WINTHROP, Mass. -- Winthrop/Lynn lit the lamp three times, once in each period, earning the Lady Bulldawgs a 3-2 win over North Shore rival No. 3 St. Mary's of Lynn, Saturday evening at the Larsen Arena.
“We knew that they were going to come out ready to play, and they took advantage of their opportunities,” St. Mary's head coach Frank Pagliuca said.
Winthrop/Lynn (8-2-1) needed just 70-seconds after the opening face-off to earn the lead for good, as Mackenzie Clark, (1 G, 1 A) and Chelsea Bartlett connected with Hannah LoPresti, who crashed the net to deposit the Lady Bulldogs first score of the evening.
The Spartans (10-3) then attempted to respond, but goaltender Brittany McPherson, (27 saves) turned away four shots, which included a potential game-tying goal toward the end of the opening period by Brittani Lanzilli.
The Lady Bulldogs sought to grow their lead during the final minutes of the first frame, but didn’t tally a goal until midway through the second period when Clark rifled a shot past Spartans goaltender Lauren Skinnion (21 saves) on the team’s only power play, which gave Winthrop/Lynn a comfortable 2-0 advantage.
“Both [my goal and assist] were amazing,” said a smiling Clark. “[They were] totally unexpected, but definitely needed.”
St. Mary’s responded four minutes later when Lanzilli fired a shot between the legs of McPherson. Although, W/L answered early in the third period, as Caroline McKinnon notched a goal before St. Mary’s countered with their second strike by Kaleigh Finigan.
“I just got up, and I was like, 'I’m going to get the next save,' and thought about it really hard and focused to not let that [second goal] bother me,” said McPherson about St. Mary’s third-period goal. “I believed in my team, [and] knew they were going to back me up.”
The Lady Bulldogs assisted McPherson, especially during the final minutes of regulation when the Spartans eagerly tried to tie the game, as they deflected shots and cleared the puck twice out of the zone, which helped W/L secure their eighth win of the season.
“If they tied the game, that would be like a win for us anyway, but just to finish it off [by having] people blocking shots, doing whatever it takes," Winthrop/Lynn head coach Anthony Martucci said. "It’s all the girls, they worked hard for it, they deserved it."
“We didn’t finish our chances,” Pagliuca added. “The bottom line was we had pucks bouncing over our sticks, missing opportunities, and that happens in hockey. Hopefully we’ll learn from it and move on.”
A MARQUEE VICTORY
Winning Saturday’s contest against St. Mary’s was enormous, especially for fourth-year head coach Anthony Martucci, who described this particular victory in one word - "crazy."
However, he said this particular win will provide the necessary momentum for the Lady Bulldawgs for the remainder of the season.
“Since I’ve taken over, there’s really only been one winning girls' hockey team, and that’s been St. Mary’s, and hopefully this [particular win] let’s everybody know that there’s now [two winning squads in town],” Martucci said.
McPherson also believes this win will help her confidence as well.
“[This win] really pumps us up, and gets us going and gives us a lot of good credit, too," she said.