Photo: It’s Pink the Rink at Wednesday’s games at the Skip
With the Belmont Select Board declaring two weeks ago it will not spend any more town revenue to keep the dilapidated Skip Viglirolo Skating Rink operating past this season, unless the Belmont High Boys’ and Girls’ hockey teams can secure home games in the MIAA ice hockey tournament, it’s likely this week’s pair of contests will be the final time high school matches will occur at the “Skip.”
While both teams have secured places in the post-season, the tussles at home with Arlington (Wednesday, Feb. 15) and Woburn (Saturday, Feb. 18) will determine how many additional games will be played at the half-century old rink on Concord Avenue.
Currently 8th in the MIAA Div. 1 power ranking, the boys’ (11-4-3) could have two home games in the first two rounds beginning in the final week of February. But they will need to stay 8th or lower to keep those games which will be a challenge as the Boys host the SpyPonders (13-3-2) at 7 p.m. Wednesday. This will be the third meeting this season against Arlington as Head Coach Tim Foley’s charges earned a 2-2 tie in a Middlesex League match in January while losing to the SpyPonders, 3-2 in overtime, at the Ed Burns Tournament on Feb. 5.
It’s been a bit of an unsteady February for the boys, seeing consecutive losses for the first time in several years while compiling a 1-3-1 (each loss was by a single goal) record so far in the month.
Belmont will be relying on senior forward co-captain Cam Fici who has reached 100 career points in 52 games with 68 goals. Fici lines up with senior co-captain Shay Donahue . The Marauders puts out one of the top defensive pairs in the state with seniors captains Joseph Gaziano and Peter Grace who play in front of senior goalie Greg Federico.
The Belmont High Girls’ team have been hanging around a home game placement for the past month, currently ranked 18th (if the season ends with no changes would mean a road trip to Maratha’s Vineyard in the first round) as they prepare to meet the Div. 1 8th ranked SpyPonders who are 11-3-2. But one of Arlington’s losses was to the Marauders, a 4-3 victory in January, while Belmont only lost the other encounter, the season opener, 1-0.
For the Marauders, it all starts from the back with four-year starter and the heart of the squad Bridget Gray who has compiled 2,000 saves in her standout career between the pipes. The defense is anchored by juniors Alex Townsend and Jane Caputo while the offense can be found with senior co-captains Lily Duffy and Cece Carere, the Taylor sisters – sophomore Sadie and junior Mia – and first year Mackenzie Clarke.
Wednesday’s games will be special as the Marauders are holding a Pink The Rink fundraiser with all proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Organization. There will be a 50/50 raffle, refreshments and stuff to wear on sale.