WINTHROP — Handing any team its first home loss is more than 700 days is going to be pretty difficult from the confines of the penalty box.
Being whistled for eight infractions plus having a penalty shot awarded to host Winthrop didn’t do the upset-minded Beverly girls hockey team any favors on Saturday. Though the Panthers were a perfect 8-for-8 on the penalty kill, the Vikings cashed in on that penalty shot and pulled away for a 4-1 victory at Larsen Rink.
Beverly trailed by only one for the majority of the third period but frustratingly couldn’t covert any of its own five power plays. Two of those came with a chance to tie the game in the third, and the unbeaten Vikings (now 10-0) earned a penalty shot when a Panther skater gloved a loose puck in the crease with 2:00 left on the clock.
Winthrop captain Emma Holmes made a nice deke and finished with the forehand for the goal, assuring her team would remain perfect on the year while extending its regular season unbeaten streak to 30 games (28-0-2), its Northeastern Hockey League unbeaten streak to 27 in a row (25-0-2), and win its 17th straight at home.
“It was a great battle,” said Beverly head coach Matt Lampert. “Winthrop’s a really good team and a physical one. I have a lot of respect for them. We love playing against them.”
Beverly, the last team to beat Winthrop in the regular season on home ice back in February of 2021, evened things up just 22 seconds into the middle period. Captain Shea Nemeskal got her stick on Meg Ryan’s rebound in the crease to make it 1-1. Clara Cary also earned an assist on the play that saw the Panthers’ second line crash the net to get on the scoreboard.
The Vikings regained the lead midway through the period when Sami Demento floated one through traffic just after a Panther power play had expired.
The penalty killers were busy throughout the afternoon. Going into the third trailing by a goal, Beverly was tasked with killing off 1:26 of carryover power play time and did so effectively with good work by defenseman Sadie Papamechail (a senior captain) and Morgan Linsky (a freshman).
Later in the third, the Panthers had to kill off 60 seconds of 5-on-3 time with junior goalie Megan McGinnity (28 saves) stopping two point-blank chances along the way.
Beverly’s best look at the tying goal was a wrister by Nemeskal that Winthrop goalie Riley Towse gloved with 4:27 remaining. The Panthers drew a power play on that rush and, despite two nice attempted to stuff the puck home by junior captain Halle Greenleaf, couldn’t convert.
After Holmes’ penalty shot made it a two-goal game, Talia Martucci added an empty netter with 26 seconds left.
Winthrop struck first when Hannah Parker redirected a Holmes shot with 1:39 left in the opening period. Despite having to kill off three Viking power plays, Beverly set a good tone in the first with solid shifts by Bradie Arnold’s line with Greenleaf and Meredith Johnston and eight shots on net.
Defensemen Caroline Horn, Katherine Purcell and Ashley Freitas also got plenty of work for Beverly. With 13 total minor penalties, some 24:20 of the game (or 54 percent of the action) wasn’t played 5-on-5; instead, a variety of 5-on-4, 5-on-3 and 4-on-4 action majorly taxed the legs of the top skaters on both squads.
Winthrop 4, Beverly 1
at Larsen Rink, Winthrop
First period: W, Hannah Parker (Emma Holmes, Mia Currier), 13:21.
Second period: B, Shea Nemeskal (Meg Ryan, Clara Cary), :22; W, Sami DiMento (Currier), 6:48.
Third period: W, E. Holmes (un), penalty shot, 13:00; W, Talia Martucci (un), eng, 14:34.
Saves: B, Megan McGinnity 28; W, Riley Towse 21.
Records: B, 8-4-0; W, 10-0-0.