Boston High School: Tatiana Doucette

St. Mary's Doucette commits to Southern Maine

February, 14, 2014
Feb 14
10:42
PM ET
St. Mary's (Lynn) hockey senior defenseman Tatiana Doucette has committed to the University of Southern Maine, Spartans head coach Frank Pagliuca told ESPN Boston today.

Doucette, a preseason ESPN Boston All-State selection, has two goals and seven assists in 19 games this season.

"Tatiana is one of the elite defenseman in the state," Pagliuca said. "She continues to improve in all phases of her game and has yet to reach her full potential. She had multiple options in terms of schools for next year. Tatiana felt that USM gave her the fit to grow academically and on the ice. I could not be more proud of her. She continues the long line of SMH players that will have the opportunity to play at the collegiate level."
LYNN, Mass. – St. Mary’s of Lynn girls’ hockey head coach Frank Pagliuca swears shots on goal don’t mean all that much. After all, it’s only the big numbers on the scoreboard that count.

“I don’t care if we get outshot four-to-one,” Pagliuca said after Monday’s scoreless tie with Catholic Central League rival Arlington Catholic.

With a defense as disciplined as the Spartans’, and with senior goaltender Lauren Skinnion looking in mid-season form, Pagliuca is content with how his team played despite being outshot 32-9 by the Cougars.

“This is probably the most complete game we played. It wasn’t pretty at times,” he said. “But structurally, in the ‘D’ zone we did a nice job for the most part after we made a couple adjustments after the first period.”

The Spartans remained unbeaten (3-0-2, 2-0-1 CCL) with Skinnion’s third shutout on the young season.

St. Mary’s currently boasts a scoreless streak of more than two games, extending to the third period of its 4-3 win over Reading on Dec. 23 and including the Spartans’ 1-0 blanking of league foe Austin Prep on Wednesday.

“I challenged them and Lauren [Skinnion] to really raise their games against a great team and they did that tonight,” Pagliuca said. “I actually thought our forwards were much better tonight competing for pucks. We didn’t lose as many pucks as we did in the past.”

AC (4-1-1, 1-0-1) set up shop early, peppering Skinnion with 12 shots through the first period. By the second intermission, the Cougars held a staggering 21-5 advantage in shots-on-goal.

However, as the game wore on, the Spartans’ defensive corps, led by senior assistant captain Tatiana Doucette, strengthened. Despite dressing only four blue-liners (Amanda Donahoe, Vanessa Van Buskirk, Ashley Wojewodzic and Doucette) and logging mountains of ice time, St. Mary’s found increasing success in prohibiting AC from setting up down low on the cycle.

“We had plenty of scoring opportunities, we just never finished,” Cougars head coach Maggie Taverna said. “I think it was a good game, I think there were some times St. Mary’s had us hemmed in, we had them hammed in a couple times. But I thought our scoring chances were pretty good and for us to not put any pucks away … It was puck-luck, we didn’t have any.”

While St. Mary’s was largely able to negate the Cougars’ foot speed presented in snipers Adrieana Rossini and Jess Piracini, the Spartans weren’t always able to create on the rush.

Despite being badly outshot, St. Mary’s had the better scoring chances in the latter stages of the third period. Pagliuca even rolled the dice a little, electing to pull Skinnion in a tie game with seven seconds remaining, as St. Mary’s took a draw in AC’s defensive zone on the power play.

The Spartans had a couple cracks at a potential game-winner, but were shut out, too, by junior goaltender Katherine Crane (9 saves).

While the old rivals were unable to find a resolution in their first meeting of the season, they’ll soon have another chance to take an elusive win, next Wednesday at Ed Burns Arena.

Recap: No. 4 St. Mary's 4, No. 7 Reading 3

December, 24, 2013
12/24/13
2:14
AM ET
READING, Mass. – In some way, it’s still way too early in the season to declare, but St. Mary’s of Lynn girls’ hockey’s win over Reading Monday night was of the character-building kind.

Despite tallying the game’s first goal, the No. 4 Spartans didn’t play their best hockey in the first period. The second period wasn’t any better, and the No. 7 Rockets took a one-goal lead to the second intermission while outshooting St. Mary’s by a wide margin.

But somehow, some way, the Spartans found a way to escape from Burbank Arena with a 4-3 win after scoring two power-play goals in the third.

“It’s early in the season,” St. Mary’s head coach Frank Pagliuca said. “It’s a nice win, but it’s two points. It pushes us forward, but hopefully, it builds confidence. After the [Christmas] break, we going to have to compete hard. We have some things to work on. There were some good things and not so good things, but we’re still a work in progress.”

The Spartans (2-0-1) stayed in the game during the early going simply because of the play of senior goaltender Lauren Skinnion, who made 17 of her 38 saves in the first period alone.

“She’s one of the best goalies around and that’s what she’s supposed to do,” Pagliuca said of Skinnion. “Especially in the first period, we got the first goal, but the first two periods, we were standing around watching. I was discouraged that we weren’t competing enough.”

Despite a lead-footed start, St. Mary’s claimed the first lead of the game just two minutes in. Samantha Callahan scored the first of her two goals (3 points) batting in a point shot from Vanessa Van Buskirk.

The Rockets (3-1-0) were unable to find their first goal until the 3:16 mark of the second, despite outshooting the Spartans 17-4 in the first. Gabby DeCologero stepped out from the right wing circle and cut across the top of the crease to slide one past Skinnion.

Reading took a 2-1 lead to the room after the second as Tori Grimmer (1 G, 2 A) put back a rebound off an Ali O’Leary shot.

After a good “talking to” from Pagliuca in the intermission, St. Mary’s found what it needed in the form of any early goal.

Callahan tallied her second of the game, picking up a loose puck in the neutral zone and charging her way down the center of the sheet, finishing with a wicked rising wrister at 1:39 of the third.

“When she’s on her game, she’s hard to stop,” Pagliuca said of Callahan. “She’s really come into her own this year and she’s going to continue to get better. It was a great lift for us to get the goal right at the beginning of the period.”

The Spartans then regained the lead with their first of two power-play goals in the period, with senior defenseman and preseason All-State selection Tatiana Doucette turning a failed clearing attempt into a goal with a fluttering shot from the right point at 4:58.

However, less than two minutes later, Reading knotted the game at 3-all with a power-play goal of its own. Grimmer picked up her third point of the game, lending a helper to Caroline Seibold’s wrist shot at 6:56.

St. Mary’s scored the eventual game-winner 6:51 to play, also coming on the power play. Callahan picked up her third point of the tilt, working down low and finding Katie Terban at the top of the crease.
Presenting our MIAA boys' hockey preseason All-State team:

1st Team
F – Ashley Moran, Sr., Woburn
F – Ali O'Leary, Soph., Reading
F – Adrieana Rossini, Jr., Arlington Catholic
D – Tatiana Doucette, Sr., St. Mary's (Lynn)
D – Annie Messuri, Sr., Acton-Boxborough
G –Rachel Myette, Sr., Duxbury

2nd Team
F – Amanda Conway, Jr., Tewksbury/Methuen
F – Emily Lissner, Sr., Woburn
F – Brittani Lanzilli, Sr., Medford
D – Ally Hammel, Sr., Duxbury
D – Caroline Seibold, Soph., Reading
G –Courtney Davis, Sr., Woburn

3rd Team
F – Maggie Layo, Sr., Sandwich
F – Emily Loprete, Jr., Watertown/Belmont
F – Nicole Woods, Sr., Beverly
D – Tori Messina, Sr., Hingham
D – Kendall Stouffer, Jr., Falmouth
G –Madison Scavotto, Jr, Falmouth

D3 softball semi: St. Mary's 4, Case 3

June, 13, 2013
6/13/13
1:59
AM ET
TAUNTON, Mass. – St. Mary’s coach Colleen Newbury looks through Red Sox Nation glasses when viewing the relationship between pitchers Brooke L’Abbe and Mia Nowicki.

“She’s like our [Jonathan] Papelbon,” Newbury said Wednesday after the Spartans edged Case, 4-3, in a Division 3 state semifinal game. “It’s a big joke – Papelbon for [John] Lackey.

“We usually use three pitchers. Brooke [L'Abbe] did a great job keeping them off-balance. She’s our leader – our true captain for two years. We usually go to Jordan D’Orsi during middle relief and then go to Mia in the late innings. But today we felt like Mia could overpower them a little bit which she did.

“She’s very poised,” added Newbury. “You would never know she’s an eighth grader. It’s very unusual but she’s a strong kid. She’s very athletic and nothing seems to bother her.”

Nowicki was so strong that she blanked South Sectional champ Case (23-4) on one hit over the last three innings replete with three strikeouts and zero walks and faced just one batter over the minimum.

As a result the Spartans (20-5) will face Assabet Valley on Saturday at Worcester State for the state championship.

Making St. Mary’s victory even more impressive was the fact that in their four sectional tournament games, the Cardinals had outscored their opponents by a combined margin of 46-9.

“Wow … I had no idea,” Newbury said when informed of Case’s offensive prowess during the sectionals. “I think Brooke pitched well. I think we just gave them some runs early and then Mia was lights out. She has been.

“The goal is four (innings) and three if we can do it so it worked out great.”

St. Mary’s scored its initial run in the top of the first when Alison Butler walked and eventually came around on Molly Coyle’s double.

But Case countered with three runs in its half of the first.

A hustling Danielle Robillard scored all the way from second on Kelsey Pacheco’s infield hit. Then, after Katie Van Lingen doubled, two runs came home on an errant throw by shortstop Coyle.

The Spartans chipped one run off their 3-1 deficit in the second when Kaleigh Fenigan was hit by a Leslie Dennis pitch with the bases loaded.

St. Mary’s tied it in the fifth on consecutive singles by Coyle, L’Abbe and Tatiana Doucette.

Then, in the seventh, Doucette laced a two-out double to center, advanced on a wild pitch and scored the winning run when Cassandra LaFuci hit a liner to shortstop Haley Sousa who dropped the ball for an error.

“We knew we were facing a tough opponent,” Newbury said. “They’ve been to the state title game the last few years and lost so, obviously, their goal was to get back to that game and win. It was just a matter of getting going.”

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: St. Mary's 3, Austin Prep 0

March, 6, 2013
3/06/13
2:59
AM ET


STONEHAM, Mass. – Alison Butler had the book on Austin Prep goaltender Shannon O’Neil. The St. Mary’s of Lynn winger knew Tuesday night’s opponent well, having battled the Cougars twice during the regular season. She’s also been a teammate of O’Neil’s, playing travel hockey together in summer and fall tournaments.

Still, beating the Cougars’ senior netminder is easier said than done. O’Neil entered Tuesday’s action leading the state in shutouts with 10, in addition to maintaining a Vezina-caliber 96.8 save percentage during the regular season.

Yet, the Division 1 state quarter-final matchup at the Stoneham Arena went to the shooter. Butler led the No. 4 seed Spartans to a 3-0 win over their Catholic Central League rivals. The senior captain figured in each of St. Mary’s goals, netting two of her own in addition to dishing out the assist on the Spartans’ final tally.

It all went to plan.

“We had to come out strong and get one quick on Shannon [O’Neil],” Butler said, reflecting on the team’s game plan for the evening.

Butler did just that, forcing an AP defensive zone turnover behind the Cougars’ net and finished out front on the back-hand, beating O’Neil top shelf 2:50 into the first. She followed suit in the second period with a power-play goal at 2:05 of the second with assists from Tatiana Doucette and Samantha Callahan.

St. Mary’s (14-3-5) then struck 54 seconds later, with Butler throwing the saucer pass onto Madison Molea’s stick on a 2-on-1 break.

In premiere matchup of one of the state’s top forwards against one of its top netminders, Butler was on point.

“If she has an open opportunity,” Cougars head coach Stephanie Wood said of Butler, “she’ll rarely miss.”

Spartans goaltender Lauren Skinnion was the one earning the shutout over her counterpart, making 14 saves in victory, seven of which came in the first period.

“Lauren Skinnion was awesome tonight,” St. Mary’s head coach Frank Pagliuca said. “She made some big saves in the third period, she really kept them at bay.”

With the victory over AP, the Spartans set up another anticipated matchup, as they’ll face top-seeded Woburn on Sunday at the Chelmsford Forum in a semi-final bout to determine who will skate on Garden ice.

END OF A RUN, START TO THE FUTURE
While O’Neil played her final game in a sensation season, the future certainly is bright at AP (12-8-4).

The Cougars will graduate just four players from their roster, including their starting goaltender. There are seven freshman on the roster, in addition to three eight-graders, so there’s a youth movement afoot.

And they’re talented. Two of AP’s top six leading scorers (Michaela Boyle and Mauri Anthony) aren’t even freshman. It’s second-leading scorer, Maddy Ricci (8-9-17), is a sophomore and freshman forward Kathleen McHugh (8-8-16) was third.

The Cougars’ bumper crop of young talent even prompted Pagliuca, after the game, to call AP a favorite for the league title entering next season.

While the maturation process will continue, it’s doubtful the Cougars have hit their stride just yet.

“They’re babies still,” Wood said.

The 8: Duxbury shuts out AC

February, 22, 2013
2/22/13
3:32
AM ET
HINGHAM, Mass. -- The running theme when playing against the Duxbury girls hockey team this season has been pretty simple - sure, you may be able to hang with them for a period or two, but in the end, the chances are fairly strong that their depth, strength and overall ability will eventually wear you down.

Such was the case Thursday in the opening game of the second day of The 8 Showcase as the second-ranked Dragons did all their scoring in the third period to shoot past No. 4 Arlington Catholic, 3-0, in a clash of the two reigning girls hockey state champions at Pilgrim Arena.

Liz Collins and Marissa Fichter scored back-to-back goals in a 54-second span and Carly Campbell added an empty-netter in the final seconds to ice the win.

"Our second and third lines won this game," stated Duxbury coach Friend Weiler. "They were matched up against first and second in both games and they prevailed and worked hard."

AC (13-4-2) goalie Megan Messuri more than held her own against the Duxbury (17-1-2) onslaught, making 15 of her 22 saves during the first two frames to keep the Dragons off the scoreboard.

"Megan in general as a goaltender is consistent. She's always been consistent for us," praised Cougars coach Maggie Taverna. "Sometimes a goal will come in here and there on her but overall, she's a consistent kid. She loves the sport and she loves the game. She always plays well, always."

Duxbury goalie Rachel Myette stopped 16 shots for her seventh shutout and it took nearly 38 minutes for either side to break through. The Dragons finally did with something a flukey goal as Collins fired off a shot through a screen in front that Messuri never saw at 7:21 of the third.

Less than a minute later, a two-on-one breakaway developed with Jacqui Nolan making a perfect pass across to Fichter streaking down the middle, and the sophomore buried her opportunity. AC used a power play with under three minutes remaining to pull Messuri for an extra skater, then did it again in the final minute, but Myette was able to hold the Cougars off until Campbell finished it with her empty-net tally.

"The girls showed their heart tonight," praised Weiler. "To come out with all the energy and the hard work that they did during the third period, I'm really proud of them. Arlington Catholic is a phenomenal team. They took the middle away for most of the game and we were finally able to work from the outside back in and get some better opportunities. Thankfully we were able to convert because the girls were moving and cycling it around."

Fichter and Myette were named to The 8 Showcase All-Star team, while Messuri and Jackie Sindoris were the selections from Arlington Catholic.

ST. MARY'S 2, LEXINGTON 2
The Minutemaids got off to a strong start with a pair of first period goals, but the injury-plagued Spartans rallied behind star forward Alison Butler, who scored twice to force her team's second tie of the showcase.

Lexington (12-5-3) shot right out of the gate as Jackie Denning converted a nice feed from Sara Lehman for a power play goal just 2:43 into the game. Shortly after killing off a penalty of their own, Lehman found herself on the receiving end of a pass from linemate Carolyn Avery and finished strong as the Minutemaids opened up a 2-0 lead.

"On Sara's goal, we've been working hard with her on reading the defenseman in front of her and trying to make a defenseman move and step out to the side instead of going through and she did that," explained Lexington coach Mandy Ciarletta. "Her focus and determintaion resulted in a goal for her. It was good that she saw the net. It was nice that Jackie was able to get a goal as well."

Junior goalie Amanda Charlton was tough beat for the second straight night, stopping 14 St. Mary's shots in the first and finishing with 31 saves. the Spartans finally broke through with 5:40 left in the opening frame as Gabby Crugnale fired a shot that Charlton initially gloved, but the puck popped out and Butler was in prime position to bang home the rebound.

In the second, Butler got loose for a breakaway but was stoned by Charlton. The heady senior followed the rebound, however, and got off a shot from the low, left-wing circle that somehow found its through in between Charlton's left shoulder and the near post to tie the game at 1:48.

Despite playing without All-State forward Kaleigh Finigan, who suffered a shoulder injury in Tuesday's scoreless draw against Duxbury, the Spartans still managed to put together 33 shots and numerous scoring chances. Defenseman Tatiana Doucette rifled a shot that rattled around under the crossbar and should have been ruled a goal but the referee was out of position to see the play. Then, with 1:10 left in the game, Butler got loose once again for a breakway and made a late deke but Charlton managed to shoot her left leg out in the nick of time to deflect the puck with her pad to preserve the tie.

"We have to mentally focus a little bit more before we get on the ice and I think it showed tonight," admitted Spartans head coach Frank Pagliuca. "We came out slow and good teams like Lexington are going to take advantage of that and they popped a couple in. I'm a little disappointed how we played overall but we'll take the point and move on. We have to be ready to go right from the drop of the puck. We can't wait and decide to turn it on and turn it off. Teams are too good for us to do that and that's what we'll take from tonight - mentally show up ready to play."

Lehman and Avery were Lexington's selections to The 8 Showcase All-Star Team, while Butler and Crugnale earned the honors from St. Mary's.

MIAA hockey midseason All-State teams

February, 4, 2013
2/04/13
5:17
PM ET
BOYS
1st Team

F – Liam Coughlin, Sr., Catholic Memorial
F – Brian Pinho, Sr., St. John’s Prep
F – Ara Nazarian, Soph., Malden Catholic
D – Casey Fitzgerald, Soph., Malden Catholic
D – Matt Foley, Sr., Springfield Cathedral
G – Peter Cronin, Sr., BC High

2nd Team
F – Sam D’Antuono, Soph., Hingham
F – Mike Kelleher, Sr., Central Catholic
F – Cam Owens, Sr., Wilmington
D – Bryan Nelson, Jr., St. John's (Shrewsbury)
D – Jack Williams, Sr., Springfield Cathedral
G – Drew Foley, Jr., Wilmington

GIRLS
1st Team

F – Alison Butler, Sr., St. Mary’s (Lynn)
F – Jane Freda, Sr., Hingham
F – Kayla Smith, Sr., Woburn
D – Cassandra Connolly, Sr., Woburn
D – Annie Messuri, Jr., Acton-Boxborough
G – Courtney Davis, Jr., Woburn

2nd Team
F – Kaleigh Finigan, Sr., St. Mary's (Lynn)
F – Hannah Murphy, Sr., Duxbury
F - Adrieanna Rossini, Soph., Arlington Catholic
D – Tatiana Doucette, Jr., St. Mary’s (Lynn)
D – Alexx Good, Sr., Falmouth
G – Maddie Scavotto, Soph., Falmouth

WHO COULD BE THERE
Aside from those named to our first two teams, there are a plenty of deserving candidates across the state that made for some very hard decisions.

Here's a peak at few players who were on the cusp and who are worth keeping tabs on as we near tournament time:

Tom Besinger, Sr. F, BC High: His two-goal performance in Saturday night's comeback win over Catholic Memorial tells you everything you need to know about the shifty center.

Eddie Pratt, Sr. F, Xaverian: It wouldn't be too outlandish to say that you could make a strong case for the power forward (15-11-26) as the Catholic Conference MVP.

Jack Kilty, Sr. F, Medway: Don't let the fact that the Mustangs play in D3 detract from his resume (17-17-34); he could skate on any line in the state.

Nick Rolli, Sr. D, Malden Catholic: It's been an up-and-down year for the Lancers, but the blue-liner is a steadying force, playing on all units.

Alex Buckley, Sr. G, Newburyport: In terms of shots seen, it's hard to beat his 94.8 save percentage.

Tim Birarelli, Soph. G, Beverly: The Panthers' offense gets a lot of the pub, but the second-year backstop has been a revelation this year as they've surrendered just 10 goals on the season.

Brittani Lanzilli, Jr. F, Medford: After transferring back from St. Mary's, she'll lead the Mustangs as far as they can go.

Maggie Layo, Jr. F, Sandwich: Among the leading scorers in the state (11-33-44), she's a huge part why no one will want to cross paths with the Blue Knights in D2.

Hannah Wright, Sr. D, Arlington: As close to a shut-down blue-liner as you'll find in MIAA hockey this year.

Shannon O'Neil, Sr. G, Austin Prep: Perhaps the toughest decision to make among all of them in a particularly good year of goaltending in the girls' game. A 97.2 percentage and six shutouts is about as good as it gets.

Recap: No. 5 St. Mary's 5, No. 14 Fontbonne 3

January, 24, 2013
1/24/13
9:33
PM ET


QUINCY, Mass. -- Filling the left wing spot alongside Alison Butler and Kaleigh Finigan has been a work in progress for St. Mary's coach Frank Pagliuca but he may have found a diamond in the rough in the form of freshman Sam Callahan.

Playing in just her second game with the two ESPN Boston All-State forwards, Callahan came up with two goals and an assist and played a key role in the fifth-ranked Spartans 5-3 victory over No. 14 Fontbonne in a nonleague tilt Thursday afternoon at Shea Rink.

Butler also had two goals and assisted on two others while Finigan contributed a goal and an assist to the cause as the Spartans (9-2-1) top line accounted for nine points in the win.

"I put Sammy on that line a couple games ago and she gives that line an extra physical presence out there," Pagliuca explained. "She has good hands and she's working hard and she's keeping up with those two. I thought the third period they played very well. That was one of the better periods they played together as a group."

That top unit struck quickly as Butler won a faceoff in the Ducks (8-5-1) zone that went right to Callahan, who snapped off a quick shot for the game's first goal just 31 seconds in.

"I think that we click well," Callahan said of playing with Butler and Finigan. "We know how to move the puck back and forth, which is something that usually takes time and I thought happened pretty quickly with us."

Fontbonne gradually took control of the tempo and got a strong contribution from one its own freshman as Katherine Nolan tied the game on a backhander from just off the post at the end of the first and added a power play goal at 5:55 of the middle frame. The Ducks got one more from senior captain McKenna Russell, who raced into the Spartans zone and ripped a perfect shot to the far post to make it a 3-1 game.

St. Mary's got one back with 2:23 left in the second as Callahan and Butler worked a beautiful give-and-go play with Butler knocking home the open look off the return pass. Continuing the energy into the third, the Spartans reeled off three scores in just under three minutes to put the game away.

Callahan had the tying goal, banging home a rebound of a shot by Finigan just 34 seconds in, then Finigan and Butler added markers of their own to push the lead to 5-3.

DOUCETTE BRINGS THE D
With Fontbonne showing a willingness to play an active, physical style, a lot of pressure was put on the St. Mary's blue line corps. The Spartans top three defensemen - Tatiana Doucette, Amanda Donahoe and Vanessa Van Buskirk - have been steadily improving throughout the season. Doucette in particular has emerged as one of the better blue liners in the state this year, taking over a line of succession that has seen stalwarts such as Alex Smith, Michelle Macchione, Angela Dandreo, Rachel Donahoe and Hannah Quin among others play key roles.

Doucette brings a level of physicality that seems to energize her teammates. She is also extremely adept in the clearing game and may well be one of the better puck-handlers on the squad.

"I thought Tatiana Doucette had a great game tonight," Pagliuca said. "She's really started to elevate herself and play very well. Her composure and her skating ability back there to track down loose pucks to and to make outlet passes has helped us tremendously."

Her effort, and those of her teammates, was crucial in the third period once the Spartans got the lead. Fontbonne has shown a willingness to play a physical and aggressive style all season long, something that helped them take the 3-1 lead in the first place.

But when it came to crunch time, Doucette and her defensive teammates stepped up, getting an added contribution from eight-grader Ashley Wojewodzic after Donahoe left in the third with an injury.

"In the locker room we were talking about how we needed to come back and work together as a team so we just came out and pushed," Doucette explained. "We just wanted it really badly. We didn't walk them to walk all over us. We just work hard at practice and we communicate well on the ice too. We talk a lot and feel comfortable with each other and we try to have fun so it makes it easier."

SECOND LINE CONTRIBUTIONS
While all of the offense came from the Spartans top line, the second unit has more than done its job throughout the winter. Senior Gabrielle Crugnale has the talent to skate up top but is more valuable to the team in the middle of the second group. She is the team's third leading scorer (9-6-15) and has been a constant while centering a number of forwards who rotate in and out on the wings.

"I thought Gabby had a good game as well on that other line," Pagliuca said. "That whole line in general, we rotated a couple forwards through that line, they contributed. They got the puck in deep and forechecked aggressively. That's what we want."

"We have extra bodies that we rotate through," he continued. "The one thing that we really focused on was conditioning this year because we have smaller numbers and its starting to pay off in the third period against a team like that. Especially when you don't have that rest in between the first and the second. I was proud of our kids tonight."

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."

SPONSORED HEADLINES