WORCESTER, Mass. -- Earlier this week, Alison Butler was honored as ESPNBoston.com's Miss Hockey, an award that recognizes the top female high school hockey player in the state. On Saturday, the St. Mary's of Lynn star suited up for the final time as a high schooler, taking part in the inaugural Aleppo Shriners MSHCA High School All-Star Classic.
As she has done throughout her tenure at St. Mary's, which included a Division 1 MIAA state championship a couple of weeks back, Butler, yet again, put her pure offensive talents on display as she scored a pair of goals to help lead the North All-Stars to a 4-2 victory over the South All-Stars at the DCU Center.
"I hadn't skated in nearly two weeks so it took a couple of shifts to get my hockey legs back," said Butler, who now set her sights on playing for St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. next season.
Butler scored the lone goal in the opening period _ a hard wrist shot from the low right slot that slipped underneath the catching glove of South goaltender Mimi Borkan (Medfield) coming with only seven seconds left. She would add her second tally during the final minute of the second period, tipping in a rebound past Braintree netminder Rachael Brazil which would stake the North squad out to a 3-1 advantage.
"It's kind of sad that (high school hockey) is over for me," said Butler. "I wish I could play another year because it has been a lot of fun but I also can't wait to go to St. Anselm. I'm excited the way things have gone for me (at St. Mary's). My hard worked has paid off."
It was looking as though the opening period would result in a scoreless standstill. But with time ticking down, Butler, with the puck on her stick, was left all alone coming down the right side. Seeing her opportunity, Butler ripped a shot past Borkan giving her squad the early lead.
"Alison is such a great player," said North head coach Amanda Ciarletta, who is also coaches the Lexington High girls team. "I don't have the privilege of coaching her over the season but she hustles all the time, is fast and makes smart plays. It was fun being able to coach her today."
Just 1:11 into the middle period Westford Academy's Kim Lizotte would extend the North advantage to two goals after gaining control of a loose puck inside the South crease and sticking it into the back of the net.
Throughout the early portion of this contest, the South team was having its fair share of difficulty trying to generate much offense. That would change, however, at 7:28 of the second period after Duxbury's Hannah Murphy flew down the right halfboard and
blasted a shot from 25 feet out that snuck underneath the cross bar making it a 2-1 game.
"This was a fun event for everyone," said South and Franklin High head coach Margie Burke. "A lot of these girls have played against one another in high school and club teams so it is great for them to comeback and play together on one team. It's an all-star game and it's all about having fun."
North was able to cling to its one-goal lead until Butler netted her second score seven minutes later.
The final period became an old-fashioned offensive shootout with each team getting quality chances on net. Falmouth High product Alexa Scribner managed to inch her club closer by putting back a rebound score coming at 4:07 which made it 3-2.
Hoping to sieze momentum off of that goal, South spent the remaining minutes of the period working feverishly in attempting to notch the equalizer. But such hopes were cast aside after Lexington's Sara Lehman broke into the South zone, skating past two defenseman and beating Duxbury netminder Rachel Myette with a pretty backhand goal at 8:12 which gave North back its two-goal cushion and the victory.
"That's a typical Sara Lehman goal," Ciarletta said. "She one of my players on my team at Lexington and it's always great to see her hands working and moving the puck. Today she got the goalie beat which was great. She practices those kinds of plays all the time in practice. I'm really happy she was able to get a goal for us, especially on a play like that."