- Scott Barboza, ESPN Staff Writer
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ROCKLAND, Mass. -- No. 1 Duxbury girls’ hockey finished off an unbeaten regular-season campaign with their second win over South Shore rival Hingham in as many weeks on Thursday.
The Dragons wore down the Harborwomen in the third period to earn a 4-1 victory in the championship game of Notre Dame’s Cougar Classic Tournament.
But as soon as Dragons head coach Friend Weiler was asked about his team’s 18-0-1 record, the only team to finish with an undefeated record this season, he had a point to make.
“We don’t use the U-word,” he said.
While the defending Division 2 state champions look to embark on another run to the Garden, the Dragons have plenty for which to be proud. In the last week, Duxbury has strengthened its claim on the top spot in the ESPN Boston Top 25 poll. Gaining two wins over No. 4 Hingham and skating to a tie with No. 3 St. Mary’s of Lynn, the Dragons showed they can go toe to toe with any team in the state, regardless of division.
“I’m so proud of them,” Weiler added. “We set a lot of goals at the beginning of the season, and one of them is still out there [a state championship], but they’ve done everything we’ve asked.”
Duxbury jumped out to a 1-0 first-period lead on a wicked wrist shot from freshman winger Marissa Fichter.
Hingham picked up its offensive forecheck in the second period as they started to crack Duxbury’s steady defensive front. But the Harborwomen were unable to solve Dragons netminder Rachel Myette until Jane Freda’s goal (her 28th of the season) at 1:22 of the third.
Yet, as the third wore on, Duxbury’s ability to roll three lines caught up with Hingham.
Junior captain Hannah Murphy notched the go-ahead goal at 5:57 of the third. Carly Campbell and Jacqui Nolan (PP goal) added insurance markers later in the period.
D-DEPTH AND YOUTH
A couple of things stand out when watching Duxbury. First, it's that the Dragons are a well-disciplined in their defensive scheme for the most part and that starts with their top four defensemen: senior Martha Findley, junior Carly Campbell and sophomore Caroline Shaughnessy and Ally Hammel.
Like their counterparts in Hingham, Duxbury also has a relatively young squad. And they're good, as evidence by Weiler's all-freshman line of Jane Dudley, Meredith Wright and Fichter, who consistently generated quality scoring chances.
“All three freshmen have really worked hard," Weiler said. "They work hard and they really love the game of hockey, and it shows.”
It's a combination that means the Dragons are not only on top of their game now, but will be for the years to come.
The sight was a little confusing if you don’t the know the story.
Standing in one corner of the Rockland Arena was John Findley, Hingham assistant coach and twin brother of head coach, Tom. John was wearing his team-issue Hingham coat. Underneath, the Harbormen logo was a big button. A Duxbury green No. 16 was printed on it. Every Hingham-Duxbury battle is a tough day for the Harborwomen assistant and father of Dragons’ top defeseman, Martha.
“It’s talking [hockey] strategy and stuff,” is how Martha described typical dinner table chit-chat in the Findley household.
Yet, the rink is where the rivalry ends.
After Tom Findley finished speaking to reporters, Martha walked down the hall, stick in hand.
“I had to give you a hug before I go,” she said to her uncle.
“Nice job today,” he replied, giving her a couple extra taps on the back.
1dBrendan C. Hall
3dBrendan C. Hall
3dMatt Feld, Special to ESPNBoston.com
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5dAndy Smith, Special to ESPNBoston.com
6dJohn McGuirk, Special to ESPNBoston.com
9dBrendan C. Hall
9dJohn McGuirk, Special to ESPNBoston.com
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11dBrendan C. Hall
13dBrendan C. Hall