 2, Peabody 2
at McVann-O’Keefe Rink, Peabody
Masconomet 0 0 2 2
Peabody 2 0 0 2
First period: P, Sadie Gearan (Sammie Mirasolo), 1:45; P, Maria Pierce (un), 11:06.
Second period: No scoring.
Third period: M, Isabel Hulse (Abby Gendron), ppg, 11:18; M, Gendron (Meghan McElaney), eag, 14:02.
Saves: M, Molly Elmore 25; P, Abby Buckley 13.
Records: M, 1-0-1; P, 1-1-1.