Boston High School: Taylor Walsh

Recap: No. 7 Woburn 0, No. 16 Hingham 0

February, 19, 2014
Feb 19
2:18
AM ET
HINGHAM, Mass. -- Tuesday's tilt between Woburn and host Hingham at the Hingham Hockey Showcase was a strange, sloppy affair.

Passes went awry, opportunities were missed, and the energy was up and down. The final product was a 0-0 tie and a 1-1 shootout tie afterward.

After the game, both coaches had very different views of the preceding affair.

“I'm just unhappy,” Woburn coach Bob MacCurtain said. “We left our legs in Woburn. We couldn't complete passes, feet weren't moving. Overall, just not good.

“I think that our kids need to take a look at this, take a step back, and decide they want to be better than that.”

“It was a fun game to part of,”Hingham head coach Tom Findley said. “I thought the team played fantastic. That's us in a nutshell. It's hard for us to score goals sometimes, but our kids compete every minute of the game. Today I think was a good learning curve for us and they can get prepared for the tournament. That was a great team we played.”

Woburn outshot the Harborwomen 17-14 ,but were unable to finish despite having the preponderance of chances. Hingham's Taylor Walsh and Courtney Davis were the stars of the game.

For Walsh it was more than just the saves as her positioning forced Woburn several times to adjust before taking a shot off the rebound which allowed the Hingham defense to clear the puck out of danger. Hingham was able to turn those clearances into sustained possessions and keep the Tanners off balance.

“We didn't lose a lot of pucks between the tops of the faceoff circle in our defensive zone and the red line,” Findley said. “When you turnover pucks in that area they're either in your net or odd man rushes back the other way. We were able to get pucks out, make some decent passes, and get pucks deep.”

The lone offensive highlight came in the shootout when Hingham's Catherine Linehan pulled the puck back on a dangle, faked Davis out of position, and calmly slid the puck into the net.

Hannah Sullivan had the shootout goal for Woburn.

Recap: No. 2 Duxbury 1, No. 10 Hingham 0

December, 31, 2013
12/31/13
5:22
PM ET


BOSTON – Dragon junior goaltender Rachel Myette accomplished something on Tuesday afternoon that no other goaltender ever has; shut out an opponent at both Fenway Park and the TD Garden.

Her Garden shutout, of course, came last March when she shut out Falmouth in the Division 2 state championship game. On Tuesday, she turned seven shots at a frigid Fenway Park in a game that Myette and her teammates won’t soon forget.

“It just feels amazing, with my team in front of me I can always trust them and I halways have their back if they make a mistake,” said Myette. “I’ve had a shutout at the Garden and now one at Fenway, so I’m sure not a lot of people can say that.”

Duxbury got the game’s lone goal 9:10 into the first period on a goal from Jane Dudley. Hingham goalie Taylor Walsh made a beautiful save on the initial shot from Meredith Wright, but the puck ricocheted back to Dudley who ripped a shot from inside the right circle for her first goal of the season. Liz Collins was also credited with an assist.

“She was terrific out there,” said Duxbury coach Friend Weiler of Dudley. “I thought she was moving well out there so it was a perfect place for her to notch her first one.”

Hingham came out strong in the opening period, controlling the puck and taking advantage of time on attack early. But the Dragons settled their nerves and dominated the rest of the period, outshooting the Harborwomen, 7-2, in the first.

The combination of Dudley and Marissa Fichter were a big reason why. Wherever the puck was, one of the two was always nearby. Their speed to attack the puck-carrier and the ability to get away was something that Hingham couldn’t match.

Experience of a lifetime: Neither team will forget their game at Fenway anytime soon. The MIAA got three games at Fenway this year and to be selected to play, both teams were honored.

“This is once in a life time,” said Weiler. “The smiles of their faces, that’s what keeps me coming to the rink anyways but today they were a little bit brighter and wider and a great experience for everybody. I’m thrilled to be a part of it. Just a terrific day.”

It took a little but longer for Duxbury to settle into the game with a tougher playing surface that what they are used to, but once they figured it out, Duxbury never looked back.

“First five minutes it took us to get used to the ice surface,” said Dudley. “It’s a little different, it’s a little brittle. But after the first five minutes we started to really get into our game.”

The Dragons are no strangers to playing on the big stage. Three years in a row, they have played at the Garden. From last year, there are only two new players to this team, so adjusting to the big stage is no stranger to them.

“It kind of like the Garden, where most of the team has experience in a special venue,” said Myette.

Relying on Myette: The Dragons didn’t have to depend too much on their senior goaltender, but she came up with the big saves when needed.

Hingham’s Catherine Linehan had had a three-on-one opportunity and a semi-breakaway but both times her efforts were thwarted by Myette.

“Perfect place again to get the first shutout of the year but she’s a stall work back there,” said Weiler. “We depend on her a lot and build out from the net.”

Myette also can rely upon her teammate to help her out. That was shown by them only giving up seven shots, which mostly came in the beginning of the opening period.

“With my team in front of me I can always trust them and I always have their back if they make a mistake,” said Myette.

It turns out she can trust them. When a loose puck was in the neutral zone, the Dragons were quick to take possession and never let a scoring chance occur for the Harborwomen.

“We tried to keep them to the outside, and I thought we were successful doing that,” said Weiler. “But against a strong team that can breakaway at any time I thought our girls really worked on the one-on-one battles and won a lot of pucks in the neutral zone.”

Recap: LaSalle Academy (R.I.) 1, Franklin 0

December, 27, 2013
12/27/13
3:18
AM ET
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – As Franklin traveled to play Rhode Island power LaSalle Academy, Thursday, as part of Mount St. Charles’ 18th annual Holiday Faceoff tournament, the Panthers were looking for a bounce-back to a sizeable loss to Malden Catholic (an exclusion game) and a penalty-kill collapse against Lincoln-Sudbury.

But as Franklin was shutout, 1-0, after a 29-save performance from Rams junior goaltender Taylor Walsh at Adelard Arena, the Panthers were left kicking themselves again.

“He won the game, he flat out stole the game from the other team,” Rams head coach Mike Gaffney said. “Many, many of his saves were the kind preventing a certain goal. Sometimes goaltenders, the shot hits them, they’re in the right position. That’s hard enough to do. But he stole it away from them.”

This time, the Panthers (1-3-0) had more than plenty chances of their own on the power play, including a pair of sandwiched 5-on-3 chances to end the second period, but LaSalle (2-2-0) withstood it all.

The Rams tallied the lone goal of the game at 9:08 of the first, as junior forward Joe Manown tapped home a loose puck from the goalmouth, amidst a logjam of traffic in front of senior goaltender Mike Donadio (21 saves).

Still, with eight power-play opportunities to their credit, the Panthers had no one to blame but themselves.

“We have some really nice set-ups, getting into the zone and setting up what we wanted to, but the passes were in the skates, and on the power play, if you want to get a shot, you can’t do that,” Franklin head coach Chris Spillane said. “When we did put it on guys’ sticks, we weren’t ready or we didn’t handle it well.”

The Panthers were advantaged with a string of five straight power plays, elapsing over the final 10-and-a-half minutes of the second. During that span, Franklin was given a 5-on-3 opportunity for 38 seconds, which would carry over into the third. To make matters worse for LaSalle, a cross-checking call was also assessed as time ran out in the second, meaning Franklin would start the third period with piggy-backing power plays.

“That’s scary because they get to set up the opportunity exactly as they want it to out of the break,” Gaffney said.

Yet, the Panthers were able to muster just two shots in more than two minutes of 5-on-3 play.

“We’ve been at it a good month now, but I confessed to our team that we haven’t really done a lot of work on [the penalty kill],” Gaffney said. “But we have the right guys out there, the four defensemen, [Ben] Aldrich, [Nick] Altieri, [Ryan] Kelly and [Matt] Manown. I thought [forward Ryan] Tracy did a terrific job, too, when it was 5-on-3, up top.”

Yet, the Panthers seemed to find their stride midway through the third, as part of a 10-shot assault on Walsh in the period.

But Franklin was subject to a little more self-sabotage, as the Panthers got themselves into penalty trouble and a 5-on-3 situation, which LaSalle held in the latter stretches of the third.

“We finally had some serious momentum and then we give up the 5-on-3 and it gets taken away,” Spillane said. “It was all mental mistakes. They were all behind the play, not one of them needed to happen.”

Franklin must bounce back quickly as it prepares to face reigning Connecticut state champion Fairfield Prep tomorrow (2 p.m.) in the second round, while LaSalle hopes to keep the momentum rolling against RIIL rival Bishop Hendricken (6 p.m.)

D1 Girls: Austin Prep 4, Hingham 0

February, 28, 2013
2/28/13
2:17
AM ET


HINGHAM, Mass. -- One of the oldest sports cliches in the book is that your best players have to step and play their best in the biggest games. There may be no greater example of that in Massachusetts girls' hockey than Austin Prep goalie Shannon O'Neil.

The Franklin Pierce-bound senior made 38 saves, 23 of which came in the third period, to help lead No. 21 seed Austin Prep in a 4-0 shutout of No. 12 Hingham in a Div. 1 girls' hockey preliminary round game at Pilgrim Arena Wednesday night.

Jaimee Cooke and Kiely Annese had the first two goals, and Maddy Ricci added a pair of empty-netters for the Cougars (11-7-4). The shutout was O'Neil's 10th on the season and third in three tries against the Harborwomen. In those three games, the senior has amassed a total of 128 saves.

"She played unbelievable," AP head coach Stephanie Wood said of O'Neil. "Against this team she seems to thrive, she certainly did tonight. I think she quite possibly played the game of the season tonight against Hingham. With a very young squad that we have, she's certainly the backbone of this team and in situations like this, when the game is on the line in clutch situations, this is where she's at her best and where she thrives. As you could see for yourself, she's certainly the reason that the team won this game tonight."

Hingham (13-7-3) routinely piled up 35-plus shots per game and the Harborwomen unleashed a barrage at O'Neil in the final frame that any goalie wouldn't have been blamed for faltering in the face of. Staked to a 1-0 lead courtesy of a shot from the point through traffic by defenseman Cooke during a 5-on-3 advantage, it was up to O'Neil to make it hold up as the Harborwomen outshot the Cougars by a 38-10 margin for the game.

It started in the opening minutes, getting in front of an early shot at the end of a quick break by Hingham's Cat Linehan. Next up was shooting shooting the left skate out in the nick of time to get a piece of a Tori Messina wraparound bid. A faceoff win in the Cougars zone led to a a quick snap by Linehan as well as the rebound. O'Neil stopped both. Alexandria Gong got off a shot from a tough angle in deep, no problem for O'Neil. Emily Falvey jamming in front at a loose puck? Two more saves. Sneaky backhanded shot through traffic by Hingham star Jane Freda? No problem.

On and on it went as the Harborwomen fired off 16 shots before the Cougars could manage one with 3:15 to go, a shot they made count as Annese fired a perfect shot through a small over the goalie's shoulder on a power play for APs second goal.

Hingham drew a power play with 2:23 remaining and pulled goalie Taylor Walsh to make it a 6-on-4, but Annese cleared the puck from the zone just by the post and Ricci was able to swipe in the rebound as Gong desperately tried to block her. Ricci added her second empty-netter with two seconds left.

For her part, O'Neil was quick to credit her defensive teammates, who did a terrific job of blocking shots and keeping Hingham's explosive offensive players out on the perimeter while leaving clear lanes for the standout netminder to see the shots.

"My team played really well today in front of me," O'Neil said. "They cleared everyone out and I could see the puck perfectly, I didn't really get screened a lot so it was pretty simple. I just got the initial shot and they cleared the rebounds."

When asked about what it is that makes her play so well in Hingham's barn, O'Neil simply responded, "I honestly don't even know, I really don't. I don't know, we always bring our game here. We just know when we have a big game, we have to come out and play our hardest."

ANOTHER STAR OF THE GAME
Maddy Ricci isn't the biggest player on the ice by any means, but her role in the Cougars victory was every bit as essential as ONeil's performance in the cage. Ricci was charged with shadowing All-Stater Jane Freda for the second time this season and kept her off the scoreboard.

"Maddy Ricci is a little spitfire," Wood praised. "She is a breath of fresh air on this team. We know that Hingham is a very tough team and that Freda is a very good player and that was really one of our goals tonight. We knew if we would have a chance against Hingham, we would have to shut her down. Maddy played a huge role in doing that."

Ricci attached herself to Freda's hip and followed her everywhere she went for 45 minutes. Anywhere you saw Freda's No. 4 Hingham jersey, the No. 3 AP sweater worn by Ricci was never far behind. It also seemed quite fitting that Ricci ended up being the player who got both empty-netters, a just reward on offense for a tremendous defensive effort.

"We did that last game and it worked and in this game it worked again, I just didn't let her out of my sight," Ricci explained. "You have to your head on a swivel. Like my coach said, you have to have one hand on your stick and don't let her out of sight. Don't let her touch the puck. Get in her head. I'm littler than her so I put my shoulder into her and she just couldn't get the puck."

Hingham coach Tom Findley emptied his bag of tricks to try and get Freda and his offense going. He tried having Freda skate toward other defenders, he implored his own defensemen to step up and join the attack, and he even bumped sophomore blue liner Tori Messina up to a forward spot in the game's final minutes in hopes of clearing out some space.

"We knew they were going to shadow her but we told her just skate to another Austin Prep player and bring her with you," Findley said. "I think at times she did. I think she got five or six shots on net, which in some cases she might put a couple of those in. But that's the key against any good player."

Findley also related a story about how he used a similar strategy of shadowing an opposing teams star player during Hingham's run to the Div. 1 state championship in 2011.

"I remember us doing the same thing against Sabrina Ianetti at St. Mary's. We had [Katie Walsh] on her, just watching her. [Austin Prep] basically took one player out, she's our player, and they did a great job at it. What we we didn't do, we were telling our defensemen to jump into the play in the offensive zone and they were just standing at the blue line. They didn't quite understand what we were talking about as far as, go in because the rebounds are coming out and just be an option.

"At the end, we tried to throw one of our defensemen up front, try to get some offense going, try to create some space, but it's hard for a kid who hasn't played forward," he continued. "That's the nature of hockey games. I'm proud of my kids for the season. We'll regroup and come back next year and I'm hoping the best for Austin Prep through the tournament and all the teams and hopefully next year we'll be back in the same spot."

NO EXPERIENCE? NO MATTER
Wednesday night marked Austin Prep's first postseason appearance since 2010, and second since the Cougars were the runner-up to Arlington Catholic in 2007. The Cougars lost both of those games. None of the four seniors on this year's squad, which includes O'Neil and Annese, played in the 2010 game, while Hingham posted an 11-3 record in postseason play (with a Div. 1 state title in 2011) prior to last night since moving up to Div 1 in 2009. Coach Stephanie Wood is also in her first year behind the bench with the Cougars.

The lack of experience didn't phase the Cougars, who took advantage of the few opportunities that presented themselves. The first two goals came on special teams, and O'Neil looked like a seasoned, playoff veteran.

"A goal that we set at the beginning of the year was simply to make the playoffs," Wood explained. "That's something that Austin hasn't been able to do for the last three years. We knew going into this game, the pressure wasn't on us. We wanted to come in and be the spoiler. We knew that just by simply getting the win, we've achieved something that the program hasn't been able to do for about five or six years and that's advance to the next round."

The 8: No. 1 Woburn wraps up unbeaten season

February, 21, 2013
2/21/13
11:48
PM ET
HINGHAM, Mass. -- The Woburn girls’ hockey team is a team on a mission.

A five-point night from junior center Emily Lissner helped the No. 1 Tanners complete their first undefeated regular season since 2003-04, as Woburn defeated No. 12 Acton-Boxborough, 5-3, Thursday in the second night of The 8 Showcase at Pilgrim Arena.

Colonial freshman Megan Barrett scored a pair of third-period goals – the second coming with 2:54 left in the game – to turn a comfortable 4-1 Woburn lead into a 4-3 nail-biter. The Tanners held on in the closing minutes though and put the game away on an empty-net goal from junior Ashley Moran with just a second left on the clock. Lissner set up the play by breaking up a rush from A-B junior Eleana Cardarelli at the Tanner blue line and finding Moran, who backhanded the puck from neutral ice into the empty net.

It was Moran’s second goal of the game, as she had scored at 5:49 of the third off a face-off in the A-B zone that Lissner worked toward the net. Moran scored two goals in both of the Tanners’ games in this competition.

The No. 1 star Thursday night, however, was Lissner, who scored all three of her goals in the first 18 minutes of the game to give head coach Bob MacCurtain’s Tanners (17-0-3) an insurmountable lead.

“Finishing, I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s her greatest strength, but she did a great job of it today,” MacCurtain said. “She’s gotten better and better at it this year.”

Lissner and her linemates set the tone early with a terrific opening shift that resulted in a goal just 43 seconds into the game, as senior Kayla Smith set up Lissner in the slot from behind the net for a 1-0 lead.

“We always try and get a quick start,” Lissner said. “We’ve learned to get the quick goal but also stay in the game and not get too far ahead of ourselves.”

Lissner scored her second with 12 seconds left in the period, establishing position in front and tipping home a shot from the point from sister Erica.

Woburn would have led by even more at the first intermission but for the efforts of A-B freshman goalie Cali Loblundo, who denied Smith on two golden opportunities in front.

Despite it being even on the scoreboard, Woburn dominated the second period to the tune of a 15-5 shot advantage. Lissner completed her hat trick at 2:56 of the period with the Tanners on the power play, taking a pass across the slot from Smith and finishing past Loblundo.

The Colonial goalie again made some fine saves to keep her team in it, as A-B didn’t get its first shot of the period until there was 5:01 left in the frame. But sophomore Alex Loblundo put the team on the board with 59 seconds remaining, stuffing home a rebound off a shot by freshman Kaitlin Hoang.

Woburn’s group of defensemen – led by senior Cassandra Connolly and featuring senior Haley Rafferty, junior Gabby Mourousas, and freshmen Morgan Bishop and Madison Cole – helped limit A-B (13-6-2) to just nine shots through the first two periods.

“It’s been a little bit of a work in progress over the course of the season, but they’re all playing really well right now,” MacCurtain said.

After beating Arlington Catholic, 4-1, in the Showcase’s first day of action Tuesday, Woburn has likely established itself as the team to beat in the MIAA Division 1 state tournament that kicks off next week.

ARLINGTON 3, HINGHAM 3
A goal by Arlington senior Katie Cummings with 4:08 to play capped a wild third period that featured four goals and several good saves, as No. 18 Arlington and No. 6 Hingham played to a 3-3 draw in Thursday night’s final game.

The Harborwomen (13-6-3) had come back from a 2-0 second intermission deficit to take a 3-2 lead, with senior Jane Freda’s second goal of the night at 5:49 of the third period putting Hingham ahead. That goal came in the midst of a four-minute major penalty against Arlington, during which Hingham senior Alexandria Gong scored at 4:08 to tie the game.

But the Spy Ponders (11-8-1) wouldn’t give up, and Cummings was in position to put in a centering pass from senior defenseman Hannah Wright to earn Arlington a point. Junior goalie Katie Gilligan came up big for Arlington with four stops in the final 90 seconds, including a great double-save on Freda with 21 seconds to go.

“She’s been flawless these two games,” Arlington head coach Jeff Mead said. “That’s a good confidence booster for her going into the tournament.”

Arlington came into the week on the heels of a 4-0 loss to Reading, but a win over Acton-Boxborough followed by this tie will certainly give the club some momentum going into the state tournament.

“I think they want to prove a point and they want to prove that you might not want to face us in the first game of the playoffs,” Mead said. “The kids battled hard. Win or lose, we were competitive all week.”

Senior Carolyn Woodin gave Arlington a 1-0 lead at 6:56 of the first. Senior Shannon Hickey made it 2-0 with 4:58 left in the second after a terrific individual effort, beating two Hingham players in the offensive zone before putting the puck past Hingham junior goalie Taylor Walsh.

Freda got Hingham back in the game just 2:12 into the third, and Gong tied it off a pair of good passes from Freda and sophomore Hannah Falvey with the Harborwomen enjoying a 5-on-3 advantage.

Head coach Tom Findley’s team finished with a 30-15 advantage in shots, but had to settle for the draw.

“That’s our season in a nutshell,” Findley said. “We get a lot of shots on net -- sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t ... I think the team played really well in the first two periods. They just didn’t score.”

ALL-STARS
Each team had two all-stars named for the tournament. Representing their programs from the second half of Thursday’s festivities were: Smith and Connolly (Woburn); Barrett and Cali Loblundo (Acton-Boxborough); Woodin and Wright (Arlington); Gong and Freda (Hingham).

The 8: Hingham, Woburn hold on

February, 19, 2013
2/19/13
11:24
PM ET


HINGHAM, Mass. -- Despite allowing two third-period goals, Hingham was able to stay the course and knock off Lexington, 3-2, during Tuesday’s opening day action at The 8 Showcase.

The No. 6 Harborwomen (13-6-2) took control of the game early by putting a lot of pressure on Lexington goalie Amanda Charlton (34 saves).

“We try and play by the model, even if you are up by a couple of goals, to play like we are down two goals,” Hingham head coach Tom Findley said. “We have been playing very well of late, but we need to be able to tighten it up a little bit on some of the smaller plays.”

Charlton was able to limit the Harborwomen attack and gave Lexington (12-5-2) a fighting chance throughout the game.

“They had a lot of shots on her, and she was able to keep us in the game,” Lexington head coach Amanda Ciarletta said about her goalie’s play.

At the other end of the ice, Hingham goalie Taylor Walsh was no slouch, turning away 19 of 21 Lexington shots. One big save was stopping Sara Lehman on a breakaway in the first period by holding the angle. As a result, the Harborwomen were able to come back less than two minutes later and take the early 1-0 lead.

Sam Ryder got Hingham on the board with only 34 seconds left in the first period by splitting the Minutemaids defense. Ryder got in alone with Charlton and made a nifty move to the backhand to finally get Hingham a goal. Charlton had turned away the first 16 shots she faced.

Hingham’s Jane Freda didn’t waste any time in the second period getting her team on the board, scoring 12 seconds in. Freda was able to fly around the defense on the left wing and walk around Charlton for the goal.

“I saw an opening in the defense, so I was able to get around them,” Freda said. “I made a move, and I was able to slide the puck around the goalies pad on my forehand.”

Charlton bounced right back though making several key saves to keep the Minutemaids in the game. Hingham’s Katherine Saleski dangled around the defense and tried to wrist a shot past Charlton, but the goaltender kept her angle to make the save.

In the third period, Charlton made three big stops down low, which allowed Lexington to pull within one goal as Carolyn Avery beat Walsh.

Unfortunately for Lexington, Catherine Linehan got it back as she walked in uncontested and rifled a shot to the back of the twine, which put Hingham up, 3-1.

After robbing Lehman on the first period, Walsh didn’t fare so well as Lehman got a second opportunity late in the third. Lehman got by the Hingham defense was able to beat Walsh with a deke to the backhand.

Lexington didn’t pull the goalie until only 2 seconds were remaining with the face-off in the Hingham zone. Hingham won the face-off however, preventing a last-second shot from the Minutemen.

WOBURN 4, ARLINGTON CATHOLIC 1
In the 2 p.m. matchup between No. 1 Woburn and No. 4 Arlington Catholic, the Tanners mustered up a sound attack to defeat the defending Division 1 champs, 4-1.

“That was one of the best [games] all year, as we did our jobs all over the ice, especially defensively,” Woburn head coach Bob MacCurtain said. “Defensively, last year we were not very good, so to see a performance like this now is a positive.”

Woburn’s Ashley Moran (2 G, 1 A) and Kayla Smith (1 G, 2 A) turned in 3-point games, assisting on each other’s goals.

“I have been really leaning on them the past few weeks,” MacCurtain said. “They were really good moving the puck around out there and making smart decisions.”

Woburn goaltender Courtney Davis was sharp in the Tanner goal turning away 15 of 16 shots from the Cougars (14-3-2).

The Tanners lit the lamp early in the first period on a nifty backhand move by Moran as she slid the puck through the 5-hole of Arlington Catholic goalie Megan Messuri.

“Coach [MacCurtain] told me that I needed to start getting to the net more, so I was able to do that there,” Moran said.

The Cougars came right back with several chances, but Davis stayed square making three consecutive stops to keep the Tanners ahead.

Erica Lissner wasted little time in the second period as she beat Messuri (15 saves) with a backhander within the first two minutes.

Back at the other end, Davis robbed Danielle Kelley with about 8:20 remaining in the second down low on the power play. Before the second period ended, the Cougars finally had a brush with luck. A shot from Jackie Sindoris deflected high, and although Davis gloved the puck, she could not hold on as it fell into the goal.

The Tanners (16-0-3) bounced right back in the third as Smith scored on a breakaway. Moran picked up the assist, feeding Smith on the breakaway.

Moran followed suit minutes later on a two-on-one with Smith by rifling a wrist shot top shelf.

“I had Kayla [Smith] with me and both the goalie and defensemen started pulling over to her, so I just shot the puck,” Moran said.

The Cougars tried to mount a comeback as they had several chances, but Davis was up to the challenge making multiple key saves. Adrieanna Rossini had the best chance on a one-timer in the slot, but Davis sprawled across her crease to make the highlight reel save.

Duxbury remains No. 1 in girls' Top 25

December, 17, 2012
12/17/12
9:05
PM ET
Defending MIAA Division 2 girls' hockey state champion Duxbury opens the 2012-13 season atop the ESPN Boston Top 25 poll.

The two-time defending state champions continued their reign over the poll, having occupied the top the spot since last season. More could be in store for the Dragons behind a couple of returning All-Staters in forward Hannah Murphy and goaltender Rachel Myette.

Here's a couple other notes to take from our preseason poll:

HARBORWOMEN BACK?
No. 2 Hingham enters the season as the top-ranked Division 1 entrant. The Harborwomen are just a year off their last state championship win and will be eying a return to the Garden ice this season. Hingham has plenty of firepower up top with dynamic forwards Emily Falvey, Jane Freda and Catherine Linehan. The Harborwomen will also be strong in their own end with an All-State caliber blue-liner in Alexandria Gong and netminder Taylor Walsh.

D1 REMATCH?
Longtime Catholic Central rivals Arlington Catholic and St. Mary's of Lynn battled for the Division 1 championship last season at the Garden. Although the Spartans claimed the teams' two regular-season meetings, the Cougars returned the favor by skating away with the hardware in the season's most important game. Both teams enter the season in our Top 5, with AC checking in at No. 3 and St. Mary's at No. 5.

The Cougars and Spartans renew their rivalry on Wednesday night at Connery Rink. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Recap: Hingham 4, Acton-Boxborough 2

December, 16, 2012
12/16/12
12:40
AM ET
BOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Hingham coach Tom Findley was looking for signs of improvement in all facets when his team took the ice Saturday night against Acton-Boxborough. He certainly left the rink with good feelings.

Catherine Linehan notched a hat trick and Jane Freda added a goal and an assist as the Harborwomen took a 4-2 decision over the Colonials in a game slowed by 13 penalties at Nashoba Valley Olympia.

"It's always good to beat a team like Acton. Brian's got them prepared and they played an awesome game," Findley said. "Their power play was great, they got two power play goals. They protect the box, they played great. We had to really battle hard to come out with a victory. Our top forward put the puck in the net to win the game for us and that's what it comes down to."

Penalties would be a theme and it was Acton-Boxborough (1-2-1) who struck first, cashing in on its first power play. Senior captain Lauren Roche did a tremendous job to keep the puck alive in the Hingham zone, poking it behind the boards to Eleana Cardarelli. Cardarelli drifted out and quickly snuck a pass across to junior defenseman Annie Messuri, playing her first game after missing the last two with a wrist injury, who banged home the one-timer at 6:32.

Hingham won the ensuing faceoff and Freda served up a nice feed to Linehan, who buried her shot to tie the game just 26 seconds later. Penalties began to play a crucial role as A-B took a pair in the final minute of the opening frame, and then got tagged with two more in the second, giving the Harborwomen consecutive five-on-three advantages, the latter of which last 1:21.

The Colonials killed off both, but Hingham broke through a second after the last one expired. Sam Ryder pushed the back to Tori Messina at the point for a quick wrist shot, Cali Loblundo (19 saves) made the initial save but Linehan swooped in from the boards and stuck in the rebound to give the Harborwomen a 2-1 lead at 5:52.

Hingham then found itself in the penalty box and A-B cashed in again as Cardarelli redirected a shot by Roche to tie the game 45 seconds later at 2-2. Freda popped in the game-winner off a feed from Linehan at 7:27 of the third, and Linehan capped her big night with an empty-netter for the final score.

NEWLY CONFIDENT GOALIE
In the later stages of the third period, an A-B skater rushed into the Hingham crease looking for a rebound and pulled up short upon realizing there was none, sending a shower of snow into the face of Hingham goalie Taylor Walsh. Walsh hopped to her feet immediately and came charging out to voice her displeasure.

A year ago, Walsh was an inexperienced sophomore netminder stuck with the role of replacing four-year starter and two-time state championship winner Beth Findley. She improved tremendously over the course of the year in terms of her on-ice play, but her confidence level remained a work in progress.

That has clearly changed. Now a junior, Walsh not only showed off her feisty side in the example above, but showed a willingness to get out of her crease to challenge shooters and even flash the glove around a bit. Walsh was at her best in the third, stopping seven shots and finishing with 16 saves.

"Taylor was great in the third period, she was awesome," praised Findley. "She's a solid goalie and a great kid. She comes to practice every day and works her tail off. Success comes from hard work and that's what I'm proud of her with."

"She got sprayed and she was upset about it. I kind of like that, Findley continued with a big grin. "Last year was her first year playing and she probably didn't know how to react. But now, after playing a while and being an upperclassman, she's going to react. I was very happy with her performance for sure."

POSITIVE SIGNS FOR A-B
While 1-2-1 was not the record Colonials coach Brian Fontas had envisioned for his talented group at this stage, there were many things to chalk up in the plus-column.

Loblundo, now in her third year as a starter despite being just a freshman, was terrific in the early going, making the bulk of her saves between the first and second periods.

Messuri, an ESPN Boston preseason second-team All-State selection, showed no signs of being bothered by her wrist injury despite being forced to wear a cast to protect it. The junior scored a power-play goal, played rock-solid defense in her own end and captained the shorthanded unit that killed off seven penalties.

In fact, it was that special teams play that kept the Colonials in the game. The Harborwmen had two-man advantages that lasted 39 seconds and 1:21 and A-B's penalty killers managed to kill off both among the seven power plays they were forced to defend.

"Annie Messuri is our top penalty killer. She's just tremendous in the defensive zone," Fontas praised. "She really thrives on the penalty kill. She's so good at eating the puck in the corner. I thought Eleana and Leah Cardeaelli did great when they were out there, Lauren Roche, Kaitlin Hoang, Megan Barrett - they did a tremendous job. It's not easy to kill a penalty against Hingham."

And while the final result wasn't what Fontas had hoped for, the effort was and if that continues, things will definitely turn positive for his team in a hurry.

"I'm not disappointed," he stated proudly. "I told the girls that if they continue to play like we're going to win some hockey games. That's why we schedule teams like that, it makes us better. We're young and we made a couple mistakes. We are seasoned but they are still young and when you get in those pressure situations, sometimes stuff happens."

D1 Girls: St. Mary's 4, Hingham 3 (SO)

March, 11, 2012
3/11/12
12:51
AM ET


STONEHAM, Mass. -- There simply is no better rivalry in Massachusetts high school girls' hockey than the one between Hingham and St. Mary's.

Winners of the last four Division 1 state championships, the two teams have faced off 11 times since the Harborwomen made the jump up to Div. 1 in 2009. Saturday evening at Stoneham Arena, they added another classic battle what is becoming a storied series.

Hingham rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the third period on goals by Sarah Schwenzfeier and Samantha Ryder, the latter coming with just three seconds remaining in regulation, but it was the Spartans who prevailed in the end as Ann Marie Manganiello scored on the final attempt of the first round of a shootout to give No. 3 St. Mary's a 4-3 victory over defending champion and 10th seed Hingham.

"Our kids have been resilient all year," Spartans head coach Frank Pagliuca said. "People have counted us out all year and we just keep fighting. That group has it. They bust their butt all game. It says something when you give up a goal with three seconds left and come back and play a good overtime and finish it off in the shootout. I can't be more proud of this group and what they did tonight."

Ryder, a freshman, scored the first goal of the shootout for the Harborwomen (18-7-1), but Alison Butler fired a wrist shot off goalie Taylor Walsh's glove to tie it for the Spartans (21-3-1).

Three more shooters stepped up and were denied by Walsh (23 saves) and St. Mary's netminder Lauren Skinnion (25 saves), setting the stage for Manganiello. The sophomore walked in, used a head fake to slide Walsh over, and beat her between the pads for the winner.

"Right after the goal I skated straight to my sister [Gina Beth] and I was like, 'I did it,'" Manganiello said afterward. "[Pagliuca] really helped me on the bench. He said, 'You've got this. You did this, you know this, you know what you have to do. And as I was going down, I was thinking, I've been here just as long as the seniors have, I've lost with them, I've won with them, and I wanted to win for them so that's what I tried to do."

THE COMEBACK
How this game even got to overtime is a story unto itself. The Harborwomen took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Schwenzfeier chipped the puck out to linemate Jane Freda, who picked the top corner behind Skinnion on Hingham's first shot of the game.

In the second, St. Mary's scored three straight times, getting one apiece from its top line of Brittani Lanzilli, Alison Butler and Kaleigh Finigan. Defenseman Rachel Donahoe assisted on two of the tallies.

Schwenzfeier started the Hingham comeback in the third, floating around the Spartans cage for a shot then stuffing her own rebound through at 4:45. Hingham head coach Tom Findley pulled Walsh for an extra skater with 31 seconds left in regulation and Jane Freda chased down a dump-in by Schwenzfeier, getting off a shot that rebounded right to Ryder, who buried it with 3.7 seconds showing on the clock.

"I just told them they had to put it behind them," Pagliuca when asked what he told his team heading into overtime. "I know its hard but its a zero-zero game now and next team that scores now is going to win."

Butler, a junior captain who immense in killing off a penalty with under two minutes to play, was also asked about the Spartans mindset after Ryder's goal and said, "The game's not over. We just have to keep going, keep fighting and we'll get to where we want to be."

GOALIES TOUGH IN THE EXTRA FRAME
With the excitement of the overtime and a shootout between two of the state's perennial power programs, it took a pair of standout performances by a two first-year sophomore starters between the pipes to keep things scoreless in the extra frame.

Walsh and Skinnion, both sophomores who have improved by leaps and bounds over the course of the season, stood toe to toe and took each team's best shots to force the shootout. Butler fired a one-timer from the slot which Walsh stopped and managed to hold off both Finigan and Lanzilli, who were jamming at the rebound, until the net came off its moorings behind her.

"Taylor's our MVP. Without her, we don't have a chance," praised Hingham coach Tom Findley. "The team is built from the back out. You have to have a good goalie, you have to four or five good defensemen, and if you have that you're going to be in some games and you're going to win some. I think at the end, Taylor just stepped up. I'm so proud of her."

At the other end, Hingham defenseman Alexandria Gong made a terrific end-to-end rush and got a clean shot off that Skinnion was able to handle with 3:15 left. Less than two minutes later, Schwenzfeier had a great bid after forcing a turnover at the Spartans blue line and got off a hard shot through a defender that Skinnion was able to corral.

"[Lauren was] phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal," Pagliuca said of his goalie. "Players have stepped up this year and she's right at the top. To stop Freda and Sarah [Schwenzfeier[ in the shootout, that says something right there. She was outstanding. She gave us a chance to win the shootout. I can't be more happy with her play this year."

Recap: No. 1 Duxbury 3, No. 4 Hingham 0

February, 15, 2012
2/15/12
11:22
PM ET
HINGHAM, Mass. -- Midway through the third period of Wednesday's showdown between reigning girls hockey state champions Duxbury (Div. 2) and Hingham (Div. 1), the mask of Green Dragons goalie Rachel Myette got tangled up with the stick of Hingham’s Emily Falvey and came flying off.

That moment served as a microcosm of how often Myette, along with her defensive teammates, were sticking their noses into the action.

Playing behind a sterling performance from Duxbury’s defensive quartet of Martha Findley, Ally Hammel, Caroline Shaunessy and Carly Campbell, Myette stopped 26 shots to help the top-ranked Dragons claim a 3-0 shutout over the No. 4 Harborwomen at Pilgrim Arena.

‘When she needs to make the easy saves she makes them but she always has the ten-bell in her pocket and gives us confidence,” Duxbury coach Friend Weiler said in praise of Myette. “Game in and game out, we know that if one of them squirts free, I’ll put her up against the best any day. She’s just a real strong, solid kid back there with a great attitude. Works hard all the time, always has a smile on her face, but just a solid goaltender and thats what we built our team around.”

Facing an explosive Hingham (12-5-1) offense that recently found its scoring touch (29 goals in its last five games), Duxbury (16-0-0) knew it would have to rely heavily on Myette and its blue line corps.

The task of guarding Hingham’s dangerous first line of Jane Freda, Sarah Schwenzfeier and Catherine Linehan fell to the defense, and the Dragons continually got their sticks on pucks, blocked several shots and forced the shooters into tough angled shots.

“We were watching out for Jane Freda and Sarah Schwenzfeier because we knew they were their top girls,” Martha Findley said. “We were just watching them to see what they would do. We were watching the other girls too but they were our main focus, to keep them away from shooting.”

Strong play from the D helped spring the Duxbury forwards, a talented group in their own right, for offensive chances. Hammel was the first to capitalize, sending a shot from the point through a maze of bodies to the far post to give the Dragons a 1-0 lead at 8:32 of the first period.

Early in the second, Shaunessy forced a turnover at her own blue line and got the puck to Meredith Wright, who delivered a beautiful pass to a streaking Hannah Murphy (two assists). Hingham goalie Taylor Walsh made the initial stop, but Jane Dudley was trailing the play and put home the rebound.

The effort on the blue line was critical because Hingham’s top duo of Alexandria Gong and Tori Messina turned in an equally strong performance in front of Walsh, who also played very well and stopped 23 shots.

The Harborwomen pulled Walsh with two minutes to go in the game looking to cut the deficit, but Myette made several clutch stops and Marissa Fitcher fired into the empty-net for Duxbury’s third tally with 11 seconds left.

PENALTY KILLS WERE KEY
Not long after Dudley’s goal, Duxbury gave Hingham a golden opportunity to get back in the game by taking three penalties over a seven-minute span. The Dragons shorthanded group of Findley, Shaunessy, Jacqui Nolan and Liz Collins - with some help from Hammel and forwards Murphy, Lily Connolly - held the Harborwomen to just four shots on the three power plays.

“It was a little uncharacteristic of us and we kind of got off our game a little bit,” said Weiler of the penalties. “Our penalty killers did a phenomenal job of just pinning them back and not giving them an inch when they were trying to come into the zone. I was happy with the way our special teams worked tonight.”

Added Findley, ““It was tough but our defensive box works very well. We know how to work around each other and we get it out and our goalie talks to us and helps us too.”

SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST
After winning the Div. 2 state title a year ago, Weiler wanted to make sure his team would be properly prepared at the end of the season to make a run at defending the crown.

Hingham is a natural opponent, given the close proximity of the two towns, the natural rivalry between the schools, and the family-style atmosphere that permeates the games between the two, best exemplified by the fact that Martha Findley’s father John and uncle Tom stand on the Hingham bench.

The Dragons will also take on perennial state power St. Mary’s this Saturday, and will wrap up the season with the Cougar Classic and the possibility of facing Hingham one more time before the tournament begins.

These are the two toughest opponents on Duxbury’s schedule, and they are on it to help get the Dragons used to playing this level of opponent in a playoff-like atmosphere.

“I wanted to keep the schedule back heavy, keep it really strong, knowing that going into the tournament, this is a playoff type atmosphere,” Weiler said. “That’s one of the things you can’t really replicate in practice. I like getting the wheels spinning against D1 teams. They’re all strong, well coached and deep. You have to beat the best to be the best as they always say.”

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