KINGSTON, Mass. – State championship rematch? Check.
Pair of top-five teams? Check.
Two top-tier goalies? Check.
All the ingredients were there for a tournament caliber game between Falmouth and Duxbury and they sure did not disappoint. In a game that had an early-March playoff feel to it, the late heroics of the Clippers led to a 1-1 tie between two teams that are all too-familiar with each other.
Trailing with by one 44 seconds remaining and the goalie pulled for the extra skater, Falmouth’s Kelly Ferreira buried a rebound in traffic sending the Clippers into an uproar.
“My center Maddie Haberl, she pushed the puck forward and tied up their center,” Ferreira said of the frantic rush in front of the net. “Alexa Scribner came across and took a nice rebound shot that went off her pad and me and a Duxbury goal both hit it and it went in.”
The way the third period was going, it was only a matter of time until the Clippers pushed across the game-tying goal. The Dragons owned possession of the puck for the first two periods, outshooting Falmouth 22-10 in the first 30 minutes. But when the teams took the ice for the third period, the Clippers team that we’ve come to expect took the ice.
“It was a different team, I knew they had it in them,” Falmouth coach Erin Hunt said. “We talked about it in-between periods about okay, time to turn it on girls lets go.”
The Clippers outshot Duxbury 12-1 in the final period and if it weren’t for the fantastic play of Quinnipiac commit Rachel Myette in net, it is likely the Dragons would have been on the losing end.
“Our teams starts with Rachel and is built from the back out,” Duxbury coach Friend Weiler said. “She made the saves she needs to make and absolutely is a force and I’m glad she’s my goalie and arguably she is the strongest goalie in the state and keeps us in the game when we need her to.”
The Clippers generated their offense off the rush all game long, but in the third period they got a couple of breakaways that were stonewalled by Myette. None bigger was a short-handed bid from Haberl that was stopped by Myette’s right leg. Maggie MacDonald swooped in for the rebound but her shot bounced harmlessly off the post.
“In the first and second period we didn’t have many opportunities but in the third we really turned it on and played great,” said Ferreira. “It was just a matter of time before it happened.”
Coming into the game both teams knew a low-scoring affair was in store and a couple of bounces would decide the outcome.
With 2:07 left in the first period, one of those bonces went the Dragons way. Julia Nolan ripped a shot from the slot that Falmouth goalie Madison Scavotto grabbed with her glove but it popped out and Nolan poked the puck into the net that account for all of Duxbury’s scoring.
“They had an odd man rush coming in and we didn’t have a great job on our gap and Maddie had the save but she got the rebound and our defense didn’t really step in and stop that play from happening,” Hunt said of the only goal they surrendered.
Boasting the best: With Myette in net for Duxbury and Scavotto for Falmouth, two of the best goaltenders in the state were going head-to-head. It was no secret that goals would be few and far between.
It was Scavotto putting together a highlight reel in the first two periods as she turned away 21 of the 22 shots she faced in the first two periods as Duxbury dominated time on attack early on.
“[Scavotto] held us in the game, covering rebounds and coming out of the net which is what we’ve been working on,” said Hunt.
In the third period, it was Myette’s turn to show off her ability as momentum shifted toward Falmouth and their offense. She saw 12 shots and was kept on her toes all period as a majority of the play was in her own end.
“That is playoff hockey,” said Weiler. “It’s a great rivalry that has been going on for a couple years and we had a great 44 and a quarter minutes but a little breakdown in the end but I thought our girls carried play well.”
Power outage: Adding to the frustration of playing a majority of the first two periods in their own end as the struggles of the power play unit.
During that span, the Clippers went on the power play five times and came up empty-handed. An additional man advantage in the third period was unsuccessful and Falmouth closed out the game 0-for-6 on the power play.
Even down a player, the Dragon defense swarmed the puck carrier, clogged up shooting lanes and kept the puck out of their zone.
The slot was congested and Falmouth was never given a chance to set up their offense.
The rivalry continues: If you missed this game, don’t worry you get another chance Sunday when Duxbury makes the trip to Falmouth with the chance that the SEMGHL coastal title will be on the line.
These two teams know each other very well already but seeing each other twice in a week will be sure to bring out some extra emotion.
“We are so familiar,” Weiler said. “We’ve played about 12 games in the last four years, every time we play them we know it’s some to be a war and come down to a play or two. But again, we have them again in a week and you don’t get too high on a win or low on a loss.”