Boston High School: Kayla St. Pierre

D1 girls: Austin Prep 3, Reading 2

March, 1, 2014
Mar 1
11:17
PM ET
READING, Mass—After falling behind 2-0 to Austin Prep in their Division I first round contest on Saturday night at the Burbank Arena, the Reading Rockets seemed to have everything going in their favor after tying the game at two early in the third period.

However, it was Austin Prep eighth-grader Olivia Finocchiaro who shifted the game back in favor of the Lady Cougars.

Finocchiaro intercepted a pass, skated over the blue line and unleashed a wicked wrist shot over the glove of Reading goalie Kayla St. Pierre, off the crossbar, and into the net for the game winning goal midway through the third period.

“We have a lot of youth on our team and we are extremely young,” said Austin Prep head coach Stephanie Wood. “Olivia is an extremely talented newcomer for us this year and she had a big game. She is playing a big game for a very young person right now.”

Reading had their chances in the final period outshooting the Cougars by a 15-2 margin including two chances by sniper Ali O’Leary in the final seconds but Cougars goalie Caty Flagg (35 saves) stood strong.

Austin opened the scoring late in the first period when freshman Michaela Boyle poked a loose puck towards the net that St. Pierre could not handle and Maddy Ricci buried the rebound for a 1-0 lead.

Early in the second period, Finocchiaro doubled the lead when she cruised past a Reading defender and fired a low wrist shot that broke through the pads of St. Pierre.

Austin had a chance to increase the lead midway through the second period thanks to a two man advantage for 1:04 but O’Leary and Madison Leach helped kill off the threat.

Riding that momentum, Reading cut the lead in half late in the second period when an alert Leach intercepted a pass at the blue line, skated to the high slot, and beat Flagg with a wrist shot off her shoulder.

Early in the third period, Reading got the equalizer when Caroline Seibold’s point shot hit a defender and caromed to Tori Grimmer at the left post whose shot found the top corner past a prone Flagg.

Minutes later, Finocchiaro had the answer notching the game winner and Austin held on over the final seven minutes.

“We knew it was going to be an extremely tough game against a very good opponent,” added Wood. “It is a Reading rivalry. You knew it was going to be intense and it is a big win for us tonight.”

Under fire: Austin Prep sophomore goalie Caty Flagg saw a lot of pucks thrown her way as the Rockets kept firing all night as evidenced by their 37-14 shots advantage.

Stagg came up big midway through the second period as the Cougars got caught on a bad change and Reading’s Ali O’Leary came in clean on a breakaway.

Flagg held her ground and flashed her blocker to deny the bid and keep the A-P lead at 2-0.

And despite allowing the tying goal early in the third period, Flagg would compose herself and meet up with O’Leary once again, this time with the game on the line.

With St. Pierre pulled for the extra attacker, O’Leary somehow got free in the slot and slid a shot destined for the far post but Flagg flashed her right pad and made a save on the follow up attempt by O’Leary to secure the win and the Cougars trip to the quarter-final round against Beverly/Danvers.

“You credit goalies when they play well and Caty Flagg had a heck of a game tonight,” said Reading head coach Mike Golden. “She made a lot of good chances look easy. Our kids were shooting low and looking for rebounds but all the credit to her and Austin Prep. They played the right game on the right night.”

Recap: No. 1 Duxbury 1, No. 2 Reading 1

February, 19, 2014
Feb 19
2:38
AM ET
HINGHAM, Mass. – Reading girls’ hockey head coach Mike Golden knows his team will have to play through games like Tuesday’s if the Rockets are to make a long postseason run.

The Rockets – typically the aggressor – were outshot by Duxbury, but held the lead on the scoreboard for the majority of their tilt in first day of the Hingham High School Girls’ Hockey Showcase at Pilgrim.

The Dragons were able to tie the score, 1-1, with nine seconds remaining on Marissa Fichter’s wrister.

It was the only thing Duxbury could put past netminder Kayla St. Pierre, and although the Rockets only came away with a point, it helped prove a point for their coach.

“Today, we got outshot, but we had the lead until there was 12 seconds left,” Golden said. “It doesn’t matter how many shots you have, it’s about the quality of the chances.

“We tried to get to the post and it’s hard because they’re a good team and a strong team in their own right with a strong goaltender.”

Duxbury (12-1-5) took an offensive zone faceoff with 12 seconds to play. Jacqui Nolan was able to get a limp on the loose puck in the faceoff circle and play it in the direction of Fitchter, who beat St. Pierre glove side.

The play came following a Reading (13-3-3) timeout, as Golden tried to align his five skaters. Duxbury had already expended its timeout with about a minute and a half to play, so head coach Friend Weiler has happy to another shot at diagramming a play.

“If you don’t win the faceoff, you don’t get the shot off,” Weiler said. “That was obviously a huge win by [Jacqui Nolan]. She got the push we wanted, and freed up the skate to win it.”

He continued, “You’ve got get a lot of bodies banging in front, trying to get a screen, or get a tip on it because she was saving everything. We had a couple of decent opportunities, but she’s a solid goalie and you have to get in front of her to get something past her.”

Ali O’Leary netted the Rockets’ goal about 13 minutes into the second period.

But the “First Star” on the day belonged to Reading’s sophomore goaltender.

“That’s the Kayla we’re going to need if we’re going to win anything in the state tournament,” Golden said.

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."

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