Boston High School: Allie Stone

D1 Girls: Arlington Catholic 3, Braintree 2 (OT)

March, 11, 2012

STONEHAM, Mass. -- Between the end of the third period and the first five minutes of overtime, Arlington Catholic freshman Adrieana Rossini had four breakaways without a goal.

The fifth, however, did the trick to send the Cougars to the TD Garden next Sunday.

Rossini took a pass from senior Allie Stone, stormed into Braintree’s zone and put a backhanded shot past Wamp freshman goalie Rachael Brazil to give AC a 3-2 win in Saturday night’s MIAA Division 1 girls' hockey state semifinal at Stoneham Arena.

After so many opportunities to put the game away earlier, the game-winner -- which came with 4:37 left in the 12-minute overtime -- clearly came as a relief to Rossini.

“It was a long wait to get it. It took way too long,” she said. “I went on four breakaways with teammates and none of them would go through, and finally one just went in.”

Brazil (33 saves) was brilliant throughout the night, and saved some of her best for last. Rossini dangled past two Wamps with just over a minute to go in regulation, only to be denied at the doorstep by Brazil. Braintree’s net-minder stoned Rossini again at 4:06 of the overtime on almost the exact same play. Two minutes later, Rossini tried to find sophomore Duggan Delano on another break, but Braintree senior Tori Machado did just enough to put Delano off and the shot went wide.

Brazil stopped Rossini on yet another breakaway with 7:18 to play, but was finally beaten a few minutes later. AC head coach Maggie Taverna she had to keep Rossini’s spirits up after those missed chances, and it certainly paid off.

“She would come back after every shift to the bench so angry at herself, and I’m like, ‘Kid, you just gotta keep going. It’s going to come,’” Taverna said. “Eventually, one went in for her, so that was a good thing.”

Braintree (16-6-2) was out-shot 36-17 for the game, but played hard and fought off AC for the most of the contest. The Wamps took a 2-1 lead 1:03 into the third period when junior Brittany Yaxter finished a rebound off a shot from senior teammate Ally Perdios.

Taverna came away impressed with the Wamps, who had just knocked off top-seed Acton-Boxborough in the quarterfinals.

“They’re a very interesting team, because if you just look at them at a practice, maybe they’re not the best skaters,” Taverna said. “But they work hard, they’re gritty, they’re aggressive, and I think any team is gonna have a problem with them. I think that’s why the’ve been so successful in this tournament.”

The Cougars immediately went back on the offensive after Yaxter’s goal, and tied it back up just 3:14 later. Senior Natalie Flynn found freshman Jessica Piracini on a well-executed 2-on-1, and Piracini finished it off to make it 2-2.

Perdios had a great chance to put the Wamps back ahead with 2:23 to play in regulation after skating past two Cougars on a break, but AC sophomore goaltender Megan Messuri came up with her biggest stop of the evening.

Stone opened the scoring at 4:48 of the second period on a shorthanded breakaway, collecting the puck on the right wing and speeding in on goal before backhanding a shot through the 5-hole.

Braintree freshman Haley Payne nearly tied it just over two minutes later on a nice tip from junior Lauren Connelly’s shot from the point, but Messuri made an even better kick save to keep the puck out of the cage.

Braintree eventually did tie it up with just 50.2 seconds left in the frame. Senior Jessica Hasson fired in a wrister from the right point that Messuri had a beat on, but the puck took a wicked deflection off an AC player and looped over Messuri’s shoulder into the net.

The Cougars (19-3-1) out-shot Braintree 10-2 in a scoreless first period, as a penalty on Hasson just 24 seconds into the game gave AC early momentum. One of AC’s best chances came 6:14 into the period, when senior defenseman Rebecca Zappala fired a great pass from her own blue line to Flynn, who was in alone on Brazil but put her backhand shot just over the crossbar.

Brazil was up to the task on all 10 shots on goal, including shots from in front by sophomore Duggan Delano and Rossini.

In the end, though, it was the Cougars’ night. And now, they head to the Garden March 18 to take on St. Mary’s (penalty shootout winners over Hingham in Saturday’s other semifinal) for a state title. The Spartans beat AC twice during the regular season (by 4-2 and 5-2 scores), and the Cougars’ current senior class has never defeated their Catholic Central League rivals.

Stone, the Cougars’ assistant captain, is confident that will change.

“What it’s going to come down to is out-working them,” Stone said. “We’re not gonna lose to them again. We’re not ready to do that. This is the one team that I’ve always wanted to beat in my four years here, and I know that the other 10 seniors on the team feel the same.

“We’re ready to go. We’re gonna come at them with everything we have.”

Recap: No. 6 Arlington Catholic 6, No. 11 Fontbonne 2

January, 12, 2012
QUINCY, Mass. -- Jessica Piracini scored two goals and added an assist as No. 6 Arlington Catholic swept the season series against Fontbonne Academy with a dominating 6-2 victory Thursday at Shea Rink.

The Cougars pounced all over the 11th-ranked Ducks with three goals in the first period and used a balanced attack with five different goal scorers to move their record to 9-0-0 in the young season.

“When everyone contributes that’s the best thing,” Cougars head coach Maggie Taverna said. “When everyone is putting pucks in the net, scoring and things, then it’s nice because we like to play all of these kids.”

The hot starts haven’t been indicative of the Cougars season, according to Taverna, but that’s exactly what they did in this one. Adrieana Rossini found Allie Stone out front for the 1-0 lead just 1:20 into the game.

The Cougars made a living in the Ducks zone for what seemed like the entire period and potted two goals in 24 seconds late in the period. Duggan Delano banged in a rebound off the shot of Lauren Orsillo with 2:25 left in the first and Katie Waitt lifted a wrister over the shoulder of Carli Gavin for the final goal of the period.

“We’ve been working on scoring and cycling in the offensive zone,” said Taverna, whose team doubled up the Ducks in shots, 14-7, in the first period. “It’s kind of transitioning into games now.”

Taverna thought her team was lacking the balanced punch that is clearly prevalent on the Cougars roster, so she decided to shake up her lines to separate two of her best players.

Stone and Natalie Flynn were split up to the first and second line, and it was easy to see that both players dominated play on their respective lines whenever they entered the game.

“They were playing together and then we pulled them apart,” Taverna said. “I think they both benefited from it even more. Allie is the senior on the line with (younger players) and she really leads that line well. That’s what I told her when we put her in that spot.”

Taverna made the switch after the game against Archbishop Williams where the effort from her team may have been a little lacking for the coaches liking.

“It was almost like some of the kids were watching their other line mates instead of playing with them,” Taverna said. “Changing that around and talking to the kids, and you have to understand their personalities. Some kids play better with other kids and that’s’ what we figured happened.”

Bob Huxley knows that there will be games like these against some of the stronger competition for his sophomore goalie, Carli Gavin.

This is the first year that the former figure skater has ever laced up hockey skates, and now she is in the pressure packed situation of leading the Ducks in net.

“She never played hockey in her entire life and she’s never played goalie,” Huxley said. “She had a tough time today, but we are 6-3 right now and she’s made a lot of good saves. She’s working hard and she has a good attitude.”

Gavin made 24 saves on the night.