Boston High School: Erin Hunt
The Cougars overcame a superb showing by Clippers' senior goalie Maddie Scavotto (39 saves), with single scores in each period to defeat the Clippers, 3-1.
The Cougars (9-2-0) felt that they needed to assert themselves more, after having suffered a 1-0 road loss 24 hours earlier further down the Cape at Barnstable. The Clippers (9-3-1) had to deal with that aggression, as AC had an extra hop in its step and outshot FHS 42-17 in the game.
“I think after a loss the kids get a little bit of a reality check, and they're a little more grounded. I think they came with a little bit more of a desire to win today because of the loss yesterday,” Arlington Catholic head coach Maggie Taverna said.
Despite being outplayed for large stretches of the game, the Clippers were in it most of the way, but a timely goal by the Cougars in the final seconds of the second period was huge for the visitors.
With the game knotted at 1-1, the Cougars' Erin King, who scored the game's first goal, let one rip from the blue line. Scavotto made the initial save, but Erin Healy jammed a rebound past Scavotto to give her team the lead with just 11 seconds before the intermission.
The game-winner came just seconds after the first power play of the night for AC had expired. Healy, a defenseman, plays in front of the net with the advantage, and Taverna said that her hard work on the play was huge for her club.
“That was a big one, it gave us some momentum going into the end of the period,” Taverna said.
Arlington Catholic's insurance goal, with 6:14 left to play in the game, also came just seconds after a power play had expired. Jess Piracini made that one happen for the Cougars, with a nice move from behind the Clippers' net. She swept around, from left to right, looking like she'd try to score on the wrap-around, but at the last second she centered the pass in front for Adrieana Rossini, who snapped it under Scavotto from the edge of the crease to make it 3-1.
AC staked itself to a 1-0 lead midway through the first period on a floater from the right point off the stick of sophomore defenseman Erin Kelley, who just threw it towards the net. One of the Clippers' defenders attempted to swat the puck down but missed. While doing so, she obstructed Scavotto's line of sight and the keeper never saw the puck until it had found the twine over her left shoulder.
The goal was a memorable one for the freshman. It was her first-ever varsity goal.
Despite being outshot by an 18-6 margin in the second period, the Clippers had drawn even with the visiting team earlier in the frame thanks to a great individual effort by senior assistant captain Kelly Ferreira. The team's leading goal-scorer stole the puck away from the AC defense at the blue line and skated in alone, snapping one over Jasmine Mucci's glove. The goal was Ferreira's 10th of the season.
Falmouth wasn't able to generate a lot of opportunities following that, thanks largely to the play of the Arlington Catholic defense, which did an excellent job of denying the Clippers clean entry into the zone throughout the game. Early in the third the Clippers came close to tying it on a rush by Maddi Haberl, and a snap shot by Ericka Meissner. Those two shots represented half of the shots that the team would garner in the final frame as AC held the Clippers to just four in the period, and 17 in the game.
“That's a good team, a really fast team. I thought that we hung in there, but we spent a lot of time in the D zone, a lot more than we like, but Maddie kept us in it,” Falmouth coach Erin Hunt said. “I thought we hung. We did have offensive opportunities, and I think we can compete at the speed that they did, we just need to make some adjustments.”
During the high school season, the two squads are the oldest of rivals, but when they're not representing their schools, the bulk of the two rosters are teammates one of the Cape Cod Storm club teams. A number of the girls played together on the U19 national championship-winning team last spring, and several others were on the U14 team that went to the national tournament.
With their allegiances split down town lines on Saturday night, it was the Red Raiders that prevailed. Barnstable scored three times in the second period, with two goals from Callie Rogorzenski, as they upended the Clippers by a 3-1 score.
Barnstable is now 2-0-0 on the year, Falmouth suffered its first loss, dropping to 4-1-1.
Barnstable Coach Peter Nugnes said that the middle frame has been his team's favorite so far in the young season. “The second periods seem to have been our period this year, it was huge against Sandwich as well.”
Trailing 1-0 after one, thanks to a seeing-eye snap shot by Falmouth defenseman Kendall Stouffer, the Raiders rallied back to pop three past Maddie Scavotto and take control. Rogorzenski had the first two, tying it at 1:04 of the second with a move up the left wing and a snipe to the top shelf.
Barnstable's go-ahead, and insurance, tallies were netted just 47 seconds late in the frame. Rogorzenski got her second when she blocked a slap shot at the blue line by Brooke Bowman, and raced ahead on a 2-on-0 break, with Danielle Derosier riding the right wing. Rogorzenski kept the puck, and snapped it by Scavotto (24 saves) to the near side.
Barnstable remained on the attack and got another one to make it 3-1. Lyndsey Phelan worked the puck out of the right wing corner and flung it to the front of the cage, where Olivia Pearsall chopped it in at 11:42.
Falmouth nearly got one back with 97 seconds left to play in the second, but an early whistle proved very costly. Forward Emily Sanidas bounced a rebound under Olivia Sollows at 13:23, but the referees lost sight of the puck after Kelly Ferreira's initial shot, and blew the whistle.
Coach Erin Hunt did not call the officials out for the mistake, but certainly felt her team lost a golden opportunity. “In a game like this, that's close, every goal counts and it would be helpful to have that, but we can't change what the official calls, so it is what it is,” she said.
Nugnes credited his goaltender and defense with being the difference in the game. With the lead in hand, Sollows made three big saves on a Falmouth power play following the non-goal, and halted the four FHS bids in the third that she saw, on her way to a 24 save evening.
“She didn’t see the fisrt goal, she never saw it. But if she sees them she usually stops them,” Nugnes said. “A lot of people talk about how good [Scavotto] is, but I think we've got a pretty good goaltender over here, too.
“Olivia is huge, the whole team plays different in front of her and than other goalies we’ve had before, she’s focused all the time.”
In the third period, the Raiders slowed the tempo and kept the Clippers from using their speed. Falmouth managed just four shots on goal during the period. Sollows best stop came on fellow freshman Emma Callahan, kicking aside an early backhand bid.
BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. -- Falmouth’s quest for three straight trips to the TD Garden and the Division 2 state title game ran into a brick wall on Tuesday night at Gallo Arena.
That wall’s name was Meghan King.
Wellesley’s junior goalie stopped just about everything that was thrown at her over the final two periods, including 21 saves in the third period alone, to lead the Raiders to a 3-2 victory and the program’s first trip to the state final since winning it all in 2006.
“You get into a game like this, you might have a few jitters but we’re happy with the way she settled down,” said Wellesley coach George Campbell about King, who dropped a couple shots in the first period, but made 30 of her 37 saves in the final two periods.
Campbell continued, “She’s pretty much in control every game that she gets back there. There’s no sense of panic ever and she just has worked herself into a place where she’s as solid as any goalie that we’ve ever had.”
In examining the final result, Falmouth coach Erin Hunt could only applaud King’s effort.
“I really think we played awesome in the third and we battled to the end,” she explained. “I think we outshot them by quite a bit for the game but we just couldn’t pop one in. She played a great game; they’re a great team.”
The Raiders jumped into the lead 2:30 into the first period when leading scorer Cecily Docktor rounded the net and fired a wrister up over the shoulder of Madison Scavotto. Soon after, Docktor nearly added a second after a great move through a pair of defenders but her shot went just wide.
With 3:02 remaining in the first, Falmouth bounced back to tie the game. Maggie MacDonald took and inch perfect pass across the crease and planted a wide open shot into the top corner to make it 1-1.
“That was huge for us to go into the second period with a tie game,” said Hunt. “It’s tough to play with a point down going into the second.”
Unfortunately for the Clippers, the momentum was shortlived. Wellesley stormed out of the locker room in the second period and recorded the first seven shots. Sophomore Carley Boyle, who assisted on the opening goal, punched the Raiders back in front on the third attempt and it was 2-1 after just 40 seconds.
“It was mostly them talking to each other in there,” said Campbell about what was said during the first intermission. “We kind of set the task for them and told them what they had to do and then hoped that we weren’t going to run out of gas with the two lines and they didn’t. They sucked it up and just kept playing hard for the entire 45 minutes.”
From the midway point of the second period to the end of the game, Falmouth controlled puck possession and outshot the Raiders by a 32-4 margin. That was when Kelly took over.
“It’s definitely a lot of pressure and it’s hard but, I mean, I have a great team in front of me so I’m not too worried about that,” she explained. “My team did a great job clearing out the front of the net.”
About the pressure of playing in a one-goal game in the third period, Kelly added, “It’s definitely scary because you don’t want to give up any goals, but I knew coming in that we were the better team and that we were strong. So, we just had to take time and calm down.”
The nerves were eased momentarily by an empty net goal with 41 seconds remaining that appeared to clinch the Raiders a spot in the finals. Keely Corscadden scored the goal to make it 3-1. Each of the three top line forwards (Boyle, Corscadden, and Docktor) recorded a goal and assist apiece.
Falmouth did not give the game up after the empty net goal and Kelly Ferreira had a shot from beyond the blue line skip past Kelly on a very tough hop with still 21 seconds remaining. Kelly recovered to make a two more saves for the win.
“Those kinds of things happen and we knew that Falmouth would not give up and pucks take funny bounces -- that thing had a crazy bounce,” said Campbell. “She had it all the way and then all of a sudden it jumped over her shoulder.”
Kelly simply said, “It’s just a ton of fun to play a fast-paced game like that and to have such a great team around you.”
Wellesley will play either Westwood in the D2 state final at the TD Garden on Sunday.
BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. – It was apparent the Burlington wasn’t going to go quietly. But it was Falmouth’s decision to fight fire with fire that delivered the Clippers a double-overtime victory over the upstart Red Devils.
While Burlington pushed the defending Division 2 girls’ hockey state finalists to their limit, scoring a late third-period goal to force overtime, the experience of Falmouth’s lone senior, Alexa Scribner, lifted the Clippers to a 4-3 victory in the second overtime period.
“We just had to keep up the energy,” Scribner said of Falmouth’s overtime effort. “Even though they were getting a lot of shots on us, we still could get shots on them because we could get in their zone for most of the game, so we had confidence.”
Falmouth (15-2-4) controlled play and outshot the Red Devils (15-5-1), 6-1, in a scoreless first period. The Clippers only intensified their dominance in time-of-possession during the second period, while peppering Burlington goaltender Cassidy Smith (29 saves) with 15 shots.
Burlington was first on the board, however, as eighth-grade sensation Kelly Browne tallied her first of two goals at 2:19 of the second. The lead would be short-lived though, as Falmouth countered just 29 seconds later on Emily Sanidas’ wrister set up by Scribner (1 G, 1A) and Kelly Ferreira (1 G, 1 A).
Falmouth claimed its first lead of the game at 9:12 of the second on a power-play snipe from Maddi Haberl.
“We just tried to use our speed,” Clippers head coach Erin Hunt said. “We have a lot of kids that have a lot of speed, too, so we just wanted to get pucks on net and crash for the rebounds. That was the game plan, and play a little more defensively, get them deep in the corner and because we were able to turn their ‘D’ around and use our speed.”
The Clippers were victimized by a defensive zone turnover leading up to Browne’s second goal of the game at 1:01 of the third.
Following the tying goal, the Red Devils continued the onslaught with a string of three straight power plays, including a 42-second 5-on-3 advantage around the two-minute mark. Falmouth clamped down in its own zone, only allowing one shot to get through to Madison Scavotto during the 5-on-3.
“They got that goal, but then we killed off those penalties, that was huge for us on the 5-on-3,” Hunt said. “That gave us a little momentum back. They did a nice job [on the PK].”
After skating even for most of the bulk of the period, Falmouth pushed ahead with 4:07 remaining, as Ferreira used a toe-drag to get past a Burlington defenseman and finish up to for a 3-2 lead.
But once again, the Red Devils responded. With a 1:14 remaining, Krista Toscano picked up her second point of the game with the game-tying goal.
After a scoreless first overtime, in which the Clippers outshot Burlington, 4-0, Scribner ended the game at 1:19 of the second extra session.
“I didn’t really look,” Scribner said. “I just shot it because I knew where I was near the net.”
But No. 5 Falmouth has an achievement of their own that they can boast. The Clippers kept the Dragons from an undefeated year last season, and they ruined another undefeated run on Sunday night with a 4-2 win over top-ranked Duxbury.
With a playoff feel in the air and a packed house at Falmouth Ice Arena, the Clippers came out with offensively sound game plan and looked like a completely different team than they did last week when these two teams battled to a 1-1 draw.
“It’s a huge win for us,” Falmouth coach Erin Hunt said. “Huge for us too because we played three solid periods and that’s something we were working on going into the states.”
Uncharacteristic of a Duxbury team, the Clippers got three breakaways in the first two periods but Rachel Myette was there to stop every Falmouth shot. The Clippers got 13 shots on net though nearly two complete periods, but it was the 14th that changed the course of the game.
With 0.4 seconds showing on the clock, the puck fell into Alexa Scribner’s lap. A quick shot glanced off Myette and into the net for a huge boost of confidence for the Clippers are they skated off to their locker room.
“I didn’t really know the time on the period but Kelly [Ferreira] tried the toe drag and someone stuck their stick out an it came right to me.,” Scribner said of he play. “I didn’t even look at the net I just shot it.“
That momentum transitioned into the third period as just 1:14 into the period, Ferreira took a puck into her offensive zone. She shot the puck through the legs of Jacqui Nolan and one hopped over Myette right pad and into the net.
“Yeah, that was the plan,” Ferreira joked after the game. “I don’t think the goalie saw it. I was just trying to get it on net because I didn’t have a play to take it out wide.”
Falmouth was ready to blow the doors off when 1:06 after Ferreira’s goal, Madison Haberl got loose on a breakaway. Myette stoned Haberl, but the puck found its way to Maggie MacDonald who buried it from the slot and put the Clippers ahead, 3-0.
Anyone who though the Dragons would go away quietly, however, were quite mistaken as Falmouth would need all three of those goals.
Nolan stole a puck in the offensive zone and fired off a wrister that beat Madison Scavotto at the 6:15 mark. The goal broke a nine period scoreless streak posted by Scavotto.
Two-and-a-half minutes later, Duxbury put Falmouth on the defensive when Marissa Fichter flew up the right wing and slipped a puck inside the near post to cut the deficit to one.
The Dragons launched everything they had at Scavotto and went on the power play with 2:19 left, but Scavotto and her nine third period saves kept the lead alive.
“It was a battle, we’ve been able to come out on top for the last couple but tonight we started just a little too late,” Duxbury coach Friend Weiler said. “Every time we play, it’s always that great atmosphere, high energy and the girls working hard. Not a lot of love lost between the teams but hey, that makes it more fun.”
No rematch this year: Players on both tams and those in attendance Sunday night would love to see these two teams square off again in the tournament. But that won’t happen this year since Duxbury moved up to Div. 1 this offseason.
Both times the two teams have met this season, it has gone down to the wire. Last Saturday, Ferreira scored with 45 seconds left to tie the game at one, and on Sunday, both teams pulled out all the stops in a wild third period.
“Even though Barnstable is our rival, I think Duxbury is a bigger rival,” said Scribner.
Pair of top-five teams? Check.
Two top-tier goalies? Check.
All the ingredients were there for a tournament caliber game between Falmouth and Duxbury and they sure did not disappoint. In a game that had an early-March playoff feel to it, the late heroics of the Clippers led to a 1-1 tie between two teams that are all too-familiar with each other.
Trailing with by one 44 seconds remaining and the goalie pulled for the extra skater, Falmouth’s Kelly Ferreira buried a rebound in traffic sending the Clippers into an uproar.
“My center Maddie Haberl, she pushed the puck forward and tied up their center,” Ferreira said of the frantic rush in front of the net. “Alexa Scribner came across and took a nice rebound shot that went off her pad and me and a Duxbury goal both hit it and it went in.”
The way the third period was going, it was only a matter of time until the Clippers pushed across the game-tying goal. The Dragons owned possession of the puck for the first two periods, outshooting Falmouth 22-10 in the first 30 minutes. But when the teams took the ice for the third period, the Clippers team that we’ve come to expect took the ice.
“It was a different team, I knew they had it in them,” Falmouth coach Erin Hunt said. “We talked about it in-between periods about okay, time to turn it on girls lets go.”
The Clippers outshot Duxbury 12-1 in the final period and if it weren’t for the fantastic play of Quinnipiac commit Rachel Myette in net, it is likely the Dragons would have been on the losing end.
“Our teams starts with Rachel and is built from the back out,” Duxbury coach Friend Weiler said. “She made the saves she needs to make and absolutely is a force and I’m glad she’s my goalie and arguably she is the strongest goalie in the state and keeps us in the game when we need her to.”
The Clippers generated their offense off the rush all game long, but in the third period they got a couple of breakaways that were stonewalled by Myette. None bigger was a short-handed bid from Haberl that was stopped by Myette’s right leg. Maggie MacDonald swooped in for the rebound but her shot bounced harmlessly off the post.
“In the first and second period we didn’t have many opportunities but in the third we really turned it on and played great,” said Ferreira. “It was just a matter of time before it happened.”
Coming into the game both teams knew a low-scoring affair was in store and a couple of bounces would decide the outcome.
With 2:07 left in the first period, one of those bonces went the Dragons way. Julia Nolan ripped a shot from the slot that Falmouth goalie Madison Scavotto grabbed with her glove but it popped out and Nolan poked the puck into the net that account for all of Duxbury’s scoring.
“They had an odd man rush coming in and we didn’t have a great job on our gap and Maddie had the save but she got the rebound and our defense didn’t really step in and stop that play from happening,” Hunt said of the only goal they surrendered.
Boasting the best: With Myette in net for Duxbury and Scavotto for Falmouth, two of the best goaltenders in the state were going head-to-head. It was no secret that goals would be few and far between.
It was Scavotto putting together a highlight reel in the first two periods as she turned away 21 of the 22 shots she faced in the first two periods as Duxbury dominated time on attack early on.
“[Scavotto] held us in the game, covering rebounds and coming out of the net which is what we’ve been working on,” said Hunt.
In the third period, it was Myette’s turn to show off her ability as momentum shifted toward Falmouth and their offense. She saw 12 shots and was kept on her toes all period as a majority of the play was in her own end.
“That is playoff hockey,” said Weiler. “It’s a great rivalry that has been going on for a couple years and we had a great 44 and a quarter minutes but a little breakdown in the end but I thought our girls carried play well.”
Power outage: Adding to the frustration of playing a majority of the first two periods in their own end as the struggles of the power play unit.
During that span, the Clippers went on the power play five times and came up empty-handed. An additional man advantage in the third period was unsuccessful and Falmouth closed out the game 0-for-6 on the power play.
Even down a player, the Dragon defense swarmed the puck carrier, clogged up shooting lanes and kept the puck out of their zone.
The slot was congested and Falmouth was never given a chance to set up their offense.
The rivalry continues: If you missed this game, don’t worry you get another chance Sunday when Duxbury makes the trip to Falmouth with the chance that the SEMGHL coastal title will be on the line.
These two teams know each other very well already but seeing each other twice in a week will be sure to bring out some extra emotion.
“We are so familiar,” Weiler said. “We’ve played about 12 games in the last four years, every time we play them we know it’s some to be a war and come down to a play or two. But again, we have them again in a week and you don’t get too high on a win or low on a loss.”
BOURNE, Mass. – While not ideal, Falmouth girls’ hockey head coach Erin Hunt has come to expect a certain kind of finish from her team this season.
“They keep us right on the edge, until they know they need to get it done,” said Hunt of her young Clippers.
Facing No. 11 seed Westwood in the Division 2 state semifinals for the second straight year, Falmouth found itself in familiar territory, trailing by a goal headed into the third period. But somehow the Clippers have managed to find focus late in games and held true to their track record, taking the ice in the third with an ebullient noise and clatter.
But Falmouth also let their sticks do the talking in the final period, tallying three straight goals to claim a 3-1 comeback victory on Saturday at Gallo Arena. With the win, the Clippers earn the right to skate on the TD Garden ice for the state title against Duxbury, in a much-anticipated rematch of last year’s final.
“I’ll take anyone at the Garden,” Hunt said. “We’re happy to be there, but it’s nice to get another shot. They’re a great team, we split this year and I think it’s going to be a great game.”
Falmouth (19-1-2) stemmed the tide early in the third period while short-handed. The Clippers found themselves in another common position – on the penalty kill—when defenseman Hannah Ghelfi sprung Madison Haberl for a short-handed goal a minute and 58 seconds into the third.
“I always say, if you get a shorty, you’re going to win the game,” Hunt said. “It’s huge to get one when you’re a man down, so it was a huge momentum changer for us.”
Special teams again came into play when Falmouth scored on the power play at 4:31. Maggie MacDonald camped on the off wing post and put back the rebound off of Kendall Stouffer’s point shot.
The Wolverines (14-7-3) had their best scoring chance of the third when junior forward Ela Hazar split the Clippers’ defense pairing and bolted in on goaltender Madison Scavotto. Hazar had her second goal of the game ticketed for the low right-hand corner before Scavotto (20 saves) flashed her left toe with her finest save of the night.
Hazar scored the Wolverines’ lone goal at 5:34 of the second period, with an assist from Kelly Healy.
“We wanted to come through the neutral zone with speed, we wanted to forecheck them,” Westwood head coach Justin DeSorgher said. “We were successful at times; we weren’t as successful at times. They have a couple of defensemen who can really handle the puck. That does a lot against the forecheck.”
MAN IN THE BOX
At times, particularly at the tail end of the second period, there seemed to be a revolving door at the penalty boxes. The teams combined for 14 power-play opportunities (Falmouth had the advantage with eight of those).
And, while both coaches were perturbed by their teams’ propensity to wind up in the bin, the Clippers’ kill unit was up to the task, holding Westwood scoreless on six chances, allowing just three shots-on-goal during those opportunities.
While Falmouth had chances with the man-up, they did come away with one power-play tally, in addition to the crucial shorty by Haberl.
“They have a very aggressive penalty kill, a very aggressive power play,” DeSorgher said. “One our keys coming into this game was to not end up in the box. But we were in the box all night. That was tough to get over.”
Falmouth and Duxbury are no strangers, having split two regular-season tilts this year, following last year’s win by the Dragons at the Garden.
However, a couple of Clippers pointed to their 1-0 win over Duxbury on Jan. 5 as a significant moment, counting for more than a victory.
“They were so pumped to beat us the last time because we’d beaten them,” Scavotto said. “We learned that they value this rivalry as much as we do. We can’t underestimate that.”
While Westwood’s season comes to an end, there’s reason to believe a young Wolverines teams could yet have another late postseason meeting in store with Falmouth next year. Westwood loses just two seniors off its roster.
“It’s sad for our two seniors, Meghan Kelly and Kristina Barounis,” DeSorgher said. “They were here the year we first got here and to see them grow and mature. They’re great kids, it’s tough to see them as upset as they are.”
You know things are going well for a hockey team when its members talk about having fun.
Scavotto offered a refreshing take on goaltending and the game after celebrating with her teammates in a raucous room. Also, entering the third, you couldn’t much tell the Clippers’ season was on the line as they emerged from the intermission with a loud, stick-tapping display as they took the ice.
They’re a group that thrives on raw emotion and their vest for the game is evident in such displays.
Whether it’s Game 7 of the Cup finals, a state high school playoff game, or a game of shinny on the pond, at the end of the day, it’s a game.
“When you’re playing well, you’re having fun,” she said. “That’s what hockey’s all about to me.”
FALMOUTH, Mass. -- Check in with coach Friend Weiler after just about any Duxbury girls hockey game and you are likely to hear mention that, in the biggest games, Hannah Murphy is a lock to step up and do something to help her team win.
Coming up with different superlatives to describe Murphy's play night after night can prove difficult because it happens so often but Weiler may have topped himself when he finished praising his senior captain with the line, "Magic Murphy ruled the day again."
Murphy was indeed magical in a game the third-ranked Dragons had circled on the calendar immediately after a 1-0 loss to Falmouth on Jan. 5. She scored a pair of first period goals, assisted on another, and also helped a key a shorthanded unit that killed off eight power plays in a 4-1 victory over the third-ranked Clippers Wednesday night at Falmouth Arena.
"I'll say it once and I'll say it a thousand times, she plays her biggest in the biggest games," Weiler explained. "She was charged up, she leads by example, she had the girls ready to go today. Character kid. She's Hannah. As I call her, Magic Murphy, ruled the day again."
Murphy first tally happened almost by accident. With the Dragons (13-1-1) on an early power play, Murphy floated out from behind the Falmouth (11-1-1) net looking for a teammate to pass to. Finding no one, she elected instead to shoot and stuck a hard wrist shot over the shoulder of Clippers goalie Maddie Scavotto and under the crossbar for the game's first score at 4:39.
Just under three minutes later, Murphy used the back of the net to her advantage once again, this time trying a backhanded wraparound. Scavotto made the initial stop but Marissa Fichter swooped in and buried the rebound. Murphy proceeded to win the ensuing faceoff, walked and in and drilled home her second goal as Duxbury grabbed a quick 3-0 lead.
"I was kind of low so I was trying to walk out. It was weird," Murphy said of her first goal. "I was looking to the high D and I was like, they're not there and then I just saw that I had the good opening so I shot it."
On the next two, Murphy said, "I think we were pressuring hard and just kept pressuring. I saw an opening, tried to wrap it around and rebound, Marissa was right there. Ten seconds later, we were literally after every goal we were fired up. next goal, won it off the faceoff and went down."
Falmouth got one goal back in the second when Olivia Hough scored her first of the season on a backhander from the slot, but Duxbury shut them down from there and got one final tally in the third from Zoe Griffin.
FAST START WAS CRITICAL
When facing a goalie the caliber of Scavotto, who came into the game with a minute goals against average of 0.83 and made 28 stops to shut out Duxbury in their last meeting, starting strong was a must.
Normally a team that builds momentum throughout a game, the Dragons came out breathing fire from the time they got off the team bus and the effort was rewarded with the three early markers.
"It's always important to start fast and I really think the girls were buzzing, they were moving around, they were communicating, all of the things that we had worked on," Weiler explained. "When you play a team like Falmouth you've got to maximize your chances and I think we did a good job. High energy, lot of movement around and just continued to keep pressure and pressure and pressure. Lot of shots. If you keep shooting, hopefully eventually they go in right, right?"
PENALTY KILLING 101
The Dragons were whistled for an uncharacteristic 10 penalties in the game, resulting in eight Falmouth power plays. That pressure on the Dragons shorthanded unit but that group - Murphy, Griffin, Liz Collins, Jacqui Nolan, Payton Donato and Carly Campbell - all participated in a sterling performance to keep the Clippers from breaking through at all.
"That was a tough obstacle to climb but the girls rebounded, they worked hard, and they continued to be intense," Weiler said. "They kept the pressure up and they continued to dig down deep in spite of what was going on out there."
In the third, Falmouth displayed much better puck control and did a better job of keeping the puck in the Dragons end, but when all else failed, Rachel Myette (17 saves) was there to make the stops.
"It was definitely a lot of pressure that was put on us but our defensemen were skating up to me saying, 'This is our job, we love playing like this.' It's five on three and they're like, 'Let's go, this is our favorite part of the game' and I'm just like, 'Yeah, keep it up.'"
POSITIVES FOR FALMOUTH
The Clippers have been dealing with a key injury to top forward Madison Haberl, who has missed several games, and lost Maggie MacDonald early on in last night's contest. That forces other players to step up, and the Clippers got several key contributions that will allow coach Erin Hunt to walk away with some things to feel good about going forward.
"Looking positively, I think we had a lot of our players step up who haven't been getting a lot of ice time and they hung in there and they were competitive and thats great for our team," Hunt explained. "Olivia Hough scored the first goal of the season for her and it was a great goal. I mean, we can play and pass in the neutral zone but usually our goals are the hard working kind and that's what she did. Kelly [Ferreira] was there, too, and they just worked hard in front of the net and those are the goals that we like."
"Emily Sanidas is playing center, she's a freshman, shes backchecking hard, she's all over the place and she's picking up the defensive zone systems," Hunt added. "And we had Casey Eustis a senior...she was a goalie last year, started as a defenseman this year and then we bumped her up to forward with the injuries. She played wing tonight and did a phenomenal job keeping the pucks on the wall and getting them in deep. I think we've got a great team and I'm really happy that they were able to get in and contribute."
Just 10 months ago the Dragons upended the Clippers, 3-1, at the TD Garden to earn the Division 2 state championship, finishing off an undefeated season with the trophy and photographs on the Bruins’ home ice. Since that day, the Clippers have thought about avenging that loss countless times.
On Saturday night, Falmouth got that opportunity, and they made the most of it.
Behind a 28-save effort by sophomore goalie Maddie Scavotto, the Clippers blanked the top-ranked team in the state by a 1-0 score at The Bog. The sixth-ranked Clippers improved to 6-0-0 on the year with the win while the No. 1 Dragons fall to 5-1-0.
“We could tell before the game, when we went into the huddle, that they just had their game faces on,” Falmouth head coach Erin Hunt said. “They wanted this one. To be at their rink, and to get a win, is a big accomplishment…we all had it in the back of our minds what happened last year, and that they were undefeated.”
The loss ended a run of excellence by Duxbury that was quite remarkable. The Dragons had not lost a regular season game since Feb. 24, 2011, a game that they dropped to Rhode Island’s St. Mary Academy – Bay View. Since that game, Duxbury had gone 33 straight contests without tasting defeat, with just a single tie in the mix last year.
Duxbury head coach Friend Weiler said that his team will move forward as they look to begin another run of dominance.
“I’d rather have it end during the regular season, than the postseason,” he said. “All the credit to Falmouth, they were pumped up for this game and I’m sure that they had this game circled on their calendar since the end of last season.
“They worked hard, they outworked us, and they came out flying and we were a little flat and we didn’t play at our pique. But we learned a lot of lessons tonight. You don’t want to get too high after a win, or too low after a loss.”
Falmouth sophomore Maggie MacDonald’s unassisted goal late in the first period was the only score by either team. The speedy winger gained control of the puck in the neutral zone and flew off the right wing wall towards Dragons goaltender Rachel Myette (19 saves).
MacDonald said that the move she put on the goalie was something a little different. She showed great patience, and got Myette to commit to the far side, and then raked a backhander inside the near side post, over the keeper’s glove.
“The coaches told me before the game to shoot low, and that [lately] when I shoot the forehand, I miss the net,” MacDonald said. “I didn’t even know it was going to go in. I just kind of went to my backhand, and I never do that. We wanted it so bad, and after it went in, it was kind of like a relief for us and now we can get the game started … we got our intensity up.”
Falmouth’s intensity was certainly as high as it’s been all season, but the opponent’s skill level was certainly higher than anything they’ve faced as well. The Dragons, led by sniper Hannah Murphy, had chances throughout the game.
But the state’s top team had to deal with Scavotto.
Scavotto was brilliant in the net or the Clippers. The sophomore goalie stopped all 28 Duxbury shots she faced, including several big ones late by the Dragons that were great chances to knot the score. Duxbury had a dozen shots on the cage in the second period, and another 10 in the third, but they could not solve Scavotto as she turned away everything.
Marissa Fichter had the last quality bid for the Dragons, with just 38 seconds left to play as she let one rip from the left wing circle, up high, that Scavotto got a shoulder on. The Dragons crashed the net, but Scavotto found the puck in front of her and covered it up to end the danger.
CLIPPING DOWN THE PP
Falmouth’s penalty killing was the big difference-maker in the game.
The PK unit, led by Amy Wilson and Alexx Good, had to stave off five Dragons advantages in the contest, and did not falter. Duxbury had just four shots on goal with an extra skater, and none on their first three tries. The last one came with 6:41 left in the game, and Fichter nearly tied it as she exploded out of the corner and put one on that Scavotto turned away.
“We worked a lot [killing penalties] in practice this week, so we knew how they run their power play, and how to defend it,” Scavotto said. “It was just a matter of their players, like Hannah Murphy, they can do anything with the puck pretty much. So basically, stay close to those players, cross your fingers almost, but we knew what we were doing and I had confidence in my players in front of me.”
Weiler added: “[Scavotto] made the difference tonight. We hit her with a lot of shots, but she came up big when she needed to. We had our opportunities, and we couldn’t convert. They did a great job of taking away the middle of the ice.”
Scavotto said that she had a better frame of mind than the last time her team faced Duxbury at the Garden.
“The last time we played them, I was so nervous that it affected my play. I knew it wasn’t the time to be nervous, it was just the time to play.”