KINGSTON, Mass. – For whatever success the Barnstable girls’ hockey team might go on to have during the final month or so remaining in the season, there will always be this. As the Red Raiders have continued to build momentum around the program in the last couple of years, they had never been able to beat Duxbury.
Barnstable was opportunistic early and staunch on defense throughout as freshman goaltender Olivia Sollows turned in her seventh shutout of the season in a 2-0 win at The Bog.
“There are a lot of seniors on this team that have never beaten Duxbury, and between the second and third periods, they talked about that,” Red Raiders head coach Peter Nugnes said.
So it should comes as no surprise that a couple of seniors led the offensive charge for Barnstable (10-0-4). Lindsey Phelan gave the Red Raiders all the offense they would need at 8:20 of the first, pouncing on a loose puck in traffic on a rebound.
In the second period, it was one of Barnstable’s defensive leaders who provided a scoring punch. Senior captain Morgan Richard found a way to direct her point shot through a crowd in front of Dragons goaltender Catherine Jordan at 9:35 of the second.
“That felt really good,” Richard said of her goal.
She added, “They do a really good job blocking the whole front of the net up. So I just kind of slid it in, hoping for the best.”
Playing from ahead: Barnstable thrives on playing with the lead, simply because the Red Raiders are so difficult to score goals against.
In her second year as the varsity starter, Sollows has rightfully earned a reputation as one of the state’s best goaltenders. In front of her, the Red Raiders returned an experienced blue line, led by Richard – an All-State caliber defender.
So when advantaged with a two-goal cushion, such as on Saturday, Barnstable becomes that much harder to beat.
“It puts us in a great position to stay strong,” Richard said. “That we way if we do happen to make a mistake, she [Sollows] can kind of cover up for that and we were just lucky enough to hold that shutout for her.”
The first part of Barnstable’s defensive game plan was in shutting down Duxbury’s dynamic duo of forwards in Jane Dudley and Marissa Fichter. In teams’ earlier meeting this season – a 3-3 tie – the Dragons (11-3-1) cracked the code of the Red Raiders for what stands as a season high three goals against.
“The last time we played them, Fichter scored both of their goals, “ Nugnes said. “So they were on our minds, it’s tough to [stop them], they’re both fantastic.”
Of course, every time out, Barnstable’s defensive plan starts in net.
“She’s phenomenal,” Richard said of Sollows. “She talks to us a lot, too, which is a great thing. She kind of lets us know if they’re coming in clear as day, she lets us know.
“And she really appreciates us blocking [shots], she says that’s her favorite thing.”