No. 2 Woburn ends regular season with a bang

WOBURN, Mass. -- No. 2 Woburn dealt a surprising blow to No. 5 Acton-Boxboro in a season-ending nonleague contest yesterday afternoon at O’Brien Rink, as the Tanners’ top line of Colleen Martell, Siobhan Duran and Kayla Smith accounted for six goals in an 8-2 victory.

Woburn (18-1-1) wasted little time in setting the tone for the game, as Smith (three goals, three assists) skated down the right wing and snuck a back-handed shot under the crossbar for a 1-0 lead 42 seconds into the first.

Duran (goal, assist) made it 2-0 at 8:04 when she took a feed from Martell (two goals, two assists) and skated out of the left corner, planting another backhander under the crossbar as she crossed the low slot.

“We had a really good game today,” Martell said. “We worked well together and everyone tried their hardest, and that’s the result. We tried to keep our stick on the puck and work on our forecheck and hopefully get them flustered so we could go and make plays.”

The first line wasn’t the only unit in top form for the Tanners, however, as the blue liners had a dominate game in the neutral zone. Their pressure bottled the A-B attack and forced myriad turnovers at center ice, several of which turned into transition goals.

“I thought we did a nice job of creating turnovers off the forecheck, particularly in the neutral zone, and then transitioning into offense off of that,” Woburn head coach Bob MacCurtain said.

The Tanners pulled away in the second period, as A-B added to its problems by committing four infractions, leading to two Woburn power-play goals.

Woburn cashed in on the first advantage at 1:41, when Kelly Duran pounced on a rebound in the low slot. Smith made it 4-0 at 3:59 with an even-strength tally, stealing a clear on the forecheck and breaking in alone before sniping the top right corner.

“You can’t fall behind them; they have too much firepower up front,” A-B coach Brian Fontas said. “They bottled us up big-time in the neutral zone and they’re a great transition team. You can’t turn the puck over there.”

Megan Barrett got the Colonials (16-4-1) on the board at 5:47 when she fired off a wrist shot from the low slot. Any momentum was snuffed out by three straight penalties on A-B, the last leading to a 5-1 lead on a goal for Martell at 11:40.

Martell added a short-handed goal at 13:08, tapping the rebound of a Smith wrist shot over the goal line, and Ashley Moran made it 7-1 just before the intermission with a low wrist shot from the left circle.

Despite the lopsided nature of the contest, both teams were keeping themselves tempered with the state tournament approaching.

“I think we’re a better team than that,” Fontas said. “It’s just one of those games. I think we’ll be able to shake it off. We have a good group of kids.”

Added MacCurtain, “We have a lot of veterans here who I think keep it in perspective. We know that, if we see them again, the game will be closer.”