A new season, a new coach, and a new era for the Everett High girls hockey program all came together Saturday night, as the Lady Crimson Tide presented an early Christmas present to new head coach Erin Reilly with a 7-6 victory at Shawsheen Tech to kick off their 2012-13 campaign.
“It was very exciting for everybody,” said Reilly of her debut behind the EHS bench. “It was a great way to start the season.”
Leading the way in gift-wrapping the Lady Crimson Tide victory were the senior quartet of captain Gabby Ramunno, captain Alea Martinelli, Meghan McNeil, and Rebecca Westgate.
Ramunno, who has been a stalwart for the EHS girls’ team since her middle school days, served notice that she will be one of the pre-eminent players in the Eastern Mass. Girls Hockey League this season, notching a hat trick and earning two assists for five points on the night. Ramunno also fittingly inaugurated the new season, scoring the first goal of the year for the Lady Crimson Tide.
Fellow captain Martinelli lit the red lamp twice, including the marker that would prove to be the eventual game-winner that gave Everett a 7-5 lead at the time in the third period.
Both McNeil and Westgate scored once, the former on a shot from the point. McNeil also was credited with three assists to her teammates. Amelia Ponikiewski got into the scorebook with an assist.
The contest was an evenly matched affair from the opening faceoff to the final horn. Everett took a 3-2 advantage in the opening period, but Shawsheen battle back to even the count at 5-5 after two frames.
Goals by McNeil and Martinelli gave the Lady Crimson Tide a 7-5 edge in the third period, but Shawsheen drew within one with a lamplighter with 1:20 to go. Shawsheen pulled their goalie in favor of a sixth skater in the final minute, but the Everett girls and freshman goaltender Casarra Roderick held the fort in the final, frantic minute to preserve the victory.
“The girls played well,” said Reilly, who is being assisted in the coaching department by Amanda Gremier. “The seniors really stepped up and provided great leadership by example for us.”
Reilly and her crew will be back in action tonight (Wednesday) at Chelmsford and will host Shawsheen in a rematch Saturday at the local rink at 1:10. The Lady Crimson Tide will host Marblehead next Wednesday at 8:00.
EHS boys hockey team set to open tonight
The Everett High boys hockey team will open its 2012-2013 season this evening when the Crimson Tide host Quincy, a long-ago rival from the Greater Boston League, at the local arena. Face-off time is 8:00.
Coach Alex Naumann’s squad qualified for the state tournament last season for the first time in many years for the EHS program. Naumann, who inspired his team and caught the imagination of hockey fans all over by allowing his players to shave his head in a Mohawk if they reached the tourney, lost many of that memorable squad to graduation.
Returning seniors are goaltender and captain Vinny Sotosanti, forward Shawn Doyle, forward Steven Chaves, and defenseman Derek Bankus. Sophomore James Liberge, one of the team’s leading scorers last year, also is back, as is junior defenseman Chris Roderick.
Shoring up the graduation-depleted defense will be sophomore Joe Pascarella and freshman Mike MacEachern, both of whom have been moved from the forward line to the blue line.
“We have a number freshmen and sophomores who have no varsity experience, but who will be taking regular shifts,” said Naumann. “There is a lot of work to do and it will take some time for us to get to where we want, but we are getting better with each practice and scrimmage.”
The Crimson Tide have played three scrimmages, including the Garrett Regan Summit in Marlborough and the Somerville Jamboree. In the latter, the Tide played Northeast Regional and battled to a 0-0 tie.
After tonight’s season opener, Naumann and his crew will play host again Saturday afternoon at the local rink at 3:20 against Mystic Valley in which MV technically will be the home team. The Tide then will participate in the Dracut Christmas Tourney this Monday and Tuesday. They will play in the Lynn Christmas Tourney during the vacation week.
A date to mark on the calendar for all Crimson Tide hockey alumni is January 5 of the new year for the annual alumni contest. This has been a big hit in the past and all EHS alumni are invited back for some fun, nostalgia, and hockey. All interested should contact coach Alex Naumann at 617-763-3532.
EHS girls hoop team ready for new season
The Everett High girls basketball team was set to gets its 2012-13 season underway last night (Tuesday), traveling to non league rival Marblehead from the Northeastern Conference. The Lady Crimson Tide will host Waltham Friday at 7:00 in their home opener.
Coach Tammy Turner graduated four starters from her 10-10 team that qualified for the post-season state tournament last year and will be counting on a combination of returnees and news faces to propel th Crimson Tide into another state tourney appearance.
Among the key returning varsity performers are the captaincy trio of senior guard Janyne Sierra, senior forward Jess Wade, and junior forward Savannah Spinney.
Other seniors on this year’s 13 girl squad are Daphnika Nazaire, Mariana Rivera, Camilla DaSilva, and Kwanecha Aldridge. Underclassmen are sophomore Yemi Okhihana and freshman Talia Riccioli, who will see time at point guard, junior Danielle Haley, sophomore Talia Mirra, junior Kayla Orceu, and sophomore Alicia Bowman.
“We hope to use our speed and apply full court pressure on the other team,” said Turner. “If our defense can create some offense, we have the girls who can fast break and put the ball in the basket.”
After Friday’s contest with Waltham, Turner and her crew are off until the following Friday when they travel to Haverhill.