By Ellen Oliver
Post-season competition continues for a number of Nashoba athletes…
Ice Hockey – Boys
Mike Lengieza wasn’t going to let his teammate Mike Charbonneau have all the fun. After Charbonneau notched a hat trick to give the Chieftains a 3-1 advantage over the Lunenburg Blue Knights in Monday night’s semi-final playoff game, Lengieza added one more to give the Chieftains a 4-1 victory at Marlborough’s New England Sports Center.
The Chieftains got on the board with Charbonneau’s first goal off the sticks of Mark Laskey and Jake Denaro just as the first period timed out. Early in period two, Charbonneau struck again with a hand from Brad Colvin.
Lunenburg upped their intensity to start the third period, but Nashoba cut cold the Blue Devil’s attacks. Nine minutes in, Lunenburg found some magic and tossed one past Nashoba goalie Devyn Levesque (20 saves) to come within one. As the game clock wound down, Charbonneau completed his hat trick with an unassisted goal, followed by Lengieza’s unassisted shot a minute later into the vacant net. Nashoba had 22 shots on goal, Lunenburg 21 for a final score of 4-1, Nashoba.
Although Mike and Mike scored all the goals for Nashoba, Coach Steve Kendall spread the praise around to the rest of his offense. “We played 11 or 12 forwards tonight. Being able to play those extra guys really helped us to keep those other guys fresh,” he explained. Kendall was also happy with the team’s response on penalties. “Our penalty kills were outstanding tonight. That’s not been a strength of ours, but it’s something we’ve focused on for a few weeks,” he added.
The Chieftains will play Grafton on Wednesday at 5:30, again at NESC, in the semi-final round game. Kendall predicts it will be an interesting match-up since Nashoba beat Grafton 4-2 early in the season then lost to them 6-2 at the end of January. “It will be a tough game,” said the coach. “I’m not sure we want to be in the penalty box with them as much as we were tonight. They have a strong power play unit.”
Ice Hockey – Girls
Katie Lombardozzi and Janice Bolton are the Nashoba members of the Gardner/St. Bernards /Nashoba co-op ice hockey team. The fifth seed Gardner Wildcats (11-4-2) earned a preliminary round bye and faced 12 seed Burlington on March 1 in the first round for a 2-1 victory. The team then met the upstart 20 seed Tewksbury/Methuen on Monday night in Watertown, where the Tewksbury/Methuen squad continued their Cinderella streak by knocking off Gardner 3-1.
Jenna Peabody was the sole Chieftain to represent Nashoba in the Massachusetts State Alpine Ski Championships on February 26. However, after suffering a knee injury the Saturday before the championships, Peabody was slowed, but determined to compete. “I wanted to go to represent the team,” she said. Despite her injury, Peabody took 13th in her preferred event, the Giant Slalom, crossing at 45.96 and was 30th in the slalom race crossing the tape at 40.80.
Peabody has also been tagged to represent Eastern Mass in the Eastern Alpine Skiing Competition. Hopeful her knee will be fully healed, Peabody knows that will be half the battle. “I want to go in mentally prepared,” she said. “Skiers come from all over, as far as Wyoming, it will be a great event.”
Jesse Batson represented Nashoba at the New England Regional wrestling championships. Competing in the 132-pound weight class, Batson didn’t advance past the first round of the main or consultation bracket, but congratulations to Nashoba wrestling’s all-time win record holder for reaching the New England Championship.
At the New England Regional Indoor Track Championship, Sarah Militano took fifth in the 55m (7.30), Kristina Maclure eighth in the long jump (17 feet, 1 inch) and Markesh Harmon was 13th in the long jump (20-7.25).