Before Saturday’s game, Newburyport girls hockey captains Abby Stauss, Olivia Wilson and Katie Brown brought the team together to deliver a message. The season, up until that point, hadn’t gone exactly the way anyone in the locker room had intended or wanted.
But all of that didn’t matter.
As the Clippers took to the Henry Graf rink to host Marblehead, the message told to them heading onto the ice was a simple one.
“Our captains talked about today being ‘Day Zero’ and a new season for us,” said Newburyport coach Dan Robinson. “And they led us all the way.”
There have been plenty of close calls all winter, but on Saturday Newburyport finally broke into the win column in 2023-24. Both Stauss and Maddie Noury found the back of the net twice, leading the Clippers past Marblehead and into the victory books, 7-3.
“We played really well with and without the puck today,” said Robinson. “We were able to get our forecheck established and get great presence in low and at the net. That created a number of opportunities, and we capitalized on them. Our forwards played with so much grit and resolve today, and our D-core played great as well.”
Leading by example, the captain Stuass came out and gave the Clippers (1-7-0) a 1-0 lead just 30 seconds into the game. Delaney Belanger would double the lead by the end of the first period, followed by Noury’s two goals and another tally from Stauss to make it a 5-2 game heading into the third. Wilson got in on the fun with a goal midway through the final period, and sophomore Mackenzie Riley finished up the scoring in the closing minutes.
In net, first-year goalie Cody Saboliauskas was excellent in picking up the win. Both Riley and Lainey Pare had two assists, and Wilson had a helper as well.
“The team really earned this win,” said Robinson. “They were ecstatic and relieved to get this one, and we look to carry this momentum forward to our next game.”
Newburyport was outside of the Division 2 playoff field when the initial MIAA power rankings were released on Friday, sitting at No. 35. But there’s still plenty of time to work back into the bracket, and the Clippers will now get a week off before they travel to play Medford on Saturday trying to make it two in a row.
Newburyport 7, Marblehead 3
Marblehead: 0 2 1 — 3
Newburyport (1-7-0): 2 3 2 — 7
Goals: Abby Stauss 2, Maddie Noury 2, Delaney Belanger, Mack Riley, Olivia Wilson
Assists: Riley 2, Lainey Pare 2, Wilson
Saves: Cody Saboliauskas