Boston High School: Catherine Linehan

Recap: No. 7 Woburn 0, No. 16 Hingham 0

February, 19, 2014
Feb 19
2:18
AM ET
HINGHAM, Mass. -- Tuesday's tilt between Woburn and host Hingham at the Hingham Hockey Showcase was a strange, sloppy affair.

Passes went awry, opportunities were missed, and the energy was up and down. The final product was a 0-0 tie and a 1-1 shootout tie afterward.

After the game, both coaches had very different views of the preceding affair.

“I'm just unhappy,” Woburn coach Bob MacCurtain said. “We left our legs in Woburn. We couldn't complete passes, feet weren't moving. Overall, just not good.

“I think that our kids need to take a look at this, take a step back, and decide they want to be better than that.”

“It was a fun game to part of,”Hingham head coach Tom Findley said. “I thought the team played fantastic. That's us in a nutshell. It's hard for us to score goals sometimes, but our kids compete every minute of the game. Today I think was a good learning curve for us and they can get prepared for the tournament. That was a great team we played.”

Woburn outshot the Harborwomen 17-14 ,but were unable to finish despite having the preponderance of chances. Hingham's Taylor Walsh and Courtney Davis were the stars of the game.

For Walsh it was more than just the saves as her positioning forced Woburn several times to adjust before taking a shot off the rebound which allowed the Hingham defense to clear the puck out of danger. Hingham was able to turn those clearances into sustained possessions and keep the Tanners off balance.

“We didn't lose a lot of pucks between the tops of the faceoff circle in our defensive zone and the red line,” Findley said. “When you turnover pucks in that area they're either in your net or odd man rushes back the other way. We were able to get pucks out, make some decent passes, and get pucks deep.”

The lone offensive highlight came in the shootout when Hingham's Catherine Linehan pulled the puck back on a dangle, faked Davis out of position, and calmly slid the puck into the net.

Hannah Sullivan had the shootout goal for Woburn.

Recap: No. 2 Duxbury 1, No. 10 Hingham 0

December, 31, 2013
12/31/13
5:22
PM ET


BOSTON – Dragon junior goaltender Rachel Myette accomplished something on Tuesday afternoon that no other goaltender ever has; shut out an opponent at both Fenway Park and the TD Garden.

Her Garden shutout, of course, came last March when she shut out Falmouth in the Division 2 state championship game. On Tuesday, she turned seven shots at a frigid Fenway Park in a game that Myette and her teammates won’t soon forget.

“It just feels amazing, with my team in front of me I can always trust them and I halways have their back if they make a mistake,” said Myette. “I’ve had a shutout at the Garden and now one at Fenway, so I’m sure not a lot of people can say that.”

Duxbury got the game’s lone goal 9:10 into the first period on a goal from Jane Dudley. Hingham goalie Taylor Walsh made a beautiful save on the initial shot from Meredith Wright, but the puck ricocheted back to Dudley who ripped a shot from inside the right circle for her first goal of the season. Liz Collins was also credited with an assist.

“She was terrific out there,” said Duxbury coach Friend Weiler of Dudley. “I thought she was moving well out there so it was a perfect place for her to notch her first one.”

Hingham came out strong in the opening period, controlling the puck and taking advantage of time on attack early. But the Dragons settled their nerves and dominated the rest of the period, outshooting the Harborwomen, 7-2, in the first.

The combination of Dudley and Marissa Fichter were a big reason why. Wherever the puck was, one of the two was always nearby. Their speed to attack the puck-carrier and the ability to get away was something that Hingham couldn’t match.

Experience of a lifetime: Neither team will forget their game at Fenway anytime soon. The MIAA got three games at Fenway this year and to be selected to play, both teams were honored.

“This is once in a life time,” said Weiler. “The smiles of their faces, that’s what keeps me coming to the rink anyways but today they were a little bit brighter and wider and a great experience for everybody. I’m thrilled to be a part of it. Just a terrific day.”

It took a little but longer for Duxbury to settle into the game with a tougher playing surface that what they are used to, but once they figured it out, Duxbury never looked back.

“First five minutes it took us to get used to the ice surface,” said Dudley. “It’s a little different, it’s a little brittle. But after the first five minutes we started to really get into our game.”

The Dragons are no strangers to playing on the big stage. Three years in a row, they have played at the Garden. From last year, there are only two new players to this team, so adjusting to the big stage is no stranger to them.

“It kind of like the Garden, where most of the team has experience in a special venue,” said Myette.

Relying on Myette: The Dragons didn’t have to depend too much on their senior goaltender, but she came up with the big saves when needed.

Hingham’s Catherine Linehan had had a three-on-one opportunity and a semi-breakaway but both times her efforts were thwarted by Myette.

“Perfect place again to get the first shutout of the year but she’s a stall work back there,” said Weiler. “We depend on her a lot and build out from the net.”

Myette also can rely upon her teammate to help her out. That was shown by them only giving up seven shots, which mostly came in the beginning of the opening period.

“With my team in front of me I can always trust them and I always have their back if they make a mistake,” said Myette.

It turns out she can trust them. When a loose puck was in the neutral zone, the Dragons were quick to take possession and never let a scoring chance occur for the Harborwomen.

“We tried to keep them to the outside, and I thought we were successful doing that,” said Weiler. “But against a strong team that can breakaway at any time I thought our girls really worked on the one-on-one battles and won a lot of pucks in the neutral zone.”

D1 Girls: Austin Prep 4, Hingham 0

February, 28, 2013
2/28/13
2:17
AM ET


HINGHAM, Mass. -- One of the oldest sports cliches in the book is that your best players have to step and play their best in the biggest games. There may be no greater example of that in Massachusetts girls' hockey than Austin Prep goalie Shannon O'Neil.

The Franklin Pierce-bound senior made 38 saves, 23 of which came in the third period, to help lead No. 21 seed Austin Prep in a 4-0 shutout of No. 12 Hingham in a Div. 1 girls' hockey preliminary round game at Pilgrim Arena Wednesday night.

Jaimee Cooke and Kiely Annese had the first two goals, and Maddy Ricci added a pair of empty-netters for the Cougars (11-7-4). The shutout was O'Neil's 10th on the season and third in three tries against the Harborwomen. In those three games, the senior has amassed a total of 128 saves.

"She played unbelievable," AP head coach Stephanie Wood said of O'Neil. "Against this team she seems to thrive, she certainly did tonight. I think she quite possibly played the game of the season tonight against Hingham. With a very young squad that we have, she's certainly the backbone of this team and in situations like this, when the game is on the line in clutch situations, this is where she's at her best and where she thrives. As you could see for yourself, she's certainly the reason that the team won this game tonight."

Hingham (13-7-3) routinely piled up 35-plus shots per game and the Harborwomen unleashed a barrage at O'Neil in the final frame that any goalie wouldn't have been blamed for faltering in the face of. Staked to a 1-0 lead courtesy of a shot from the point through traffic by defenseman Cooke during a 5-on-3 advantage, it was up to O'Neil to make it hold up as the Harborwomen outshot the Cougars by a 38-10 margin for the game.

It started in the opening minutes, getting in front of an early shot at the end of a quick break by Hingham's Cat Linehan. Next up was shooting shooting the left skate out in the nick of time to get a piece of a Tori Messina wraparound bid. A faceoff win in the Cougars zone led to a a quick snap by Linehan as well as the rebound. O'Neil stopped both. Alexandria Gong got off a shot from a tough angle in deep, no problem for O'Neil. Emily Falvey jamming in front at a loose puck? Two more saves. Sneaky backhanded shot through traffic by Hingham star Jane Freda? No problem.

On and on it went as the Harborwomen fired off 16 shots before the Cougars could manage one with 3:15 to go, a shot they made count as Annese fired a perfect shot through a small over the goalie's shoulder on a power play for APs second goal.

Hingham drew a power play with 2:23 remaining and pulled goalie Taylor Walsh to make it a 6-on-4, but Annese cleared the puck from the zone just by the post and Ricci was able to swipe in the rebound as Gong desperately tried to block her. Ricci added her second empty-netter with two seconds left.

For her part, O'Neil was quick to credit her defensive teammates, who did a terrific job of blocking shots and keeping Hingham's explosive offensive players out on the perimeter while leaving clear lanes for the standout netminder to see the shots.

"My team played really well today in front of me," O'Neil said. "They cleared everyone out and I could see the puck perfectly, I didn't really get screened a lot so it was pretty simple. I just got the initial shot and they cleared the rebounds."

When asked about what it is that makes her play so well in Hingham's barn, O'Neil simply responded, "I honestly don't even know, I really don't. I don't know, we always bring our game here. We just know when we have a big game, we have to come out and play our hardest."

ANOTHER STAR OF THE GAME
Maddy Ricci isn't the biggest player on the ice by any means, but her role in the Cougars victory was every bit as essential as ONeil's performance in the cage. Ricci was charged with shadowing All-Stater Jane Freda for the second time this season and kept her off the scoreboard.

"Maddy Ricci is a little spitfire," Wood praised. "She is a breath of fresh air on this team. We know that Hingham is a very tough team and that Freda is a very good player and that was really one of our goals tonight. We knew if we would have a chance against Hingham, we would have to shut her down. Maddy played a huge role in doing that."

Ricci attached herself to Freda's hip and followed her everywhere she went for 45 minutes. Anywhere you saw Freda's No. 4 Hingham jersey, the No. 3 AP sweater worn by Ricci was never far behind. It also seemed quite fitting that Ricci ended up being the player who got both empty-netters, a just reward on offense for a tremendous defensive effort.

"We did that last game and it worked and in this game it worked again, I just didn't let her out of my sight," Ricci explained. "You have to your head on a swivel. Like my coach said, you have to have one hand on your stick and don't let her out of sight. Don't let her touch the puck. Get in her head. I'm littler than her so I put my shoulder into her and she just couldn't get the puck."

Hingham coach Tom Findley emptied his bag of tricks to try and get Freda and his offense going. He tried having Freda skate toward other defenders, he implored his own defensemen to step up and join the attack, and he even bumped sophomore blue liner Tori Messina up to a forward spot in the game's final minutes in hopes of clearing out some space.

"We knew they were going to shadow her but we told her just skate to another Austin Prep player and bring her with you," Findley said. "I think at times she did. I think she got five or six shots on net, which in some cases she might put a couple of those in. But that's the key against any good player."

Findley also related a story about how he used a similar strategy of shadowing an opposing teams star player during Hingham's run to the Div. 1 state championship in 2011.

"I remember us doing the same thing against Sabrina Ianetti at St. Mary's. We had [Katie Walsh] on her, just watching her. [Austin Prep] basically took one player out, she's our player, and they did a great job at it. What we we didn't do, we were telling our defensemen to jump into the play in the offensive zone and they were just standing at the blue line. They didn't quite understand what we were talking about as far as, go in because the rebounds are coming out and just be an option.

"At the end, we tried to throw one of our defensemen up front, try to get some offense going, try to create some space, but it's hard for a kid who hasn't played forward," he continued. "That's the nature of hockey games. I'm proud of my kids for the season. We'll regroup and come back next year and I'm hoping the best for Austin Prep through the tournament and all the teams and hopefully next year we'll be back in the same spot."

NO EXPERIENCE? NO MATTER
Wednesday night marked Austin Prep's first postseason appearance since 2010, and second since the Cougars were the runner-up to Arlington Catholic in 2007. The Cougars lost both of those games. None of the four seniors on this year's squad, which includes O'Neil and Annese, played in the 2010 game, while Hingham posted an 11-3 record in postseason play (with a Div. 1 state title in 2011) prior to last night since moving up to Div 1 in 2009. Coach Stephanie Wood is also in her first year behind the bench with the Cougars.

The lack of experience didn't phase the Cougars, who took advantage of the few opportunities that presented themselves. The first two goals came on special teams, and O'Neil looked like a seasoned, playoff veteran.

"A goal that we set at the beginning of the year was simply to make the playoffs," Wood explained. "That's something that Austin hasn't been able to do for the last three years. We knew going into this game, the pressure wasn't on us. We wanted to come in and be the spoiler. We knew that just by simply getting the win, we've achieved something that the program hasn't been able to do for about five or six years and that's advance to the next round."

The 8: Hingham, Woburn hold on

February, 19, 2013
2/19/13
11:24
PM ET


HINGHAM, Mass. -- Despite allowing two third-period goals, Hingham was able to stay the course and knock off Lexington, 3-2, during Tuesday’s opening day action at The 8 Showcase.

The No. 6 Harborwomen (13-6-2) took control of the game early by putting a lot of pressure on Lexington goalie Amanda Charlton (34 saves).

“We try and play by the model, even if you are up by a couple of goals, to play like we are down two goals,” Hingham head coach Tom Findley said. “We have been playing very well of late, but we need to be able to tighten it up a little bit on some of the smaller plays.”

Charlton was able to limit the Harborwomen attack and gave Lexington (12-5-2) a fighting chance throughout the game.

“They had a lot of shots on her, and she was able to keep us in the game,” Lexington head coach Amanda Ciarletta said about her goalie’s play.

At the other end of the ice, Hingham goalie Taylor Walsh was no slouch, turning away 19 of 21 Lexington shots. One big save was stopping Sara Lehman on a breakaway in the first period by holding the angle. As a result, the Harborwomen were able to come back less than two minutes later and take the early 1-0 lead.

Sam Ryder got Hingham on the board with only 34 seconds left in the first period by splitting the Minutemaids defense. Ryder got in alone with Charlton and made a nifty move to the backhand to finally get Hingham a goal. Charlton had turned away the first 16 shots she faced.

Hingham’s Jane Freda didn’t waste any time in the second period getting her team on the board, scoring 12 seconds in. Freda was able to fly around the defense on the left wing and walk around Charlton for the goal.

“I saw an opening in the defense, so I was able to get around them,” Freda said. “I made a move, and I was able to slide the puck around the goalies pad on my forehand.”

Charlton bounced right back though making several key saves to keep the Minutemaids in the game. Hingham’s Katherine Saleski dangled around the defense and tried to wrist a shot past Charlton, but the goaltender kept her angle to make the save.

In the third period, Charlton made three big stops down low, which allowed Lexington to pull within one goal as Carolyn Avery beat Walsh.

Unfortunately for Lexington, Catherine Linehan got it back as she walked in uncontested and rifled a shot to the back of the twine, which put Hingham up, 3-1.

After robbing Lehman on the first period, Walsh didn’t fare so well as Lehman got a second opportunity late in the third. Lehman got by the Hingham defense was able to beat Walsh with a deke to the backhand.

Lexington didn’t pull the goalie until only 2 seconds were remaining with the face-off in the Hingham zone. Hingham won the face-off however, preventing a last-second shot from the Minutemen.

WOBURN 4, ARLINGTON CATHOLIC 1
In the 2 p.m. matchup between No. 1 Woburn and No. 4 Arlington Catholic, the Tanners mustered up a sound attack to defeat the defending Division 1 champs, 4-1.

“That was one of the best [games] all year, as we did our jobs all over the ice, especially defensively,” Woburn head coach Bob MacCurtain said. “Defensively, last year we were not very good, so to see a performance like this now is a positive.”

Woburn’s Ashley Moran (2 G, 1 A) and Kayla Smith (1 G, 2 A) turned in 3-point games, assisting on each other’s goals.

“I have been really leaning on them the past few weeks,” MacCurtain said. “They were really good moving the puck around out there and making smart decisions.”

Woburn goaltender Courtney Davis was sharp in the Tanner goal turning away 15 of 16 shots from the Cougars (14-3-2).

The Tanners lit the lamp early in the first period on a nifty backhand move by Moran as she slid the puck through the 5-hole of Arlington Catholic goalie Megan Messuri.

“Coach [MacCurtain] told me that I needed to start getting to the net more, so I was able to do that there,” Moran said.

The Cougars came right back with several chances, but Davis stayed square making three consecutive stops to keep the Tanners ahead.

Erica Lissner wasted little time in the second period as she beat Messuri (15 saves) with a backhander within the first two minutes.

Back at the other end, Davis robbed Danielle Kelley with about 8:20 remaining in the second down low on the power play. Before the second period ended, the Cougars finally had a brush with luck. A shot from Jackie Sindoris deflected high, and although Davis gloved the puck, she could not hold on as it fell into the goal.

The Tanners (16-0-3) bounced right back in the third as Smith scored on a breakaway. Moran picked up the assist, feeding Smith on the breakaway.

Moran followed suit minutes later on a two-on-one with Smith by rifling a wrist shot top shelf.

“I had Kayla [Smith] with me and both the goalie and defensemen started pulling over to her, so I just shot the puck,” Moran said.

The Cougars tried to mount a comeback as they had several chances, but Davis was up to the challenge making multiple key saves. Adrieanna Rossini had the best chance on a one-timer in the slot, but Davis sprawled across her crease to make the highlight reel save.

Recap: No. 1 Duxbury 4, No. 2 Hingham 2

January, 2, 2013
1/02/13
11:34
PM ET


KINGSTON, Mass. -- The last thing a goaltender wants to see with nothing but a clean sheet of ice between them is a Duxbury skater wearing No. 13 on her sweater and long red hair flying out from underneath the helmet, bearing down on you.

The Hingham girls saw that happen twice, and a third time that same white jersey was parked alone just off the crease. Hannah Murphy buried all three chances and powered the top-ranked Dragons to a 4-2 victory over No. 2 Hingham last night at The Bog.

With 5:35 to go in the first period, Murphy intercepted a clearing attempt just beyond the Harborwomen blue line, split a pair of defenders and out-skated four black shirts in to fire a wrist to the far side for the game's first score.

In the middle frame, defenseman Carly Campbell pushed a loose puck forward to Murphy, who floating solo around the Hingham blue line. Murphy collected the pass, skated in again and ripped a wrist shot to the stick-side corner at 5:03.

Just under five minutes later with the Dragons on the power play, Murphy executed a perfect give-and-go with Marissa Fichter, whose return pass from behind the goal was tailor-made for a one-timer, which Murphy buried to give the Dragons a 3-0 lead.

"I definitely couldn't have scored without their playing," Murphy said of her teammates ability to get her the puck. "There were definitely some good passes and Marisa made an awesome dish to me out front on the power play. I don't want to miss so I'm pretty confident. I just go in positive and say to myself that I'm going to snipe."

Added Duxbury head coach Friend Weiler, "The key is to get [Murphy] free and give her clear shooting lanes and we were able to do that tonight. Whenever she gets the space, she's real dangerous."

THIRD PERIOD DRAMATICS
Most girls programs spent the holidays either playing club hockey or enjoying the vacation time with their families and friends. Call it rust, or perhaps they were simply snake-bit, but the Harborwomen certainly generated chances. They outshot Duxbury, 18-14, in the game. They just weren't able to capitalize on many.

That changed in the closing seconds of the second period when quick passes by Emily Falvey and Catherine Linehan sprung Jane Freda loose for a breakaway, and the talented senior went low and found the five-hole with 1.5 seconds left.

That energized Hingham, and they cashed in on an early, third period power play as Freda and Linehan set up Falvey for a nice shot from the low left circle to make it a 3-2 game with 9:04 to go.

"I thought we had the momentum once we had that second goal," said Hingham head coach Tom Findley. "I honestly believe that we did dominate a lot of parts of that game. We just didn't put the pucks in the net. They have a goalie who is an elite goalie in the state and one of the elite players in Hannah who is just opportunistic. There's one girl you've got to keep an eye on and we didn't. We let her loose and she got loose in the wrong parts of the rink and she put the puck in."

Before the Harborwomen could tie it, however, Duxbury's Julia Nolan was able to sweep a loose puck home and the Dragons had a very important insurance goal with 4:19 remaining. Goalie Rachel Myette held the fort from there as Hingham kept the pressure on, finishing with 16 saves.

"Rachel had a huge game for us," Weiler praised. "There was a couple of big saves that kept us ahead and preserved the lead. They were trying to get traffic in front of the net and she was still able to make the big save when we needed it. Another backbone of the team. Goaltending is so huge and she's been phenomenal all year and the past two years."

Duxbury remains No. 1 in girls' Top 25

December, 17, 2012
12/17/12
9:05
PM ET
Defending MIAA Division 2 girls' hockey state champion Duxbury opens the 2012-13 season atop the ESPN Boston Top 25 poll.

The two-time defending state champions continued their reign over the poll, having occupied the top the spot since last season. More could be in store for the Dragons behind a couple of returning All-Staters in forward Hannah Murphy and goaltender Rachel Myette.

Here's a couple other notes to take from our preseason poll:

HARBORWOMEN BACK?
No. 2 Hingham enters the season as the top-ranked Division 1 entrant. The Harborwomen are just a year off their last state championship win and will be eying a return to the Garden ice this season. Hingham has plenty of firepower up top with dynamic forwards Emily Falvey, Jane Freda and Catherine Linehan. The Harborwomen will also be strong in their own end with an All-State caliber blue-liner in Alexandria Gong and netminder Taylor Walsh.

D1 REMATCH?
Longtime Catholic Central rivals Arlington Catholic and St. Mary's of Lynn battled for the Division 1 championship last season at the Garden. Although the Spartans claimed the teams' two regular-season meetings, the Cougars returned the favor by skating away with the hardware in the season's most important game. Both teams enter the season in our Top 5, with AC checking in at No. 3 and St. Mary's at No. 5.

The Cougars and Spartans renew their rivalry on Wednesday night at Connery Rink. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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."

Recap: No. 1 Duxbury 3, No. 4 Hingham 0

February, 15, 2012
2/15/12
11:22
PM ET
HINGHAM, Mass. -- Midway through the third period of Wednesday's showdown between reigning girls hockey state champions Duxbury (Div. 2) and Hingham (Div. 1), the mask of Green Dragons goalie Rachel Myette got tangled up with the stick of Hingham’s Emily Falvey and came flying off.

That moment served as a microcosm of how often Myette, along with her defensive teammates, were sticking their noses into the action.

Playing behind a sterling performance from Duxbury’s defensive quartet of Martha Findley, Ally Hammel, Caroline Shaunessy and Carly Campbell, Myette stopped 26 shots to help the top-ranked Dragons claim a 3-0 shutout over the No. 4 Harborwomen at Pilgrim Arena.

‘When she needs to make the easy saves she makes them but she always has the ten-bell in her pocket and gives us confidence,” Duxbury coach Friend Weiler said in praise of Myette. “Game in and game out, we know that if one of them squirts free, I’ll put her up against the best any day. She’s just a real strong, solid kid back there with a great attitude. Works hard all the time, always has a smile on her face, but just a solid goaltender and thats what we built our team around.”

Facing an explosive Hingham (12-5-1) offense that recently found its scoring touch (29 goals in its last five games), Duxbury (16-0-0) knew it would have to rely heavily on Myette and its blue line corps.

The task of guarding Hingham’s dangerous first line of Jane Freda, Sarah Schwenzfeier and Catherine Linehan fell to the defense, and the Dragons continually got their sticks on pucks, blocked several shots and forced the shooters into tough angled shots.

“We were watching out for Jane Freda and Sarah Schwenzfeier because we knew they were their top girls,” Martha Findley said. “We were just watching them to see what they would do. We were watching the other girls too but they were our main focus, to keep them away from shooting.”

Strong play from the D helped spring the Duxbury forwards, a talented group in their own right, for offensive chances. Hammel was the first to capitalize, sending a shot from the point through a maze of bodies to the far post to give the Dragons a 1-0 lead at 8:32 of the first period.

Early in the second, Shaunessy forced a turnover at her own blue line and got the puck to Meredith Wright, who delivered a beautiful pass to a streaking Hannah Murphy (two assists). Hingham goalie Taylor Walsh made the initial stop, but Jane Dudley was trailing the play and put home the rebound.

The effort on the blue line was critical because Hingham’s top duo of Alexandria Gong and Tori Messina turned in an equally strong performance in front of Walsh, who also played very well and stopped 23 shots.

The Harborwomen pulled Walsh with two minutes to go in the game looking to cut the deficit, but Myette made several clutch stops and Marissa Fitcher fired into the empty-net for Duxbury’s third tally with 11 seconds left.

PENALTY KILLS WERE KEY
Not long after Dudley’s goal, Duxbury gave Hingham a golden opportunity to get back in the game by taking three penalties over a seven-minute span. The Dragons shorthanded group of Findley, Shaunessy, Jacqui Nolan and Liz Collins - with some help from Hammel and forwards Murphy, Lily Connolly - held the Harborwomen to just four shots on the three power plays.

“It was a little uncharacteristic of us and we kind of got off our game a little bit,” said Weiler of the penalties. “Our penalty killers did a phenomenal job of just pinning them back and not giving them an inch when they were trying to come into the zone. I was happy with the way our special teams worked tonight.”

Added Findley, ““It was tough but our defensive box works very well. We know how to work around each other and we get it out and our goalie talks to us and helps us too.”

SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST
After winning the Div. 2 state title a year ago, Weiler wanted to make sure his team would be properly prepared at the end of the season to make a run at defending the crown.

Hingham is a natural opponent, given the close proximity of the two towns, the natural rivalry between the schools, and the family-style atmosphere that permeates the games between the two, best exemplified by the fact that Martha Findley’s father John and uncle Tom stand on the Hingham bench.

The Dragons will also take on perennial state power St. Mary’s this Saturday, and will wrap up the season with the Cougar Classic and the possibility of facing Hingham one more time before the tournament begins.

These are the two toughest opponents on Duxbury’s schedule, and they are on it to help get the Dragons used to playing this level of opponent in a playoff-like atmosphere.

“I wanted to keep the schedule back heavy, keep it really strong, knowing that going into the tournament, this is a playoff type atmosphere,” Weiler said. “That’s one of the things you can’t really replicate in practice. I like getting the wheels spinning against D1 teams. They’re all strong, well coached and deep. You have to beat the best to be the best as they always say.”

Recap: No. 2 Hingham 3, No. 3 St. Mary's 1

December, 22, 2011
12/22/11
1:12
AM ET
LYNN, Mass. -- Hingham girls' hockey freshman goalie Taylor Walsh has but two games under belt so far, but she's already playing like a seasoned veteran.

Walsh made 17 saves, including three big ones in the first period, while Jane Freda led the offense with two goals and an assist to help No. 2 Hingham claim a 3-1 triumph over No. 3 St. Mary's Wednesday night at Connery Rink.

In the early stages of a back and forth game with the Harborwomen (2-0) holding a 1-0 lead courtesy of Freda's first tally, Walsh stoned the Spartans' Alison Butler on a breakaway, covered a loose puck in the crease with Butler jamming away, and shot her left pad out just in time to a great bid on the far post by Gina Beth Manganiello.

Then, with 1:40 remaining and the Spartans desperately trying to make something happen facing a two-goal deficit, Walsh reacted in the nick time to cover up a perfect one-time snap shot off the stick of Brittani Lanzilli.

"I was very happy with my goalie and I thought she did great as a freshman," Hingham head coach Tom Findley said. "Then she made that great save on Lanzilli. It's nice to see. That's going to gain confidence for her as a freshman."

The Harborwomen didn't get many chances as St. Mary's sophomore netminder Lauren Skinnion turned her best performance so far with 23 stops, but they cashed in on the ones that presented themselves.

Freda's first goal came off a nice pass from Sarah Schwenzfeier that went off the side boards and found her in stride for a breakaway. Her second came just over five minutes into the third period thanks to a smart play by sophomore Tori Messina, who intentionally sent a shot from the point wide.

The puck caromed off the back boards and landed right on Freda's stick for an easy score. Schwenzfeier added the insurance goal with 2:55 left to play with assists from linemates Freda and Catherine Linehan.

Lanzilli came close to making it a one goal game as Kaleigh Finigan set up her up for a hard one-timer, but Walsh got there in time to make the stop.

"One thing about our team is, we're resilient and they are going to play the same game all three periods which is nice to see," Findley said. "It's always good to come away with the win but we want to be able to be at a high level once February and March comes."

While the Spartans are still a work in progress, they showed tremendous strides from their previous outing, a 5-0 loss against Woburn. It's likely just a matter of time before the Spartans talented forwards start turning those chances into goals, and Skinnion's promising effort will be confidence booster.

"I thought the brightest spot tonight was Lauren Skinnion, I thought she played tremendous tonight," Spartans head coach Frank Pagliuca said. "If she plays like that, we're going to be fine. Hingham's a great team, obviously, and they finished their chances and we didn't. It was a measuring stick for us and we know where we stand right now but we're going to be fine."

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 ends St. Mary's streak at 100 games

March, 11, 2011
3/11/11
2:13
AM ET
STONEHAM, Mass. -- Six games ago, Hingham girls' hockey coach Tom Findley decided to move sophomore defenseman Jane Freda off the blue line and onto his top line to ride alongside fellow sophomore Sarah Schwenzfeier and freshman Catherine Linehan.

That move is starting to make Findley look like a genius.

In Thursday night's Division 1 quarterfinals, Freda scored the game-tying and game-winning goals to help No. 8 Hingham stun three-time defending state champion and top seed St. Mary's, 3-2 in overtime at Stoneham Arena, eliminating the Spartans (20-1-3) from the tournament and stopping their nearly four-year long unbeaten streak at 100 games.

"That was the greatest high school game I've been associated with," Tom Findley said. "That's a great program over there in St. Mary's. That feat will never be done again. Our kids were prepared. We've played so well the last six games."

Added St. Mary's coach Frank Pagliuca, "Obviously a disappointing way to go out but you can't play one period of hockey and expect to beat a great team like Hingham. We didn't show up for the first two periods and a lot of that had to do with Hingham. I thought they played a great game, they deserved the victory."

The night's other hero spent her night between the Hingham (18-4-2) pipes. Senior goalie Beth Findley, daughter of Coach Findley, made 13 of her 20 saves in the third period. None, however, were bigger than the amazing stop she made with just 55 seconds left in regulation.

St. Mary's forward Gina Beth Manganiello made a strong rush down the right wing and got off a shot as she cut toward the middle. Findley made the initial stop, but Manganiello continued around behind the net and went to jam the puck inside the far post. With her head turned to the left, Findley somehow shot her right leg across the crease just in time to make what was a game-saving stop.

"I've been working on that a lot in practice," Findley said of her big save. "Last year, one of the goals that Sabrina Iannetti scored on me was a wraparound and I really wanted that one back so I've been working really hard on that, getting over fast. I owe a lot of credit to my defenseman Catherine Chittick. She really helped me out a lot there."

That set the stage for the overtime, and it took just 45 seconds for the game to end. Freda made a play at her own blue line to disrupt a shot by St. Mary's Hannah Quin and caromed the loose puck off the boards to herself. Freda broke in on Spartans goalie Sarah Foss, and with Rachel Donohoe hustling back to prevent her from cutting across, Freda instead let the puck fly and it trickled past Foss to give the Harborwomen their first victory over St. Mary's in eight tries.

"I just saw the puck, I flipped it off the boards and I took a shot hoping to get a rebound and it went in instead," described Freda of her game-winner. "It's like a dream. I still can't wrap my head around it."

Hingham had been struggling to find its offensive identity after dropping a 4-2 decision to St. Mary's in the latter stages of the regular season. Coach Findley bumped Freda up to the first line in hopes of creating a spark.

"We needed a little more pace up there," Findley said of the change. "She had played with Sarah (Schwenzfeier) before and Cat Linehan. Two sophomores and a freshman, that's our big line. They are young but they are so disciplined and they have so much poise."

Freda also made the play that helped set up the game's first goal. Hingham opened the second period with a power play, and Freda was set up for a hard shot from inside the right faceoff circle. Foss (17 saves) made the stop, but the rebound fluttered out to her left where Schwenzfeier swooped in and buried it to give Hingham a 1-0 lead.

The Spartans showed a renewed energy in the third, and their hard work led to a pair of quick goals midway through the frame. First, it was Bridget Donovan scoring on a rebound of a shot by Iannetti to tie it with seven minutes left, then just 34 seconds later, Donovan cycled the puck over to Quin, who rifled a shot past Findley for her first career goal.

"I was very proud of my kids for coming back in the third period but again, you can't do that in a game like this against a great team like that," Pagliuca said. "You can't turn it on and off and that's been an issue all year.

Rather than wilt under the Spartans attack, however, the Harborwomen responded as Freda buried a loose puck from in front with 5:36 left in regulation to tie it.

The game would not have gone to overtime without the play of either Findley or Foss. Foss made three huge stops over the final three minutes, and caught another break when Freda lifted a shot just too high over the crossbar behind her.

And of course, Beth Findley came through with the save of the night, and maybe the most important stop in the seven year history of the Hingham girls' hockey program.

"She's my kid so I don't normally say much about her but she won us that game," praised Tom Findley. "That last save was unbelievable. I don't know how she got over there that quick but she did. She made the save and that's why she's an elite goalie."

No. 1 Lady Spartans hang on against Hingham

February, 5, 2011
2/05/11
11:05
PM ET


HINGHAM, Mass. -- The top-ranked St. Mary’s of Lynn girls’ hockey team extended its unbeaten streak to 91 games against Hingham Saturday afternoon at Pilgrim Skating Arena, but Spartans head coach Frank Pagliuca wasn’t exactly happy.

Although St. Mary’s took a 4-2 win over the sixth-ranked Harborwomen on the strength of a pair of goals from both Sabrina Iannetti and Alison Butler and yet another outstanding goaltending performance from Sarah Foss, he wasn’t thrilled with his team’s effort.

“We didn’t play well,” Pagliuca said, “but once again, Sarah Foss saved our butts. Hingham played a great game and they out-played nearly the entire game.”

The Spartans (11-0-3) were outshot in each period and by final tally, 35-22. They were first on the board, however, with a short-handed goal by Iannetti six minutes into the first. While hemmed in their end on the penalty kill, Iannetti anticipated a point-to-point pass reaching out her stick to gather the puck. Streaking up the open sheet of ice in front of her, the senior captain finished on the backhand for a 1-0 St. Mary’s lead.

“You can’t give a team like Hingham a lot of time and space on the power play, they have good players who are going to take advantage,” Pagliuca said. “We told our forward to pressure the points a little bit and she anticipated the pass. It was a great read on her part, good anticipation and a good finish as well.”

Hingham (11-4-1) notched the neutralizer little more than four minutes later on a blast from the point by Catherine Chittick. The defenseman’s slapper was set up on a face-off win in the Spartan zone with assists from Shauna Sullivan and Catherine Linehan.

St. Mary’s retook the lead 1:28 into the second period when Iannetti knocked home her second of the game off a rebound.

Butler, a sophomore, controlled the third period when she scored each of her goals. She scored on a rebound of an Iannetti shot with 7:58 remaining and an additional assist from Bridget Donovan. Butler found the back of the net again with 5:03 on a feed from Iannetti on a 2-on-1 opportunity; she took care of the rest with a pretty back-hander through the 5-hole.

Linehan closed out scoring with 2:21 remaining with assists by Sullivan and Katie Walsh.

But it was Foss’s play that shone brightest once again.

“She was phenomenal and another key for them is that they limit you to one shot,” said Harborwomen head coach Tom Findley whose team had played less than 24 hours earlier in a 1-1 tie against Canton. “Their defensive corps does a good job of clearing out rebounds even if you’re able to get a shot on.”

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