Boston High School: Cali Loblundo

D1 girls semifinal: Duxbury 3, A-B 0

March, 9, 2014
Mar 9
10:09
PM ET
STONEHAM, Mass. -- Dynasty is a term often considered over-used in sport. Many programs speak it but few are able to sustain it over a long period of time.

The Duxbury girls’ hockey team does not talk in such rhetoric, preferring to do their talking out on the ice. However, if the Dragons are able to win next Sunday, it will be hard not to link this program and dynasty together.

Sunday night, Duxbury made surprisingly easy work of Acton-Boxborough in the Division 1 semfinals, shutting the Colonials out 3-0 at Stoneham Arena.

With the victory, the sixth-seeded Dragons (17-1-6) now sit on the threshold of capturing their fourth consecutive state crown. They will face No. 3 Arlington Catholic (19-2-2) in the final Sunday at TD Garden at a time to be determined.

Duxbury has won the Division 2 state title the last three seasons before moving up to Division 1 status this season. The transition to a higher level never seemed to phase the Dragons, unanimously believing they had the talent and muscle to compete with team at any level.

Against No. 1 seed A-B, they certainly proved it.

After allowing the Colonials (21-3-0) to dictate the tempo during the early stages of this one, Duxbury turned on the after-jets midway through the opening period and never looked back.

Whether it be nerves or A-B coming out full-throttle to start, the Dragons would eventually settle back into their style of fast-break offense, unselfish passing and tight, physical defense to turn this contest in their favor.

Duxbury forward Jane Dudley put her team on the board at 9:53 of the first. Following a scrum inside the Colonials' crease, Dudley was able to find the loose puck and shoot it into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. Just two minutes later, the Dragons were on the attack again. With Dudley leading a 2-on-1 break from just outside the blue line, her shot caromed off of A-B goaltender Cali Loblundo and onto the stick of Payton Donato, who was streaking down the right side. The sophomore flipped the puck past Loblundo to give the Dragons a two-goal advantage from which the Colonials would never recover.

"I don't think we played well at all tonight," said A-B head coach Brian Fontas. "It's disappointing being the No. 1 seed to go out like this. I'm not taking anything away from Duxbury because they're an excellent team. Bottom line is they know what it takes to get to the Garden. That's why they're going back for a fourth straight year.

“We didn't have a lot of puck luck tonight and sometimes you need that. Duxbury wanted this a little more than we did and got the win as a result. They do every single, little thing right. Their special teams are excellent and their penalty kills are excellent. That team just works extremely hard. They thrive off of work-ethic."

For the remainder of the tilt, the Colonials did manage to step up their play at both ends of the ice some. Duxbury was still getting its share of quality looks on Loblundo (22 saves), but the sophomore stood poised, swatting them away. But for a team that came in having scored 110 goals, A-B's offense had great difficulty setting up shots once inside the Dragons zone.

Duxbury's defense, along with its forwards moving up, put forth a joint effort to keep most of the Colonials shots from the perimeter. Several A-B chances never even reached goalie Rachel Myette (18 saves), as the Dragons were sacrificing their bodies to deflect shots off their intended mark.

"Our defensive play from everybody was really solid," Dragons head coach Friend Weiler said. "We were rotating all six of our defensemen out there. We didn't want to give (A-B) any room to be creative and go hard to the net. We wanted to keep them outside and I think we did that very well for most of the game. Rachel always seems to play the biggest on the biggest stage. She keeps everything calm back there and is the best goalie in the state as far as I'm concerned. At times I thought (A-B) got real physical but our girls showed they were up to the task against that tonight."

After a scoreless second period, the Colonials played like a desperate team over the final 15 minutes. They did start to create a little spacing and were shooting at will every time they stepped over the opposing blue line in an effort to draw even.

But the script never wavered. The Dragons refused to allow A-B to seize any momentum to climb back into this affair as they continued to block shots out in front and knocked the Colonials off of their respective routes with a mix of back- and fore-checking to keep them at bay.

"We're a third period team so we felt it would be key for us to get an early jump on them which we did,'' said Dudley, a junior. "We knew [A-B] has scored on everybody this year so we just made sure we played defensive-minded the whole game. It was defense first tonight. Going into the third, because we have played so well in the third period all year, we knew they weren't going to score two goals against us."

Adding to an already frustrating evening for the Colonials, junior Meredith Wright scored an empty-net goal at 14:11 to account for Duxbury's three-goal margin of victory.

Recap: No. 3 A-B 4, No. 13 St. Mary's 1

February, 19, 2014
Feb 19
2:27
AM ET


HINGHAM, Mass. – Acton-Boxborough scored just over a minute into the game and controlled the first and third periods to ease by St. Mary's, 4-1, at the Hingham Girls’ Hockey Showcase at Pilgrim Arena.

The Colonials’ depth was apparent as they were able to set the terms of engagement throughout and make the Spartans work harder for chances.

“The girls were really excited to play St. Mary's,” A-B head coach Brian Fontas said. “Since I've been at Acton-Boxborough, I think we've played them six or seven times and haven't beat them yet. It's nice. They're such a great program, I have a lot of respect for them.”

The Colonials were led by senior captain Annie Messuri. Messuri scored the opening goal of the game off a rebound and assisted on A-B's third goal with just over three minutes remaining to seal the victory.

Messuri led an offensive attack that only outshot St. Mary's, 23-18, but had far more quality scoring chances.

Megan Barrett scored for the Colonials to put AB up 2-0 just under four minutes into the game.

Leah Cardarelli had Acton's third goal, and Olivia Keefe buried an empty-net goal in the waning seconds from the neutral zone.

“I guess you could say that the first goal is important for our team,” Messuri said. “It gives us the adrenaline to go into the game and all three periods more excited to play.”

While scoring in the first minute was a boon for the Colonials it was a nightmare for the Spartans. St Mary's was on its heels for the final 44 minutes and was never fully able to push back A-B.

Samantha Callahan scored early in the second period to halve a 2-0 deficit, but that was as close at St. Mary's would get.

“I thought we came out flat and they took advantage of it,” St. Mary's coach Frank Pagliuca said. “We've had an issue coming out stronger, and they scored a goal on us. Right away we're behind and playing catch up the entire game. I thought after the first we played a really good second. We just didn't have enough finish.

“[Callahan's] one of our more offensively talented players, and she finished the chance for us.”

CLUTCH CALI: St. Mary's didn't have many top-notch chance,s but when they did Cali Loblundo was up to the challenge. The sophomore goalie shined for Acton-Boxborough turning aside 17 shots, including a Tim Thomas-esque dive across the cage in the second period.

“She's a big-time goalie,” Fontas said. “She's capable of those saves. St Mary's didn't stop and I knew they wouldn't.”

Loblundo chirped at her teammates all game about positioning and when Spartan forwards tried to sneak behind the AB defense. Messuri said having a confident goalie is a lift for the team.

“I thought Cali was great tonight,” Messuri said. “She stood on her head for us when we needed her most. She hung in for us real well tonight and I'm real proud of her.”

D1 girls: Acton-Boxborough 3, Reading 2

March, 3, 2013
3/03/13
12:44
AM ET


READING, Mass. - When it came to getting ready for postseason play, the first, second and third items on the list for the Acton-Boxborough girls squad were all about special teams. That work and preparation came through in a big way in Saturday's night's first round matchup against Reading.

The 11th-seeded Colonials scored two power play goals, added a shorthanded tally, and then killed off a huge power play in the final two minutes to hang on for a 3-2 victory over No. 6 Reading at Burbank Arena.

Leah Carderelli led the way with a goal and two assists, Kaitlin Hoang had a goal and an assist, Megan Barrett had the short-handed mark and defenseman Annie Messuri dished out two helpers. Acton-Boxborough (15-6-2) will face a familiar foe in Wednesday's quarterfinal when they take on MVC/DCL rival and No 3 seed Westford Academy.

"Our penalty kill has been tremendous all season long," praised A-B coach Brian Fontas. "We do a great job of keeping the puck to the outside, tremendous effort and battle, they just worked so hard back there. We really take a lot of pride in our penalty kill. We work hard back there and it paid off tonight."

"My assistant coach Jeff Vaughn spends a lot of time on the power play and penalty kill," he continued. "We work on it a lot and I just know in the tournament its going to come down to power plays, penalty kills, special teams. We came through big tonight."

Penalties reared up early for the Rockets (14-5-2), who were called for five in the first period alone and got stuck defending a pair of five-on-three situations. A-B (15-6-2) cashed in on both, getting on the board first as Messuri fired the puck toward the crease and Hoang jammed it home at 2:50.

Carderelli normally mans the point when the Colonials have the extra skater, but during another two-man advantage in the final minute of the first, the sophomore moved down low in a wrinkle installed by Vaughn just a couple days ago. The move worked as Messuri fired off another blast and Carderelli was in position to stick the rebound at the far post.

"On our power play, I'm usually up top and I just try and get the puck to our other players so they can shoot and if there's an open shot I take it," Carderelli explained. "We did a different play on the [second five-on-three] power play, we just learned it the other day in practice so I was kind of nervous but once Annie [Messuri] took the shot, I saw the rebound and I just went in and got the puck."

Freshman standouts Ali O'Leary and Caroline Seibold teamed up to get Reading back in the game. While still killing off the remaining penalty after the Colonials goal, Seibold sprung O'Leary loose for a breakaway. A-B goalie Cali Loblundo (18 saves) made the initial stop, but O'Leary followed the rebound and put it right back with 12 seconds to go.

Acton found itself killing penalties more often in the second but produced another big play as Carderelli sent a perfect pass up to Barrett, who got the puck in stride while streaking through the middle of the ice. The freshman walked in and a made a nifty move to her backhand for the finish and a 3-1 A-B advantage.

Reading turned up the heat in the third, producing its best period of the night and finally breaking through as Stephanie Cohen corralled a long rebound of an O'Leary shot and sent it right back into an open net with 4:42 remaining in the game.

That would be all they would manage, however, as Messuri and the Colonials defense blocked several shots and clogged up the middle and Loblundo handled anything that got through. Despite being shorthanded, A-B did not allow a shot through to Loblundo over the final 1:25.

"[Coach Fontas] had said on the bench to block shots so everyone was diving for shots, doing everything they could to block everything in front of the net," described Messuri. "In the beginning we started doing a high forward where we would have one high forward up and the defensemen could pinch. As we were up 3-2 at the end, we had the third forward stay on the blue line and play defense for the rest of the game."

ROCKETING BACK TO RELEVANCE
Make no mistake about it - Reading is going to be a team to keep an eye for the next several years. After missing the postseason the last two seasons and winning just three games a year ago, the Rockets made a stunning turnaround and emerged as one of the state's top teams in 2012-13.

Four immensely talented freshmen - forwards Ali O'Leary and Tori Grimmer, defenseman Caroline Seibold and goalie Kayla St. Pierre - were at the heart of it. O'Leary proved herself to be among the state's elite scorers with 30 goals and 18 assists, while Grimmer and Seibold were second and third on the team in points. St. Pierre pitched five shutouts and finished with a goals against average well under 2.00.

The transformation could not have happened, however, without the leadership and all-around good nature of the Rockets veteran players. Senior captains Heather Toussaint and Delaney Albert, along with junior captain Sarah Hart and the rest of the upperclassmen - many of whom were losing playing time - helped smooth the way for those freshmen to feel comfortable about coming and doing their thing.

"It was a nice blend where we had very welcoming seniors that knew what was coming because they skated together in the summer," Reading coach Mike Golden said. "We had high expectations and I think we actually exceeded a little bit on our expectations. No one really knew how dynamic Ali was until she got here and Seibold is terrific on defense. The girls were great, they were receptive. Even the kids who had played regular shifts last year knew they were here and they had to play."

"We're going to be good next year but I'm really going to miss this team because it was all a year of firsts," Golden added. "Turning the thing around, winning games, competing for the Middlesex League, excitement going into states...we could have as easily lost this game today as reached the finals. It was a blast. it was a fun year and the kids made it fun.

"I told them my wife thinks I'm insane because I'm running down here six days a week but I said, 'If she got to spend three hours a day with you guys, she'd understand and appreciate why I look forward to coming here every day.' They're just a great group of kids."

The 8: No. 1 Woburn wraps up unbeaten season

February, 21, 2013
2/21/13
11:48
PM ET
HINGHAM, Mass. -- The Woburn girls’ hockey team is a team on a mission.

A five-point night from junior center Emily Lissner helped the No. 1 Tanners complete their first undefeated regular season since 2003-04, as Woburn defeated No. 12 Acton-Boxborough, 5-3, Thursday in the second night of The 8 Showcase at Pilgrim Arena.

Colonial freshman Megan Barrett scored a pair of third-period goals – the second coming with 2:54 left in the game – to turn a comfortable 4-1 Woburn lead into a 4-3 nail-biter. The Tanners held on in the closing minutes though and put the game away on an empty-net goal from junior Ashley Moran with just a second left on the clock. Lissner set up the play by breaking up a rush from A-B junior Eleana Cardarelli at the Tanner blue line and finding Moran, who backhanded the puck from neutral ice into the empty net.

It was Moran’s second goal of the game, as she had scored at 5:49 of the third off a face-off in the A-B zone that Lissner worked toward the net. Moran scored two goals in both of the Tanners’ games in this competition.

The No. 1 star Thursday night, however, was Lissner, who scored all three of her goals in the first 18 minutes of the game to give head coach Bob MacCurtain’s Tanners (17-0-3) an insurmountable lead.

“Finishing, I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s her greatest strength, but she did a great job of it today,” MacCurtain said. “She’s gotten better and better at it this year.”

Lissner and her linemates set the tone early with a terrific opening shift that resulted in a goal just 43 seconds into the game, as senior Kayla Smith set up Lissner in the slot from behind the net for a 1-0 lead.

“We always try and get a quick start,” Lissner said. “We’ve learned to get the quick goal but also stay in the game and not get too far ahead of ourselves.”

Lissner scored her second with 12 seconds left in the period, establishing position in front and tipping home a shot from the point from sister Erica.

Woburn would have led by even more at the first intermission but for the efforts of A-B freshman goalie Cali Loblundo, who denied Smith on two golden opportunities in front.

Despite it being even on the scoreboard, Woburn dominated the second period to the tune of a 15-5 shot advantage. Lissner completed her hat trick at 2:56 of the period with the Tanners on the power play, taking a pass across the slot from Smith and finishing past Loblundo.

The Colonial goalie again made some fine saves to keep her team in it, as A-B didn’t get its first shot of the period until there was 5:01 left in the frame. But sophomore Alex Loblundo put the team on the board with 59 seconds remaining, stuffing home a rebound off a shot by freshman Kaitlin Hoang.

Woburn’s group of defensemen – led by senior Cassandra Connolly and featuring senior Haley Rafferty, junior Gabby Mourousas, and freshmen Morgan Bishop and Madison Cole – helped limit A-B (13-6-2) to just nine shots through the first two periods.

“It’s been a little bit of a work in progress over the course of the season, but they’re all playing really well right now,” MacCurtain said.

After beating Arlington Catholic, 4-1, in the Showcase’s first day of action Tuesday, Woburn has likely established itself as the team to beat in the MIAA Division 1 state tournament that kicks off next week.

ARLINGTON 3, HINGHAM 3
A goal by Arlington senior Katie Cummings with 4:08 to play capped a wild third period that featured four goals and several good saves, as No. 18 Arlington and No. 6 Hingham played to a 3-3 draw in Thursday night’s final game.

The Harborwomen (13-6-3) had come back from a 2-0 second intermission deficit to take a 3-2 lead, with senior Jane Freda’s second goal of the night at 5:49 of the third period putting Hingham ahead. That goal came in the midst of a four-minute major penalty against Arlington, during which Hingham senior Alexandria Gong scored at 4:08 to tie the game.

But the Spy Ponders (11-8-1) wouldn’t give up, and Cummings was in position to put in a centering pass from senior defenseman Hannah Wright to earn Arlington a point. Junior goalie Katie Gilligan came up big for Arlington with four stops in the final 90 seconds, including a great double-save on Freda with 21 seconds to go.

“She’s been flawless these two games,” Arlington head coach Jeff Mead said. “That’s a good confidence booster for her going into the tournament.”

Arlington came into the week on the heels of a 4-0 loss to Reading, but a win over Acton-Boxborough followed by this tie will certainly give the club some momentum going into the state tournament.

“I think they want to prove a point and they want to prove that you might not want to face us in the first game of the playoffs,” Mead said. “The kids battled hard. Win or lose, we were competitive all week.”

Senior Carolyn Woodin gave Arlington a 1-0 lead at 6:56 of the first. Senior Shannon Hickey made it 2-0 with 4:58 left in the second after a terrific individual effort, beating two Hingham players in the offensive zone before putting the puck past Hingham junior goalie Taylor Walsh.

Freda got Hingham back in the game just 2:12 into the third, and Gong tied it off a pair of good passes from Freda and sophomore Hannah Falvey with the Harborwomen enjoying a 5-on-3 advantage.

Head coach Tom Findley’s team finished with a 30-15 advantage in shots, but had to settle for the draw.

“That’s our season in a nutshell,” Findley said. “We get a lot of shots on net -- sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t ... I think the team played really well in the first two periods. They just didn’t score.”

ALL-STARS
Each team had two all-stars named for the tournament. Representing their programs from the second half of Thursday’s festivities were: Smith and Connolly (Woburn); Barrett and Cali Loblundo (Acton-Boxborough); Woodin and Wright (Arlington); Gong and Freda (Hingham).

Recap: Hingham 4, Acton-Boxborough 2

December, 16, 2012
12/16/12
12:40
AM ET
BOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Hingham coach Tom Findley was looking for signs of improvement in all facets when his team took the ice Saturday night against Acton-Boxborough. He certainly left the rink with good feelings.

Catherine Linehan notched a hat trick and Jane Freda added a goal and an assist as the Harborwomen took a 4-2 decision over the Colonials in a game slowed by 13 penalties at Nashoba Valley Olympia.

"It's always good to beat a team like Acton. Brian's got them prepared and they played an awesome game," Findley said. "Their power play was great, they got two power play goals. They protect the box, they played great. We had to really battle hard to come out with a victory. Our top forward put the puck in the net to win the game for us and that's what it comes down to."

Penalties would be a theme and it was Acton-Boxborough (1-2-1) who struck first, cashing in on its first power play. Senior captain Lauren Roche did a tremendous job to keep the puck alive in the Hingham zone, poking it behind the boards to Eleana Cardarelli. Cardarelli drifted out and quickly snuck a pass across to junior defenseman Annie Messuri, playing her first game after missing the last two with a wrist injury, who banged home the one-timer at 6:32.

Hingham won the ensuing faceoff and Freda served up a nice feed to Linehan, who buried her shot to tie the game just 26 seconds later. Penalties began to play a crucial role as A-B took a pair in the final minute of the opening frame, and then got tagged with two more in the second, giving the Harborwomen consecutive five-on-three advantages, the latter of which last 1:21.

The Colonials killed off both, but Hingham broke through a second after the last one expired. Sam Ryder pushed the back to Tori Messina at the point for a quick wrist shot, Cali Loblundo (19 saves) made the initial save but Linehan swooped in from the boards and stuck in the rebound to give the Harborwomen a 2-1 lead at 5:52.

Hingham then found itself in the penalty box and A-B cashed in again as Cardarelli redirected a shot by Roche to tie the game 45 seconds later at 2-2. Freda popped in the game-winner off a feed from Linehan at 7:27 of the third, and Linehan capped her big night with an empty-netter for the final score.

NEWLY CONFIDENT GOALIE
In the later stages of the third period, an A-B skater rushed into the Hingham crease looking for a rebound and pulled up short upon realizing there was none, sending a shower of snow into the face of Hingham goalie Taylor Walsh. Walsh hopped to her feet immediately and came charging out to voice her displeasure.

A year ago, Walsh was an inexperienced sophomore netminder stuck with the role of replacing four-year starter and two-time state championship winner Beth Findley. She improved tremendously over the course of the year in terms of her on-ice play, but her confidence level remained a work in progress.

That has clearly changed. Now a junior, Walsh not only showed off her feisty side in the example above, but showed a willingness to get out of her crease to challenge shooters and even flash the glove around a bit. Walsh was at her best in the third, stopping seven shots and finishing with 16 saves.

"Taylor was great in the third period, she was awesome," praised Findley. "She's a solid goalie and a great kid. She comes to practice every day and works her tail off. Success comes from hard work and that's what I'm proud of her with."

"She got sprayed and she was upset about it. I kind of like that, Findley continued with a big grin. "Last year was her first year playing and she probably didn't know how to react. But now, after playing a while and being an upperclassman, she's going to react. I was very happy with her performance for sure."

POSITIVE SIGNS FOR A-B
While 1-2-1 was not the record Colonials coach Brian Fontas had envisioned for his talented group at this stage, there were many things to chalk up in the plus-column.

Loblundo, now in her third year as a starter despite being just a freshman, was terrific in the early going, making the bulk of her saves between the first and second periods.

Messuri, an ESPN Boston preseason second-team All-State selection, showed no signs of being bothered by her wrist injury despite being forced to wear a cast to protect it. The junior scored a power-play goal, played rock-solid defense in her own end and captained the shorthanded unit that killed off seven penalties.

In fact, it was that special teams play that kept the Colonials in the game. The Harborwmen had two-man advantages that lasted 39 seconds and 1:21 and A-B's penalty killers managed to kill off both among the seven power plays they were forced to defend.

"Annie Messuri is our top penalty killer. She's just tremendous in the defensive zone," Fontas praised. "She really thrives on the penalty kill. She's so good at eating the puck in the corner. I thought Eleana and Leah Cardeaelli did great when they were out there, Lauren Roche, Kaitlin Hoang, Megan Barrett - they did a tremendous job. It's not easy to kill a penalty against Hingham."

And while the final result wasn't what Fontas had hoped for, the effort was and if that continues, things will definitely turn positive for his team in a hurry.

"I'm not disappointed," he stated proudly. "I told the girls that if they continue to play like we're going to win some hockey games. That's why we schedule teams like that, it makes us better. We're young and we made a couple mistakes. We are seasoned but they are still young and when you get in those pressure situations, sometimes stuff happens."

ESPN Boston MIAA girls' hockey All-State team

March, 23, 2012
3/23/12
6:48
PM ET
First Team:
All-StateF- Alison Butler, Jr., St. Mary’s (Lynn)
Perhaps no player in the state made bigger strides this season than the Spartans junior. The Danvers resident finished with 17 goals and 44 assists for 61 points, good for third in the state.

All-StateF – Kati Goguen, Sr., Acton-Boxborough
One of the state’s top perennial scorers, the Holy Cross commit and captain was again among the MIAA’s leading scorers, tallying 17 goals along with 26 assists. Goguen also plays with the prestigious Assabet Valley travel league squad.

All-StateF – Kayla Smith, Jr., Woburn
A pure sniper in the truest sense, Smith finished fourth in the state in scoring, with 57 points, and finished tied for fourth in goals with 31. This year marks Smith’s second straight ESPN Boston All-State First Team appearance, improving upon her 53-point performance from a year ago.

All-StateD – Martha Findley, Sr., Duxbury
This year’s ESPN Boston Miss Hockey Award winner, Findley is a two-time All-Stater to go along with the Dragons’ second straight Div. 2 state championship. The Duxbury captain had five goals and 21 assists for 26 points this season. Findley plans on attending Cushing Academy for a postgraduate year next year.

D – Rachel Donahoe, Sr., St. Mary’s (Lynn)
The Spartans captain was among the top-scoring blue-liners in the state with 22 points (two goals, 20 assists). The Wakefield resident highlighted a deep defensive corps that boosted St. Mary’s to another Division 1 state final appearance.

All-StateG – Courtney Davis, Soph., Woburn
The second-year starter tied for second in the state with seven shutouts this season while posting a measly 1.25 goals against average and a 94.3 save percentage.

Second Team:
All-StateF – Natalie Flynn, Sr., Arlington Catholic
The Cougars captain lifted her squad to a victory over a heavily favored St. Mary’s squad and a Division 1 state championship. Flynn tallied 19 goals and 15 assists for 34 points.

All-StateF – Jane Freda, Jr., Hingham
It wasn’t too long ago that the Harbormen junior captain was moved up from the blue to add a scoring punch. This season, Freda went crazy, finishing second in the state in scoring with 31 goals and 32 assists for 63 points.

F – Erika Kelly, Sr., Watertown/Melrose
The pride of Watertown led the state in scoring this season with a state-best 49 goals for 70 points. Not only a dynamic scorer on the ice, Kelly is a highly decorated field hockey talent, in addition to playing softball in the spring.

All-StateD – Cassandra Connolly, Jr., Woburn
A true two-way defenseman, Connolly was among the state’s scoring leaders among blue-liners with six goals and 20 assists for 26 points, while helping a Tanners unit that allowed just 28 goals in 22 games.

All-StateD – Emily Loebs, Sr., Acton-Boxborough
The senior captain has been a rock on defense on some deep, defensive Colonials teams. Loebs finished second on A-B in goal scoring — her 14 goals fells just off the pace of fellow All-Stater Kati Goguen—and her 26 points ranked among the state’s top defensemen.

All-StateG – Rachel Myette, Soph., Duxbury
After turning in a dominant freshman year, Myette returned with an outstanding second-year effort, including another Div. 2 title. Her 0.90 goals against average was the best in the state, as were her eight shutouts. Myette’s 93.2 save percentage also ranked among the best in the MIAA.

“Best of the Rest”
Molly Connolly, F, Wellesley
Mackenzie Clark, F, Winthrop/Lynn
Lily Connolly, F, Duxbury
Colleen Doucette, F, Wakefield
Kaleigh Finigan, F, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
Samantha Girard, F, Dedham
Bryana Harron, F, Woburn
Brittani Lanzilli, F, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
Sara Lehman, F, Lexington
Kim Lizotte, F, Westford Academy
Caroline McCarthy, F, Belmont
Hannah Murphy, F, Duxbury
Danielle Phalon, F, Stoneham
Adrieana Rossini, F, Arlington Catholic
Sarah Schwenzfeier, F, Hingham
Brenna Callahan, D, Falmouth
Jackie Denning, D, Lexington
Alexandria Gong, D, Hingham
Britta Marden, D, Belmont
Brooke Matherson, D, Walpole
Caroline Shaunessy, D, Duxbury
Kaitlin Spillane, D, Franklin
Rebecca Zappalla, D, Arlington Catholic
Cali Loblundo, G, Acton-Boxborough
Megan Messuri, G, Arlington Catholic
Shannon O’Neil, G, Austin Prep
Maddie Scavotto, G, Falmouth
Casey Schaejbe, G, Arlington
Lauren Skinnion, G, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
Bethany Welch, G, Walpole

Coach of the Year
Maggie Taverna, Arlington Catholic
Third time's a charm, right? In just her second year behind the Cougars' bench, Taverna lifted AC back to the top of the MIAA hockey world with a Division 1 state title, beating Catholic Central Conference rival St. Mary's of Lynn after suffering two regular-season losses to the Spartans.

Finalists:
Erin Blood, Falmouth
Mark Haley, Belmont
Frank Pagliuca, St. Mary's (Lynn)

ESPN Boston MIAA hockey tourney picks

February, 29, 2012
2/29/12
6:04
PM ET
The MIAA boys' and girls' tournaments have kicked off across the state, and with snow pushing back some of the competition today, we’re taking the time to dissect the brackets and weigh in with our predictions for the postseason.

BOYS' TOURNAMENTS:
SUPER 8 - DIVISION 1A:
Favorite: Malden Catholic (15-1-4).

Dark horses: St. Mary’s of Lynn (18-1-3), St. John’s Prep (13-5-2), Hingham (16-4-2), BC High (10-5-5).

Overview: Once again, this is MC’s tournament to lose. The Lancers have been No. 1 in our poll from box to wire and they’ll be playing with ailing coach Chris Serino in mind. However, St. Mary’s, Prep and BC High will be tough outs, particularly if any of the respective teams goaltenders (Bailey MacBurnie, David Letarte and Peter Cronin catch fire. The Harbormen might be our darkhorse, however. That team has been sneaking up on the competition since Day One.

The pick: Crossovers: MC, St. Mary’s, Prep, Hingham; Championship: MC over Prep.

DIVISION 1:
Favorites: North – Burlington (14-1-6), Westford Academy (13-4-4); South – Needham (14-6-1), Marshfield (18-2-2).

Dark horses: North – Woburn (12-5-4), Reading (10-4-6); South – Norwood (14-3-4).

Overview: Otherwise known as the Super 8 consolation brackets, play-in game losers Burlington and Needham return to their respective brackets with chips on their shoulders. However, the teams with most to prove might be a pair of squads who were left off the Super 8 table in both Westford Academy and defending D1 champions Marshfield. The highlight to the tournament could a potential North semifinal between the aforementioned Red Devils and Woburn, who’ve had the Tanners’ number twice this season. Also look out for another potential semifinal with a league rivalry to it with Norwood on Needham’s side of the bracket.

The pick: North final – Burlington over Andover, South final – Marshfield over Needham; Final – Burlington over Marshfield.

DIVISION 2:
Favorites: North – Lynnfield (17-3-1), Boston Latin (14-2-4); South – Franklin (16-2-3), Canton (15-2-3).

Dark horses: North – Wilmington (11-4-5), Winthrop (12-6-2), Saugus (11-6-3); South – Coyle-Cassidy (8-11-1).

Overview: We feel that the Div. 2 North boys’ hockey bracket might be the most competitive in the state, regardless of sport. Again, the Northeast Conference is well represented with both Saugus and Winthrop scoring first-round “upset” wins. The tournament will still run though No. 1 and 2 seeds Lynnfield and Boston Latin, however. The South is dominated by three Hockomock League squads (Canton, Franklin and Mansfield) who’ve seen plenty of each other throughout the season. But always look out for the battle-tested squad from Coyle, which sports a sub-.500 record, but has done so against a host of Super 8 teams.

The pick: North final – Boston Latin over Danvers; South final – Canton over Franklin; Final – Boston Latin over Canton.

DIVISION 3:
Favorites: North – Bedford (16-4-0), Lowell Catholic (13-5-2); South – Medfield (16-3-1), Pembroke (15-4-3); Central – Hudson (18-1-1); West – Longmeadow (10-6-4).

Dark horses: Marlborough (13-5-2), Shawsheen (12-5-3), Swampscott (8-8-4), Westfield (14-4-2).

Overview: The state’s biggest field of teams lies in Division 3, where some of the perennial favorites are back at it and among the top-seeded teams. Perhaps the story of the year has been Bedford, which earns the No. 1 seed in the North. The South bracket is likely to be decided in the fourth matchup of the season between South Shore rivals Pembroke and Scituate. Hudson claimed top-billing in Central, while in the West, the road still runs through power Longmeadow, but Westfield eyes a return trip to the Garden ice.

The pick: EMass final: Pembroke over Lowell Catholic; Central/WMass final – Hudson over Westfield; Final – Pembroke over Hudson.

GIRLS’ TOURNAMENTS
DIVISION 1:
Favorites: Acton-Boxborough (17-1-2), Westford Academy (16-2-2), St. Mary’s of Lynn (18-3-1), Woburn (15-3-2).

Dark horses: Arlington Catholic (16-3-1), Braintree (13-5-2), Hingham (14-6-1).

Overview: Last year’s Division 1 runners-up Acton-Boxborough emerge at the No. 1 seed in this year’s tournament, riding 8th-grade goaltender Cali Loblundo and top-scorer Kati Goguen once again. Westford Academy pulled the No. 2 seed, but could have its hands full with defending champion Hingham lying in the reeds at No. 10. Of course, this was also supposed to be the year that St. Mary’s of Lynn was written off as a legitimate contender, but Frank Pagliuca has pulled off perhaps his best-ever coaching job (according to those who know) and has the Spartans primed for another run into late March.

The pick: Semifinals – Acton-Boxborough over Woburn and St. Mary’s over Hingham; Final – St. Mary’s over A-B.

DIVISION 2:
Favorites: Duxbury (18-0-1), Walpole (15-2-3), Belmont (14-4-2).

Dark horses: Canton (13-7-0), Fontbonne Academy (11-8-1), Westwood (14-5-1).

Overview: The best in the state thus far may have resided in Division 2, as defending champion Duxbury ran the table and was the state’s only unbeaten squad. Walpole has also been among the most consistent teams in the state, running over Bay State opponents with a mix of high-octane offense and steady defensive play. The story of the year — ever since their stunning December upset of Woburn — has been Belmont. The MIAA’s oldest girls’ hockey program has returned to prominence after the squad went winless just three years ago.

The pick: Semifinals – Duxbury over Belmont, Walpole over Westwood; Final – Duxbury over Walpole.

Recap: No. 2 A-B 4, No. 6 Woburn 3

February, 25, 2012
2/25/12
12:22
AM ET
WOBURN, Mass. -- Acton-Boxborough clinched the first seed in the upcoming MIAA girls' hockey tournament with a 4-3 win over home-ice Woburn in a Friday night thriller at O’Brien Rink.

The Colonials controlled the first period shots-on-goal game by a 3-1 ratio, but were frustrated by the excellent play of Tanner goalie Courtney Davis.

Colonial forward Lauren Roche got one by Davis in a bang-bang, sprawling play just outside the crease with two seconds left in an A-B power play. The five-on-four was a result of a tripping penalty committed by Hannah Sullivan.

The Tanners answered back five minutes into period two. Woburn’s Emily Lissner scored after the puck ricocheted off a swatting Cali Loblundo save, became the center of corner scrum and was spit back out in front of net. The goal came on assists by Cassandra Connolly and Kayla Smith.

The tie was short-lived after a Lauren Roche unassisted breakaway score with 6:32 left in the second period.

In what became Woburn’s theme of the night, Bryana Harron evened up the score at two off her own rebound and an assist from Lissner to close out the second period.

Colonials defenseman and captain Emily Loebs sniped a 25-foot slapshot through an inches-wide space between Davis and the pipe to give A-B a 3-2 lead early in the third.

“Just at the spur of the moment I saw the puck was there,” said a modest Loebs. “I didn’t even expect it to go in, it just did.”

Probably re-scuffing the ice where she previously threaded the needle, Loebs netted a wobbly wristshot to put the Colonials up by two with 5:59 left in the third.

“That was a horrible shot, my second goal was a flutterbug,” said Loebs with a big smile. “I wasn’t even going toward the net.”

The ever-clutch Tanners responded 30 seconds later with a Harron goal assisted by Lissner.

Then the clock just ran out on Woburn.

“I thought it was a great game,” Tanner head coach Bob MacCurtain said. “We tightened things up defensively after that first period, but we came up a little short.”

This was a bounce-back game for the Colonials after suffering their first loss of season to St. Mary's on Wednesday.

“When we switch up our pre-game stuff, we play worse,” Loebs said. “We made a big deal about St. Mary’s and we got scared about it. So we just did our normal routine, got everyone pumped up, and came out every period ready to play.”

“It was just a great team hustle,” said Colonials head coach Brian Fontas, tipping his cap to Woburn. “There was great goal-tending in this game. There were seven goals in this game, there could have been 12 goals in the game.”

“Whoever ends up in our bracket ends up in our bracket,” Fontas said on the upcoming playoffs. “I’m very proud of them, they earned it (first seed), and let’s let the team come through us.”

Recap: No. 2 A-B 6, No. 10 Chelmsford 0

February, 15, 2012
2/15/12
11:14
PM ET
NORTH BILLERICA, Mass. -- Acton-Boxborough used a dominating first period to set the tone as the Colonials sped away from Chelmsford (12-3-3) with a 6-0 victory to claim the DCL/MVC Large division title last night at Chelmsford Forum.

Kati Goguen scored two goals as nine Colonials talled a point, while eighth grade goaltender Cali Loblundo made 12 saves to register the shutout and push the teams record to 16-0-2.

The two teams were locked up in a one-goal game earlier in the season, and Colonials head coach Brian Fontas knew a quick start in this contest with league bragging rights on the line would be very important.

His team responded with four goals in a 16-shot flurry during the first 15 minutes of the game.

“If they had beat us then we would have tied for the league, and we didn’t want to tie,” Fontas said. “I think we had a little extra incentive.”

Kaitlin Hoang got things going for the Colonials when she fired a puck into traffic and it ricocheted off someone’s leg and into the goal at 4:47. Before the Lions could shake off the early frustration, Leah Cardarelli took the puck back over the blue line and scored near post above the left shoulder of Torrie Russo from the right circle just 39 seconds later for a 2-0 advantage.

“To go up quick like that is big,” Fontas said. “That set the pace for the rest of the night.”

The Lions were called for a four-minute penalty on a hit along the boards and the Colonials responded before the big-time advantage could be squandered with 34.2 seconds remaining on the penalty. Goguen got to the same spot as Cardarelli and mirrored the result from with a goal just under the crossbar.

With 1:51 remaining in the period, Hoang charged towards the net, left it for Megan Barrett and she slid a pas right to Olivia Keefe in front for the 4-0 advantage.

Goguen and Lauren Roche would pot second-period goals for the final goals of the game.

YOUTH IS SERVED
What makes the Colonials so unique is their ability to play young players in key spots and continue to build upon last year’s success as league champions and a showing in the Boston Garden.

The second line — which actually got the start last night — of Hoang, Keefe and Barrett are all still in eighth grade, but play with a lot more seasoning to their game.

“I thought we were going to be competitive,” Fontas said. “To be honest I didn’t think we were going to not have lost a game at this point in our schedule. It speaks volumes of our kids.”

YOUNG GOALIE SOLID AGAIN
Loblundo didn’t have to make a ton of saves as the Colonials controlled play on the other end of the ice, but she was in position on a several attempts on the doorstep and also stoned Julianne Sheehan on a breakaway in the third period.

The young netminder has only let up 10 goals all season and recorded her seventh shutout with her latest mastery.

“She played last year as a seventh grader, and we were in the Garden last year,” Fontas said. “She has no fear. She welcomes the pressure and she likes it.”

ESPNBoston hockey midseason All-State teams

January, 24, 2012
1/24/12
12:30
PM ET
BOYS MIDSEASON ALL-STATE
F - Brendan Collier, Malden Catholic
F - Ryan Fitzgerald, Malden Catholic
F - Sam Kurker, St. John's Prep
D - Jared Beckwith, Catholic Memorial
D - Jake Secatore, Woburn
G - David Letarte, St. John's Prep

Others garnering consideration:
Tom Besinger, Soph. F, BC High
Tom Cahill, Sr. F, Pembroke
Liam Centrella, Sr. F, Andover
Frank Crinella, Sr. F, Springfield Cathedral
Peter Cronin, Jr. G, BC High
Kevin Emmerling, Sr. F, St. John's (Shrewsbury)
Connor Fenton, Sr. D, Braintree
Jarrod Fitzpatrick, Soph. F, St. Mary's of Lynn
Brian Furey, Sr. D, BC High
Danny Holland, Sr. F, Woburn
Pat Houghton, Sr. D, Westford Academy
Mike Iovanna, Jr. F, Malden Catholic
Mike Kelleher, Jr. F, Central Catholic
Chris LeBlanc, Sr. F, Winthrop
Conal Lynch, Sr. F, Boston Latin
Colin MacGillivray, Jr. D, Malden Catholic
Nikko Markham, Sr. D, St. Mary's of Lynn
Bobby Mullins, Sr. F, St. Mary's of Lynn
Brian Pinho, Jr. F, St. John's Prep
Casey Shea, Sr. F, Woburn
Shane Starrett, Jr. G, Catholic Memorial
Joe Strangie, Jr. F, Danvers
Kyle Williams, Sr. G, Central Catholic

GIRLS' MIDSEASON ALL-STATE
F - Natalie Flynn, Arlington Catholic
F - Kayla Smith, Woburn
F - Kati Goguen, Acton-Boxborough
D - Martha Findley, Duxbury
D - Emily Loebs, Acton-Boxborough
G - Courtney Davis, Woburn

Others garnering consideration:
Cassandra Connolly, Jr. D, Woburn
Lily Connolly, Jr. F, Duxbury
Jackie Denning, Jr. F/D, Lexington
Rachel Donahoe, Sr. D, St. Mary's of Lynn
Jane Freda, Jr. F/D, Hingham
Haley Gaughan, Sr. F, Canton
Samantha Girard, Fr. F, Dedham
Erika Kelly, Sr. F, Watertown/Melrose
Cali Loblundo, 8th G, Acton-Boxborough
Brooke Matherson, D, Walpole
Caroline McCarthy, Sr. F, Belmont
Tori Messina, So. D, Hingham
Annie Messuri, D, Acton-Boxborough
Megan Messuri, Soph. G, Arlington Catholic
Hannah Murphy, Jr. F, Duxbury
Rachel Myette, So. G, Duxbury
Shannon O'Neil, G, Austin Prep
Danielle Phalon, Sr. F, Stoneham
Casey Schaejbe, Sr. G, Arlington
Sarah Schwenzfeier, Jr. F, Hingham
Caroline Shaughnessy, So. D, Duxbury
Kaitlyn Spillane, Jr. F/D, Franklin
Bethany Welch, Jr. G, Walpole
Rebecca Zappalla, Sr. D, Arlington Catholic

Recap: No. 5 A-B 3, No. 3 Hingham 1

January, 7, 2012
1/07/12
11:57
PM ET
BOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Motivation can be a big weapon if it's used correctly and is applied with heart and determination behind it.

The fifth-ranked Acton-Boxborough girls hockey team had plenty of reason to be motivated entering last night's game against No. 3 Hingham. The last time the two teams met, the Colonials watched the Harborwomen skate around the TD Garden ice with the Div. 1 state championship trophy following a 3-1 loss.

Determined to atone for that, A-B made a pretty big statement Saturday night as eighth-grade forward Kaitlin Hoang scored the game's lone goal just 2:05 into the opening period while eighth-grade Cali Loblundo had 31 saves to make it stick as the Colonials took down Hingham, 1-0, at Nashoba Valley Olympia.

"I'd be lying if I didn't say that game in the Garden last year wasn't a huge motivation for us this year," admitted A-B coach Brian Fontas. "Any motivational tool you can use with the girls is big."

Co-captain Emily Loebs, one of just two Colonials seniors with fellow co-captain Kati Goguen, noted that the bad memories of that night at TD Garden were still fresh in hers and her teammates minds.

"Every practice since we came back from break, Coach started off by staying 'this is for Hingham. They beat us in the Garden.'" Loebs said in a refreshing bit of honesty. "Me and Kati, we tried to enforce that, as much as the entire team should want to win, because of the sole reason that they beat us in the Garden, that should give you a fire inside among everything else that."

TEAM DEFENSE FIRST
The other subject of the Colonials practices this past week revolved around defense and killing penalties. A-Bs quartet of defenders - Loebs, Annie Messuri, Alex Loblundo and Alex Macrides - did a spectacular job of limiting Hingham's chances to utilize its devastating team speed to create scoring chances and blocked numerous shots.

Stuck facing six shorthanded situations, including a pair of 5-on-3s, penalty killers Loebs, Messuri, Goguen, Lauren Roche, Hoang, Olivia Keefe and Megan Barrett managed to hold off the normally deadly Harborwomen every time.

"Our penalty kill was just incredible," praised Fontas. "We really stress penalty kill and team defense. My assistant coach Jeff Vaughan is just amazing. He was a defensive player at Northeastern. He stresses it and works on it constantly every day so we're prepared in that area."

"It's just determination and hard work, it doesn't take a lot of skill to penalty kill," Fontas continued. "It just takes heart and determination and we had that tonight. To kill two 5 on 3s is pretty incredible against that offense."

Added Hingham coach Tom Findley on his team's lack of power play success, "That's a killer and I told the kids we're going to have to work on that the next couple of days. We were a little hesitant. We haven't had a lot of five on threes and I think the kids were trying to run the regular power play. You don't have to do that. You can basically use the low post and do a lot of different things. We were trying to do the hook and ladders and the D to D too much."

WEATHERING THE STORM
Hingham started off a bit slow, but as the game wore on, the number of chances began to increase along with the quality of those opportunities. The diminutive Loblundo improved right along with them.

Standing at what we'll just call a flat five feet tall, the 13-year old netminder took her game to another level in the third period. Several times, the Harborwomen found themselves with chances for one-timers or sim-ply staring straight in at the A-B goal. Every time, Loblundo's quickness and uncanny reflexes put her in position to make the stops.

"Most of the time there were screens so I didn't really know what was going on and I kind of just dropped, guessing and hoping," Loblundo admitted with a smile. "Sometimes when I could see it I was thinking about the fact that they beat us last year and I don't want that to happen again."

Findley knows a thing or two about goaltending in his own right, having won Division 1 and 2 state titles with his daughter Beth in the cage, came away even more impressed than he already was with Loblundo's ability.

"She played fantastic," he said. "She's an elite goalie, she stays square to the puck and she's only in the eighth grade so she's only going to get bigger and better."

Hingham claims first D1 hockey championship

March, 20, 2011
3/20/11
11:34
PM ET


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."

Hingham, A-B advance to D1 girls final

March, 14, 2011
3/14/11
1:40
AM ET
STONEHAM, Mass. -- The Division 1 girls' hockey semifinals saw a little bit of everything: clutch goaltending, timely goal scoring, terrific defensive play, and even a shootout. But now that all is said and done, two teams survived a pair of thrilling contests at Stoneham Arena and No. 3 Acton-Boxboro will take on No. 8 Hingham in Sunday's championship game at TD Garden.

HINGHAM 4, WINTHROP/LYNN 3 (Shootout)
Staring across the ice at Winthrop/Lynn's eight-grade star goalie Katie Burt and having just watched her stop 46 shots through periods and an overtime, Hingham coach Tom Findley thought to himself that there was no way he wanted to go to a shootout. Then he remembered that he has a pretty elite netminder of his own in his daughter Beth, a fact which not only left him feeling good about his own chances, but also gave him comfort in knowing that his team was used to shooting at a top goalie.

"I didn't want to go," Tom Findley said on the prospect of a shootout. "But to be quite frank, these girls take shootout shots every day on Beth and she doesn't let them in. They had that one goal and that was it."

Findley allowed just one goal in the shootout to Courtney McTague while Catherine Chittick, Jane Freda and Victoria Gong each scored for Hingham, with Gong's serving as the game-winner.

"I basically did what my coaches told me not to do in practice and I scored," said Gong afterward with a laugh. "They tell us in practice not to shoot five-hole because Beth never lets it in. But Katie is just really big and it seemed like she was waiting for everyone to go up high after she fell so I decided to do something different."

Just getting the shootout proved to be exhilarating experience, at least for the overflow crowd that packed Stoneham Arena, if not for the coaches.

Hingham (19-4-2) dominated the play, but Burt proved herself capable of pulling off a major heist. Not to mention, Winthrop/Lynn (17-4-1) stunned the crowd by turning of its own rare opportunities into a goal as MacKenzie Clark walked in on Findley off a faceoff and beat her with a hard shot to Findley's stick side with 5:06 to go in the opening period.

The Harborwomen sent 31 shots at Burt through the first two periods and managed just one goal, when Katie Walsh redirected a loose puck into an open net with 43 seconds left in the frame.

"We knew that if we were going to win, Katie Burt was going to steal it for us," admitted Bulldogs coach Anthony Martucci. "We're built from the goaltender out and we try to do the best we can from there."

Hingham came through with the crucial next goal, as Sarah Schwenzfeier scored a power-play goal just 10 seconds into the third.

The Bulldogs showed that they are more than a one or two horse team, however, as Chelsea Bartlett fired home the rebound of a Clark shot to tie the game at 2-2. Schwenzfeier scored her second to put the Harborwomen back on top, but the Bulldogs answered again, this time on a high shot from Lindsay Roy, leaving us with a 3-3 game and 4:13 left in regulation.

Two disallowed goals, one for each team, could have changed the outcome in this one. With seven seconds left in the second period, a Hingham shot banked off the crossbar and landed directly on the goal line behind Burt. There was some question whether the puck was across the line, but the referees ruled it no-goal.

Then, with 54 seconds left in overtime, Winthrop/Lynn thought they had the game won when Clark fired a shot that appeared to some observers, this one included, went in and then shot back out off the pipe in the back of the net. The goal light, however, never came on, and after some deliberation, it was ruled no-goal.

"I definitely had it," Beth Findley said afterward. "It went off the post for sure. I guess it was just kind of karma for our disputed goal that happened in the second period. It tipped off my glove and hit the post and then it kicked out and I covered it up. There was also a stick with black tape on it in the net that may have caused the confusion. The Hockey Gods were with me."

ACTON-BOXBORO 2, WOBURN 1
The early game of the afternoon may not have reached overtime or a shootout, but it lacked no less for drama or excitement.

Ultimately, it was one play in which Sarah McNicholas sprung linemate Kati Goguen for a breakaway, and Goguen dodged a defender and let loose a perfect wrist shot high and to the far post with 4:19 remaining in the third to lock up the win for Acton-Boxboro and avenge an 8-2 drubbing in the two teams regular season finale.

"It would not have happened without Sarah McNicholas with that beautiful pass from the wing," Goguen said. "Sarah made a beautiful pass as I was coming up, and I always get nervous when I go up but I knew I had a lane so I just went, saw and opening and stuck it."

Senior defenseman Caliegh LaBossiere turned in a stellar performance at both ends of the ice for the Colonials (19-3-1). At one end, her job was to shadow the state's leading scorer, Colleen Martell. As one of the Colonials top scorers all year, LaBossiere also gets heaviily involved in the offensive end and tallied the game's first goal with a blast from the point that found its way through traffic at 3:02 of the first.

"My defensive partner Sarah Berkley shot it but she kind of mis-hit it so I was like, I'll give it a little bit more of a push," described LaBossiere. "Luckily Sarah McNicholas had a great screen out front and my shot got through."

With just over a minute to go in the opening stanza, Woburn (20-2-1) took advantage of a power play as Kayla Smith snapped the rebound of a Martell shot through traffic to tie the game at 1-1.

AB had a golden opportunity in the second when a penalty shot was awarded after a forward was hauled down on her way to the net. LaBossiere took the shot, and tried to fire a wrister past Tanners freshman Courtney Davis, but Davis got her shoulder up in time to knock it away.

Following a lackluster first two periods, Woburn kicked it into gear for the third and several scoring chances, but the Colonials have an eight-grade goalie standout of their own in Cali Loblundo. Loblundo stoned Martell on a point-blank shot, and followed that up with similarly tough stops on Kelly Duran and Smith.

Then, with just over four minutes to go, McNicholas sent Goguen streaking down the right wing with a step on her defender. Goguen pulled herself just a little wide and sent her shot screaming past Davis inside the far post for what held up as the winner.

"I thought if we could keep them to one or two goals we had a chance to win the game," A-B head coach Brian Fontas said. "That was our goal: defense first and hopefully offense would come from our defensive zone. Then, as soon as I saw (Kati) in the neutral zone and she made that one move, she's just so good at that quick wrist shot. As soon as it went, I just thought it was going in."

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