Whalers Hockey opened the season with an exciting home win against the Cape Cod Tech Crusaders. The Whalers got off to a bad start, down three goals the first quarter. The game was initially not going their way, but they found their stride and picked up their heads, and started to fight back.
Eighth grader James Culkins replaced Joey Osley in goal. The team was led by senior captains Simon Johnson, Ethan Fey and Natty Davidson, who paved the way for James Lester to score the first goal of the season, tucking it into the back of the net, causing the Nantucket crowd to jump up and cheer.
Later on, the boys found themselves closing down the gap between them and their opponent with successive goals in the second period. Senior captain Ethan Fey scored to make it 3-2 to the Crusaders and just seconds later, Junior Keith Johnson scored his first goal of the season to tie the game at 3-3.
The Whalers didn’t stop working there, as they opened up the gates by scoring a total of seven goals and conceding four. Eighth grader Ben Jenkinson, made his unbelievable debut for the team, scoring four goals and assisting another. “A smart player,” was Johnson’s input on Jenkinson after his performance, saying he knows where to be and what to do when he has the puck in possession.
“The first period didn’t go as planned and we knew we were better than them,” said captain Davidson about the way they turned the first game around. After a poor start to the game, this prediction was quickly fulfilled when they netted 5 unanswered goals, ending in a final 7-4 win, sending the Crusaders home with their first defeat.
“I know none of the returning players were worried going down by three. We knew we dug ourselves in a deep hole and we had to work to get out of it and that’s what we did,” said Johnson.
“We don’t really have anything to lose this year because we didn’t lose many players last year and I think we’ll have a successful season. Hopefully we will make it far in the playoffs and not have a disappointing loss like we did last year,” junior Carter Snell shared about his thoughts on this year’s future success.
The season continues with another home game against Blue Hills this wednesday. With Blue Hills coming up to face our 1-0-0 Whalers, Davidson said, “last year’s game was really rough,” recalling that Blue Hills had 5 misconducts and were a “physical team.”
Remembering the home game last year that had the Whalers down 7-2 but resulted in an 8-7 comeback after the third period, Johnson added that “when we met at their rink things were different, we got a solid lead that they didn’t like so they started hitting kids.” Neither players excluded the fact that the team is very excited to play the tough game that is soon to come.
It is looking good for our Whalers with young talent as well as experienced Senior Captains who hope to end their final season as one to be remembered.