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Sunday, March 20, 2011
Hingham claims first D1 hockey championship

By James Walsh

BOSTON -- Hingham claimed its first M.I.A.A. Division 1 State Championship Sunday night, 3-1, with two goals from freshmen forward Catherine Linehan and 17 saves from senior goalie Beth Findley.

“My defense played awesome, they let me see the puck really well,” Findley said postgame, who was in net for her 82nd win.

“She optimizes the perfect type of kid that you want in the net, nothing bothers her,” Hingham head coach Tom Findley said of his senior goaltender.

“We couldn’t lose to a classier team or a classier program,” said Acton-Boxborough head coach Brian Fontas of Hingham, “Top notch coach, top notch team with top notch players.”

The only goal of the first period was scored by the Harborwomen at 5:56. Jane Freda made a nice pass from the corner to Sarah Schwenzfeier in front of the net, her shot was saved but Linehan put in the rebound and it was 1-0 after the first.

Hingham was able to double their lead at 4:05 in the second period. Emily Falvey’s shot was stopped by Acton-Boxborough’s seventh grade goalie, Cali Loblundo, but the puck slipped out of her grasp and over the goal line for a 2-0 Hingham advantage.

The Colonials pulled to within a goal at 7:34 in the second period. Senior defenseman Caleigh LaBossiere took a hard slap shot that was redirected in front of the net by Kati Goguen to teammate Annie Nero, who scored the goal making it 2-1.

The Harborwomen regained their two goal lead at 9:11 in the second period when Linehan scored her second goal of the night. The freshmen tipped home a bouncing puck from the top of the crease, Schwenzfeier and Freda again assisting.

“I don’t think I’ve had that many all season!” Linehan said of her two-goal preformance, “I just wanted to try as hard as I could. And I didn’t expect to score, I just wanted to put 100 percent out there and I did.”

“I think she’s just having fun playing,” Coach Findley said of his freshman forward, “if you have fun you’re going to play well.”

The championship is the second in as many years for Hingham High as the boys' team won the Division 1A title last season.

“I think it says hockey is important to the town,” Beth Findley said of Hingham’s hockey success, “as you saw there were a lot of very little girls in the crowd. It’s nice to see that we give them something to look up to, to say ‘someday I want to be a Harborwomen.’”

“We’re here, and the town is here, they support both their teams and we’re lucky we have a great program,” added coach Findley, “Our youth program is unbelievable and we have a feeder system coming, I’m just ecstatic."