HINGHAM, Mass. – Reading girls’ hockey head coach Mike Golden knows his team will have to play through games like Tuesday’s if the Rockets are to make a long postseason run.
The Rockets – typically the aggressor – were outshot by Duxbury, but held the lead on the scoreboard for the majority of their tilt in first day of the Hingham High School Girls’ Hockey Showcase at Pilgrim.
The Dragons were able to tie the score, 1-1, with nine seconds remaining on Marissa Fichter’s wrister.
It was the only thing Duxbury could put past netminder Kayla St. Pierre, and although the Rockets only came away with a point, it helped prove a point for their coach.
“Today, we got outshot, but we had the lead until there was 12 seconds left,” Golden said. “It doesn’t matter how many shots you have, it’s about the quality of the chances.
“We tried to get to the post and it’s hard because they’re a good team and a strong team in their own right with a strong goaltender.”
Duxbury (12-1-5) took an offensive zone faceoff with 12 seconds to play. Jacqui Nolan was able to get a limp on the loose puck in the faceoff circle and play it in the direction of Fitchter, who beat St. Pierre glove side.
The play came following a Reading (13-3-3) timeout, as Golden tried to align his five skaters. Duxbury had already expended its timeout with about a minute and a half to play, so head coach Friend Weiler has happy to another shot at diagramming a play.
“If you don’t win the faceoff, you don’t get the shot off,” Weiler said. “That was obviously a huge win by [Jacqui Nolan]. She got the push we wanted, and freed up the skate to win it.”
He continued, “You’ve got get a lot of bodies banging in front, trying to get a screen, or get a tip on it because she was saving everything. We had a couple of decent opportunities, but she’s a solid goalie and you have to get in front of her to get something past her.”
Ali O’Leary netted the Rockets’ goal about 13 minutes into the second period.
But the “First Star” on the day belonged to Reading’s sophomore goaltender.
“That’s the Kayla we’re going to need if we’re going to win anything in the state tournament,” Golden said.