Boston High School: Melissa Richard

Our MIAA girls' hockey All-State Team

April, 1, 2013
4/01/13
7:11
PM ET
FIRST LINE
All-StateF - Alison Butler, Sr., St. Mary's
This year's ESPN Boston Miss Hockey award winner, Butler captained the Spartans to their fourth Division 1 state title, scoring the game-winning goal against Arlington Catholic at the Garden. The St. Anselm's commit was third in Division 1 in scoring with 37-25-62 totals. It is her second ESPN Boston All-State nomination.
All-StateF - Hannah Murphy, Sr., Duxbury
The fulcrum to Duxbury''s run of three straight Division 2 state championships. Murphy, a three-sport athlete, finished fifth among all Division 2 scorers, putting up 29-24-53 totals. Murphy will play lacrosse at UMass-Amherst.
All-StateF - Kayla Smith, Sr., Woburn
One of the most talented pure scorers in the state, Smith finished second in Division 1 across the state in scoring with 34 goals and 24 assists for 63 points. The three-time ESPN Boston All-Stater will continue her hockey career at Salve Regina.
All-StateD - Cassandra Connolly, Sr., Woburn
The repeat ESPN Boston All-Stater finished fourth on the Tanners in points (2-15-17) while helping goaltender Courtney Davis notch seven shutouts on the season. Connolly will continue her playing career at the University of New England next year.
All-StateD - Hannah Wright, Sr., Arlington
A shut-down, physical blue-liner, Wright also finished tied for fourth on the Spy Ponders with 17 points (3 goals, 14 assists). She will attend Castleton State College next year where she will play hockey.
All-StateG - Shannon O'Neil, Sr., Austin Prep
Pitched a remarkable 10 shutouts on the season, along with a dazzling 96.8 save percentage. O'Neil, a Franklin Pierce commit, was also among the statewide leaders in goals against average with a 1.08 marka.
SECOND LINE
All-StateF - Kaleigh Finigan, Sr., St. Mary's
Despite missing time with an injury, Finigan still managed to finish second on the Spartans in scoring - following Alison Butleró with 17-28-45 totals. The Medford resident is also a standout on St. Mary's softball team.
All-StateF - Jane Freda, Sr., Hingham
A two-time ESPN Boston All-State selection, the Harborwomen captain finished among the Top 10 scorers in the state, tallying 31 goals to go along with 16 assists.
All-StateF - Ashley Moran, Jr., Woburn
The rangy winger made great strides this season, finishing among the Top 10 scorers in the state, posting 25 goals and 31 assists.
All-StateD - Brooke Matherson, Jr., Walpole
The blue-liner led the Rebels in scoring this year with 33 points points and her 24 goals were also a team-best. Matherson is also a standout player on Walpole's field hockey team.

All-StateD - Annie Messuri, Jr., Acton-Boxborough
Messuri was named the DCL/MVC Large division Most Valuable Player this year after posting 13-17-30 totals.
All-StateG - Courtney Davis, Jr., Woburn
Led the Tanners to an undefeated regular season while registering seven shutouts. The three-year starter registered a 92.1 save percentage while posting a 1.35 goals against average.

BEST OF THE REST - HONORABLE MENTION
Forwards

Carolyn Avery, Sr., Lexington
Megan Barrett, Frosh., Acton-Boxborough
Christie Caliendo, Sr., Billerica
Leah Cardarelli, Soph., Acton-Boxborough
Molly Connolly, Sr., Wellesley
Amanda Conway, Soph., Tewksbury/Methuen
Gabby Crugnale, Sr., St. Mary's
Jackie Denning, Sr., Lexington
Cecily Docktor, Soph., Wellesley
Kara Donati, Sr., Winthrop/Lynn
Erin Dwyer, Sr., Archbishop Williams
Marissa Fichter, Soph., Duxbury
Ela Hazar, Jr., Westwood
Shannon Hickey, Sr., Arlington
Emily Kelly, Jr., Norwood
Olivia Konaxis, Sr., Beverly/Danvers
Brittani Lanzilli, Jr., Medford
Maggie Layo, Jr., Sandwich
Sara Lehman, Sr., Lexington
Emily Lissner, Jr., Woburn
Kim Lizotte, Sr., Westford Academy
Emily Loprete, Soph., Watertown/Melrose
Meaghan McKenna, Sr., Canton
Rachel Moore, Soph., Falmouth
Ali O'Leary, Frosh., Reading
Adrieana Rossini, Soph., Arlington Catholic
Nicole Woods, Jr., Beverly/Danvers

Defense
Allison Cunningham, Soph., Arlington Catholic
Tatiana Doucette, Jr., St. Mary's
Erin Ferrara, Sr., Fontbonne Academy
Hannah Ghelfi, Soph., Falmouth
Alexandria Gong, Sr., Hingham
Ally Hammel, Jr., Duxbury
Melissa Richard, Sr., Arlington Catholic
Caroline Seibold, Frosh., Reading

Goalies
Megan Messuri, Jr., Arlington Catholic
Rachel Myette, Jr., Duxbury
Madison Scavotto, So., Falmouth
Lauren Skinnion, Jr., St. Mary's

Coach of the Year
Frank Pagliuca, St. Mary's (Lynn)

While piloting to the Spartans to four Division 1 state championships, perhaps Pagliuca's finest job behind the bench came this year, as St. Mary's knocked off Catholic Central rival Arlington Catholic in a rematch of the 2012 title game.

Finalists:
Todd Fletcher, Westford Academy
Michael Golden, Reading
Friend Weiler, Duxbury

MIAA championship hockey picks

March, 16, 2013
3/16/13
9:55
PM ET
GIRLS’ DIVISION 2
No. 1 Duxbury (21-1-2) vs. No. 2 Falmouth (19-1-2), 11 a.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: Duxbury – F Hannah Murphy, F Marissa Fichter, F Jane Dudley, F Meredith Wright, F Julia Nolan, D Ally Hammel, D Payton Donato, G Rachel Myette; Falmouth – F Alexa Scribner, F Rachel Moore, F Madison Haberl, F Kelly Ferreira, D Hannah Ghelfi, D Alexx Good, G Madison Scavotto.

Breakdown: It is perhaps the most predictable of all of Sunday’s matchups and the most anticipated. The Dragons and Clippers renew a burgeoning rivalry, intensified by last year’s duel at the Garden and invigorated by the fact that either team’s lone loss of the season was handed to them by the other. Duxbury has been playing lockdown defense throughout the playoffs and haven’t allowed a goal in more than six games, including the regular season. The Clippers’ young corps will look to get over the hump, building on a bittersweet experience on the Bruins’ home ice sheet one year ago.

X-factor: Scavotto. As dominant as Duxbury’s defense has been in front of and including Myette, the Clippers are capable of the same. And their sophomore netminder is a big reason why. She could steal one.

Pick: Duxbury, 1-0.

GIRLS’ DIVISION 1
No. 4 St. Mary’s of Lynn (18-3-4) vs. No. 7 Arlington Catholic (17-4-2), 9 a.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: St. Mary’s – F Alison Butler, F Kaleigh Finigan, F Gabby Crugnale, F Madison Molea, D Tatiana Doucette, D Amanda Donahoe, G Lauren Skinnion; AC – F Adrieanna Rossini, F Jess Piracini, F Duggan Delano, F Hayle Rudin, D Melissa Richard, G Megan Messuri.

Breakdown: The Catholic Central rivals meet for the second straight year on championship Sunday and, like their Div. 2 counterparts, also split their season series at a game apiece. Behind the benches, both the Spatans’ Frank Pagliuca and the Cougars’ Maggie Taverna have done work worthy of Coach of the Year honors. St. Mary’s has the feel of a team of destiny, neither a short bench nor nagging injuries all season long have kept the Spartans from returning to the biggest stage, all while dispatching No. 1 Woburn in the process.

X-factor: Rossini. You’d be hard pressed to find a young player in recent memory who has scored more clutch playoff goals than the AC sophomore.

Pick: St. Mary’s, 3-2.

BOYS’ DIVISION 3
Swampscott (19-5-0) vs. Westfield (18-3-2), 3:30 p.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: Swampscott – F Corey Carmody, F Noah Maercklein, F Nunzio Morretti, D Chris Carman, D Trevor Massey; Westfield – F Sean Spohr, F Mike Santinello, F Anthony Cagliostro, F Adam Collier, F Neil Parrow, D Nate Barnes.

Breakdown: The Big Blue took down defending D3 finalist and South sectional champion Medway (thanks to an OT goal from Maercklein) to advance to the program’s first title game appearance. Westfield returns to the Garden ice after a one-year hiatus after taking a scorched-earth policy to Western Mass. competition, while averaging more than 5.5 goals per game.

X-factor: Swampscott freshman goaltender Tristan Bradley. The first-year backstop has been a key element to the Big Blue’s success, maintaining a 91.5 save percentage through the season.

Pick: Swampscott, 5-4.

BOYS’ DIVISION 2
Wilmington (20-3-2) vs. Franklin (17-7-2), 1:30 p.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: Wilmington – F Cam Owens, F Brendan McDonough, F Jake Rogers, F Dylan DiNatale, D Brian Pickett, D Cam Collins, G Drew Foley; Franklin – F Cam Curley, F Dennis Pisani, F Aidan Isberg, F Troy Donahue, D Kyle Powers, D Kyle Filbert, G Devon Maloof.

Breakdown: The third of six rematches on the day, after the Wildcats claimed a 3-2 victory over Franklin a year ago on championship Sunday, propelled by a hat trick from Owens. The Panthers will be looking to avoid their third straight fruitless trip to the Garden, having dropped title tilts with Wilmington and Tewksbury. The Wildcats, who had Super 8 aspirations until late in the season, are eying their second straight title.

X-factor: McDonough. He’s been the break-out performer of the tournament and provides a great complement to Owens on Wilmington’s top line.

Pick: Wilmington, 3-2.

BOYS’ DIVISION 1
Burlington (13-6-5) vs. Marshfield (20-6-0), 8:15 p.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: Burlington – F C.J. Grinnell, F Joe Berardi, F Joey Scali, D Adam Crowley, D Sean Costa, G Derek DeCastro; Marshfield – F Mike Carbone, F Pat Burchill, F Joe Admirand, F Pat Shea, D Matt Burchill, D Trevor Salmon.

Breakdown: While this isn’t another rematch, these teams are no strangers to this stage, with the Red Devils and Rams representing as the last two Div. 1 state champions. Both teams were near .500 squads through the first month of the season, and closed their regular-season slates with momentum they’ve carried over into the playoffs. Both these teams can skate with the best of them, but they also pay attention to the little things in the defensive zone as well.

X-factor: Crowley. I’d expect a defensive struggle in this one and so I’m going with the Red Devils’ blue-liner who always makes his presence felt.

Pick: Burlington, 3-1.

BOYS’ DIVISION 1A – SUPER 8
No. 4 Austin Prep (16-1-6) vs. No. 7 Malden Catholic (15-6-3), 6 p.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: AP – F Nolan Vesey, F Bobby Carpenter, F Frankie Candelino, F George Sennott, F Eric MacAdams, D Andrew Cross, D J.J. Layton, G Elijah Harris; MC – F Ara Nazarian, F Mike Iovanna, F Tyler Sifferlen, F Pat Wrenn, F Austin Goldstein, D Casey Fitzgerald, D Nick Rolli, G Connor Maloney.

Breakdown: AP, while short on years, is not short on talent. I think we all knew coming into this season that they were capable of reaching this stage, but it might have been a question of when. The Cougars earned their way to Sunday after dispatching town rival Reading and then No. 1 seed St. John’s Prep in Wednesday’s semifinal. It seems like years ago since there was a time when the Lancers were in jeopardy of missing the tournament all together, but they’ve played the best hockey in the state during the last month.

X-factor: Nazarian. It’s his tournament, the rest of us are just living in it.

Pick: Malden Catholic, 4-2.

D1 girls: Arlington Catholic 3, Westford Academy 2

March, 11, 2013
3/11/13
1:34
AM ET
NORTH BILLERICA, Mass. – Adrieanna Rossini had been there before.

In last year’s MIAA Division 1 state semifinal, Rossini scored in overtime to defeat Braintree and send the Cougars to the TD Garden.

Sunday night, the Arlington Catholic sophomore did it again, beating Westford Academy sophomore goalie Kerry Pouliot two-minutes and 57-seconds into the 12-minute overtime to give AC a 3-2 win in the second scintillating semifinal at Chelmsford Forum.

The Cougars will take on St. Mary’s – 4-3 shootout winners over Woburn in the day’s first semifinal – Sunday at the Garden in a rematch of last year’s state final, which was won by AC.

Rossini’s sophomore line-mate, Jessica Piracini, started the game-winning sequence by playing the puck into the Westford zone. It was mishandled and Rossini pounced on it, skated in on goal and putting a forehand past Pouliot’s glove to win the game.

“I was looking to see what was open, and to see if there was any move I could make or any kind of opportunity,” Rossini said. “I felt like the [defenseman] was hooking me, so I kinda’ just shot and hoped for the best.”

It was Rossini’s second goal of the game, having scored at 9:58 of the first on a terrific individual effort down the left wing to make it 2-0 in favor of the Cougars (17-4-2).

“She’s a huge factor every game,” AC head coach Maggie Taverna said. “She’s a great player. She has the ability to change a game…She’s fantastic; she just loves the game of hockey.”

The Grey Ghosts (17-4-2) had all the momentum going into the extra period. Down 2-0 going into the final 15 minutes of regulation, Westford got a goal from junior Bretta Beer from the right face-off circle just 49 seconds into the period.

Rossini rang the post at 5:36 of the third, and Westford senior Kim Lizotte had a great chance of her own just 19 seconds later after stealing the puck deep in the Cougars’ zone. AC junior goalie Megan Messuri made a good stop to preserve the one-goal lead.

Pouliot (18 saves) was tremendous in the third period, making 11 saves. One of those came on a penalty shot with 4:29 left to play, as Piracini was hauled down from behind on a breakaway. Piracini cut in from the left on the penalty shot and ripped a forehand wrister from just outside the crease, but Pouliot made a great glove save. She then made two point-blank stops on Rossini and senior Melissa Richard.

Incredibly, Westford got a penalty shot of its own with exactly three minutes on the clock. Killing off the last seconds of the penalty, sophomore Kathryn Walker broke up a pass in her own zone, sped down the left wing and was tripped from behind while bearing in on goal.

Walker tied it up on the penalty shot, ripping a wrist shot past Messuri and tying the game at 2.

Pouliot made three more saves in the final two minutes of regulation, and head coach Todd Fletcher’s team had sent the game to overtime in dramatic fashion.

“Our girls are just unfazed,” Fletcher said. “Wipe away the score and just play our game. You’ll get what you deserve when we’re playing well and stick to our game plan.”

Taverna said she had a simple message for her players before the start of overtime.

“I just said, ‘You guys are good enough to win this game. You just gotta put a puck in the net,” Taverna said. “Making them believe in themselves is the most important part of the game. If they believe that they can be successful then, more than likely, they will be successful.”

AC’s first goal came from Mickey McLaughlin, who scored from in front off a nice feed by sophomore Duggan Delano from behind the net at 6:42 of the first.

Messuri made 15 saves in the win.

Recap: No. 3 St. Mary's 5, No. 7 AC 2

February, 2, 2012
2/02/12
12:22
AM ET
ARLINGTON, Mass. -- It took all of 25 seconds for the St. Mary's girls' hockey team to show it was capable to answering the bell when adversity came calling. In the bigger picture, the 45 minutes the Spartans put together Wednesday night might do exactly the same.

Kaleigh Finigan had a hat trick and two assists, Alison Butler added two goals and three helpers and Lauren Skinnion stopped 24 shots to help No. 3 St. Mary's topple previously unbeaten No. 7 Arlington Catholic, 5-2, last night at Ed Burns Arena.

In the process, the Spartans (11-4-0 overall, 4-0-0 Catholic Central League) qualified for the postseason, took a one-game lead over the Cougars (14-1-1, 3-1-0) atop the league standings while picking up a much needed bounce-back victory.

"It was good to see us respond to a little bit of adversity, I was proud of them for that," Spartans head coach Frank Pagliuca said. "I thought the game was physical, I thought AC had some opportunities to score and Lauren came up big for us. Great win for us, a good bounce back win. Big league win as well. AC is a great team. They're going to be one of the team's fighting for it at the end."

St. Mary's jumped out fast in this one, something they haven't always been able to do on the season. Butler screamed a pass down to the low slot where Finigan was able to tip it past AC goalie Megan Messuri 4:09 into the game.

The Spartans top line of Finigan, Butler and Brittani Lanzilli (2 A) continued to pressure, and Lanzilli came up with the assist of the year, threading the puck between the skates of an AC defender to Butler, who made a nice move outside the crease to tuck it just past the right skate of Messuri with 2:27 left in the first.

Then, just 21 seconds into the second, Butler sprung Finigan and the junior fired a shot from the high slot that went off a defenseman's stick, shot over the head of Messuri and somehow ended up in the net behind her.

Skinnion made 11 of her 24 stops during the second but Arlington Catholic caught a break when Melissa Richard snuck one through right at the buzzer and Adrieana Rossini kept the momentum going with a shorthanded breakaway goal at 3:25 of the third.

As the walls seemed to be caving in, the Spartans got plays from Finigan, Skinnion and senior captain Rachel Donahoe that turned the tide back in their favor.

Finigan popped in her third goal of the night just 25 seconds after Rossini's tally to stop the bleeding, then Skinnion turned in perhaps her best save of the season as Rossini got loose again, and Donahoe came flying back into her own end to snuff out yet another breakaway bid, this time by Natalie Flynn.

"I thought Rachel Donahoe was unbelievable tonight," Pagliuca said. "She was all over the ice. She's a captain and she's really starting to step up and elevate her game. And Lauren Skinnion I thought was phenomenal."

Butler tacked on one more goal on a rebound of a Finigan shot with 3:45 remaining to close out the scoring.

While the taste of the season's first loss will be sour for the Cougars, they will have a chance to get it back when the two teams meet again next Wednesday at Connery Rink in Lynn (4:30 p.m.).

"When we play St. Mary's there's always that stigma that exists from previous years," admitted AC coach Maggie Taverna. "The kids know like last year, they creamed us 8-1, and they came in excited. Sometimes I feel like they get over-excited and they hold their sticks to tight or they dump pucks and things too quickly. St. Mary's, even though they have a short bench, they're a great team. We're excited to play them again next week. I told the kids, let it stick with you, let it sting a little bit because we have another chance."

'SPARTAN' DEFENSE
Pagliuca's praise of Donahoe was most certainly warranted. A preseason ESPNBoston All-State defenseman and one of just two seniors on the squad, Donahoe turned in a brilliant performance while being matched against the the talented Flynn. Everywhere Flynn went on the ice, Donahoe was was within arms reach. Not only did Donahoe chase Flynn down on the breakaway but she continually forced the Cougars star forward to take wide angles with the puck rather than drive to the net where she is deadly.

"She's definitely one of the players we needed to look out for on the ice," Donahoe said of Flynn. "She has a good shot, she's very good at seeing the game so whenever she's out there we had to make sure she was covered or it wasn't going to be a good deal."

"I was just saying to myself, 'Don't let her shoot and get the puck to the corner,'" the senior continued. "Mainly I was just trying to keep a body on her, keep her to the outside of the goal and not let her get any opportunities to put the puck in the back of the net."

Along with Donahoe, fellow blueliners Tatiana Doucette, Hannah Quin and Amanda Donahoe turned in strong performances. The shots on goal total for AC would have been much higher if not for this unit's relentless work in both blocking and forcing bad shots.

"Lot of blocks, they moved the puck pretty well. We got caught a couple of times flat-footed and AC has some good speedy forwards that exploited us a little but I thought D zone, we played much better. I thought we moved the puck well out of the zone. They came down hard and crashed on the walls and I thought we made a nice adjustment coming out of the zone.

GOLD STAR FOR THE GOALIE
Despite a terrific night for the St. Mary's defense, Arlington Catholic still managed several breakouts and had plenty of good scoring opportunities. If not for the play of Skinnion, AC might still be undefeated and it would be the Spartans looking for revenge in next Wednesday's rematch.

The sophomore was particularly brilliant in the final three minutes of the second period. She zipped to the far post to cover a wraparound attempt by ACs Michaela Scutti, made a great stop on Flynn (who also hit two posts) walking in from the blue line and covered the post as Katie Waitt tried to jam the rebound through.

Then in the third, with the memory of Rossini's breakaway goal still fresh in her mind, Skinnion saw the exact same play develop, adjusted, and made a spectacular stop.

"I didn't want to let in the same goal again," Skinnion admitted when asked about her thought process on the play. "The first time I didn't come back fast enough so I tried to stay back a little bit more. (Rossini) went to the left again and I thought she was probably going to try and do the same thing so I just tried to stay low and make sure I got the pad on the puck."

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