No. 1 Lady Spartans hang on against Hingham

HINGHAM, Mass. -- The top-ranked St. Mary’s of Lynn girls’ hockey team extended its unbeaten streak to 91 games against Hingham Saturday afternoon at Pilgrim Skating Arena, but Spartans head coach Frank Pagliuca wasn’t exactly happy.

Although St. Mary’s took a 4-2 win over the sixth-ranked Harborwomen on the strength of a pair of goals from both Sabrina Iannetti and Alison Butler and yet another outstanding goaltending performance from Sarah Foss, he wasn’t thrilled with his team’s effort.

“We didn’t play well,” Pagliuca said, “but once again, Sarah Foss saved our butts. Hingham played a great game and they out-played nearly the entire game.”

The Spartans (11-0-3) were outshot in each period and by final tally, 35-22. They were first on the board, however, with a short-handed goal by Iannetti six minutes into the first. While hemmed in their end on the penalty kill, Iannetti anticipated a point-to-point pass reaching out her stick to gather the puck. Streaking up the open sheet of ice in front of her, the senior captain finished on the backhand for a 1-0 St. Mary’s lead.

“You can’t give a team like Hingham a lot of time and space on the power play, they have good players who are going to take advantage,” Pagliuca said. “We told our forward to pressure the points a little bit and she anticipated the pass. It was a great read on her part, good anticipation and a good finish as well.”

Hingham (11-4-1) notched the neutralizer little more than four minutes later on a blast from the point by Catherine Chittick. The defenseman’s slapper was set up on a face-off win in the Spartan zone with assists from Shauna Sullivan and Catherine Linehan.

St. Mary’s retook the lead 1:28 into the second period when Iannetti knocked home her second of the game off a rebound.

Butler, a sophomore, controlled the third period when she scored each of her goals. She scored on a rebound of an Iannetti shot with 7:58 remaining and an additional assist from Bridget Donovan. Butler found the back of the net again with 5:03 on a feed from Iannetti on a 2-on-1 opportunity; she took care of the rest with a pretty back-hander through the 5-hole.

Linehan closed out scoring with 2:21 remaining with assists by Sullivan and Katie Walsh.

But it was Foss’s play that shone brightest once again.

“She was phenomenal and another key for them is that they limit you to one shot,” said Harborwomen head coach Tom Findley whose team had played less than 24 hours earlier in a 1-1 tie against Canton. “Their defensive corps does a good job of clearing out rebounds even if you’re able to get a shot on.”