Boston High School: Tom Findley

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.

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.

Recap: No. 1 Duxbury 4, No. 2 Hingham 2

January, 2, 2013
1/02/13
11:34
PM ET


KINGSTON, Mass. -- The last thing a goaltender wants to see with nothing but a clean sheet of ice between them is a Duxbury skater wearing No. 13 on her sweater and long red hair flying out from underneath the helmet, bearing down on you.

The Hingham girls saw that happen twice, and a third time that same white jersey was parked alone just off the crease. Hannah Murphy buried all three chances and powered the top-ranked Dragons to a 4-2 victory over No. 2 Hingham last night at The Bog.

With 5:35 to go in the first period, Murphy intercepted a clearing attempt just beyond the Harborwomen blue line, split a pair of defenders and out-skated four black shirts in to fire a wrist to the far side for the game's first score.

In the middle frame, defenseman Carly Campbell pushed a loose puck forward to Murphy, who floating solo around the Hingham blue line. Murphy collected the pass, skated in again and ripped a wrist shot to the stick-side corner at 5:03.

Just under five minutes later with the Dragons on the power play, Murphy executed a perfect give-and-go with Marissa Fichter, whose return pass from behind the goal was tailor-made for a one-timer, which Murphy buried to give the Dragons a 3-0 lead.

"I definitely couldn't have scored without their playing," Murphy said of her teammates ability to get her the puck. "There were definitely some good passes and Marisa made an awesome dish to me out front on the power play. I don't want to miss so I'm pretty confident. I just go in positive and say to myself that I'm going to snipe."

Added Duxbury head coach Friend Weiler, "The key is to get [Murphy] free and give her clear shooting lanes and we were able to do that tonight. Whenever she gets the space, she's real dangerous."

THIRD PERIOD DRAMATICS
Most girls programs spent the holidays either playing club hockey or enjoying the vacation time with their families and friends. Call it rust, or perhaps they were simply snake-bit, but the Harborwomen certainly generated chances. They outshot Duxbury, 18-14, in the game. They just weren't able to capitalize on many.

That changed in the closing seconds of the second period when quick passes by Emily Falvey and Catherine Linehan sprung Jane Freda loose for a breakaway, and the talented senior went low and found the five-hole with 1.5 seconds left.

That energized Hingham, and they cashed in on an early, third period power play as Freda and Linehan set up Falvey for a nice shot from the low left circle to make it a 3-2 game with 9:04 to go.

"I thought we had the momentum once we had that second goal," said Hingham head coach Tom Findley. "I honestly believe that we did dominate a lot of parts of that game. We just didn't put the pucks in the net. They have a goalie who is an elite goalie in the state and one of the elite players in Hannah who is just opportunistic. There's one girl you've got to keep an eye on and we didn't. We let her loose and she got loose in the wrong parts of the rink and she put the puck in."

Before the Harborwomen could tie it, however, Duxbury's Julia Nolan was able to sweep a loose puck home and the Dragons had a very important insurance goal with 4:19 remaining. Goalie Rachel Myette held the fort from there as Hingham kept the pressure on, finishing with 16 saves.

"Rachel had a huge game for us," Weiler praised. "There was a couple of big saves that kept us ahead and preserved the lead. They were trying to get traffic in front of the net and she was still able to make the big save when we needed it. Another backbone of the team. Goaltending is so huge and she's been phenomenal all year and the past two years."

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 4, No. 4 Hingham 1

February, 24, 2012
2/24/12
12:33
AM ET


ROCKLAND, Mass. -- No. 1 Duxbury girls’ hockey finished off an unbeaten regular-season campaign with their second win over South Shore rival Hingham in as many weeks on Thursday.

The Dragons wore down the Harborwomen in the third period to earn a 4-1 victory in the championship game of Notre Dame’s Cougar Classic Tournament.

But as soon as Dragons head coach Friend Weiler was asked about his team’s 18-0-1 record, the only team to finish with an undefeated record this season, he had a point to make.

“We don’t use the U-word,” he said.

While the defending Division 2 state champions look to embark on another run to the Garden, the Dragons have plenty for which to be proud. In the last week, Duxbury has strengthened its claim on the top spot in the ESPN Boston Top 25 poll. Gaining two wins over No. 4 Hingham and skating to a tie with No. 3 St. Mary’s of Lynn, the Dragons showed they can go toe to toe with any team in the state, regardless of division.

“I’m so proud of them,” Weiler added. “We set a lot of goals at the beginning of the season, and one of them is still out there [a state championship], but they’ve done everything we’ve asked.”

Duxbury jumped out to a 1-0 first-period lead on a wicked wrist shot from freshman winger Marissa Fichter.

Hingham picked up its offensive forecheck in the second period as they started to crack Duxbury’s steady defensive front. But the Harborwomen were unable to solve Dragons netminder Rachel Myette until Jane Freda’s goal (her 28th of the season) at 1:22 of the third.

Yet, as the third wore on, Duxbury’s ability to roll three lines caught up with Hingham.

Junior captain Hannah Murphy notched the go-ahead goal at 5:57 of the third. Carly Campbell and Jacqui Nolan (PP goal) added insurance markers later in the period.

D-DEPTH AND YOUTH
A couple of things stand out when watching Duxbury. First, it's that the Dragons are a well-disciplined in their defensive scheme for the most part and that starts with their top four defensemen: senior Martha Findley, junior Carly Campbell and sophomore Caroline Shaughnessy and Ally Hammel.

Like their counterparts in Hingham, Duxbury also has a relatively young squad. And they're good, as evidence by Weiler's all-freshman line of Jane Dudley, Meredith Wright and Fichter, who consistently generated quality scoring chances.

“All three freshmen have really worked hard," Weiler said. "They work hard and they really love the game of hockey, and it shows.”

It's a combination that means the Dragons are not only on top of their game now, but will be for the years to come.

FAMILY REUNION
The sight was a little confusing if you don’t the know the story.

Standing in one corner of the Rockland Arena was John Findley, Hingham assistant coach and twin brother of head coach, Tom. John was wearing his team-issue Hingham coat. Underneath, the Harbormen logo was a big button. A Duxbury green No. 16 was printed on it. Every Hingham-Duxbury battle is a tough day for the Harborwomen assistant and father of Dragons’ top defeseman, Martha.

“It’s talking [hockey] strategy and stuff,” is how Martha described typical dinner table chit-chat in the Findley household.

Yet, the rink is where the rivalry ends.

After Tom Findley finished speaking to reporters, Martha walked down the hall, stick in hand.

“I had to give you a hug before I go,” she said to her uncle.

“Nice job today,” he replied, giving her a couple extra taps on the back.

Recap: No. 5 A-B 3, No. 3 Hingham 1

January, 7, 2012
1/07/12
11:57
PM ET
BOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Motivation can be a big weapon if it's used correctly and is applied with heart and determination behind it.

The fifth-ranked Acton-Boxborough girls hockey team had plenty of reason to be motivated entering last night's game against No. 3 Hingham. The last time the two teams met, the Colonials watched the Harborwomen skate around the TD Garden ice with the Div. 1 state championship trophy following a 3-1 loss.

Determined to atone for that, A-B made a pretty big statement Saturday night as eighth-grade forward Kaitlin Hoang scored the game's lone goal just 2:05 into the opening period while eighth-grade Cali Loblundo had 31 saves to make it stick as the Colonials took down Hingham, 1-0, at Nashoba Valley Olympia.

"I'd be lying if I didn't say that game in the Garden last year wasn't a huge motivation for us this year," admitted A-B coach Brian Fontas. "Any motivational tool you can use with the girls is big."

Co-captain Emily Loebs, one of just two Colonials seniors with fellow co-captain Kati Goguen, noted that the bad memories of that night at TD Garden were still fresh in hers and her teammates minds.

"Every practice since we came back from break, Coach started off by staying 'this is for Hingham. They beat us in the Garden.'" Loebs said in a refreshing bit of honesty. "Me and Kati, we tried to enforce that, as much as the entire team should want to win, because of the sole reason that they beat us in the Garden, that should give you a fire inside among everything else that."

TEAM DEFENSE FIRST
The other subject of the Colonials practices this past week revolved around defense and killing penalties. A-Bs quartet of defenders - Loebs, Annie Messuri, Alex Loblundo and Alex Macrides - did a spectacular job of limiting Hingham's chances to utilize its devastating team speed to create scoring chances and blocked numerous shots.

Stuck facing six shorthanded situations, including a pair of 5-on-3s, penalty killers Loebs, Messuri, Goguen, Lauren Roche, Hoang, Olivia Keefe and Megan Barrett managed to hold off the normally deadly Harborwomen every time.

"Our penalty kill was just incredible," praised Fontas. "We really stress penalty kill and team defense. My assistant coach Jeff Vaughan is just amazing. He was a defensive player at Northeastern. He stresses it and works on it constantly every day so we're prepared in that area."

"It's just determination and hard work, it doesn't take a lot of skill to penalty kill," Fontas continued. "It just takes heart and determination and we had that tonight. To kill two 5 on 3s is pretty incredible against that offense."

Added Hingham coach Tom Findley on his team's lack of power play success, "That's a killer and I told the kids we're going to have to work on that the next couple of days. We were a little hesitant. We haven't had a lot of five on threes and I think the kids were trying to run the regular power play. You don't have to do that. You can basically use the low post and do a lot of different things. We were trying to do the hook and ladders and the D to D too much."

WEATHERING THE STORM
Hingham started off a bit slow, but as the game wore on, the number of chances began to increase along with the quality of those opportunities. The diminutive Loblundo improved right along with them.

Standing at what we'll just call a flat five feet tall, the 13-year old netminder took her game to another level in the third period. Several times, the Harborwomen found themselves with chances for one-timers or sim-ply staring straight in at the A-B goal. Every time, Loblundo's quickness and uncanny reflexes put her in position to make the stops.

"Most of the time there were screens so I didn't really know what was going on and I kind of just dropped, guessing and hoping," Loblundo admitted with a smile. "Sometimes when I could see it I was thinking about the fact that they beat us last year and I don't want that to happen again."

Findley knows a thing or two about goaltending in his own right, having won Division 1 and 2 state titles with his daughter Beth in the cage, came away even more impressed than he already was with Loblundo's ability.

"She played fantastic," he said. "She's an elite goalie, she stays square to the puck and she's only in the eighth grade so she's only going to get bigger and better."

Recap: No. 2 Hingham 3, No. 3 St. Mary's 1

December, 22, 2011
12/22/11
1:12
AM ET
LYNN, Mass. -- Hingham girls' hockey freshman goalie Taylor Walsh has but two games under belt so far, but she's already playing like a seasoned veteran.

Walsh made 17 saves, including three big ones in the first period, while Jane Freda led the offense with two goals and an assist to help No. 2 Hingham claim a 3-1 triumph over No. 3 St. Mary's Wednesday night at Connery Rink.

In the early stages of a back and forth game with the Harborwomen (2-0) holding a 1-0 lead courtesy of Freda's first tally, Walsh stoned the Spartans' Alison Butler on a breakaway, covered a loose puck in the crease with Butler jamming away, and shot her left pad out just in time to a great bid on the far post by Gina Beth Manganiello.

Then, with 1:40 remaining and the Spartans desperately trying to make something happen facing a two-goal deficit, Walsh reacted in the nick time to cover up a perfect one-time snap shot off the stick of Brittani Lanzilli.

"I was very happy with my goalie and I thought she did great as a freshman," Hingham head coach Tom Findley said. "Then she made that great save on Lanzilli. It's nice to see. That's going to gain confidence for her as a freshman."

The Harborwomen didn't get many chances as St. Mary's sophomore netminder Lauren Skinnion turned her best performance so far with 23 stops, but they cashed in on the ones that presented themselves.

Freda's first goal came off a nice pass from Sarah Schwenzfeier that went off the side boards and found her in stride for a breakaway. Her second came just over five minutes into the third period thanks to a smart play by sophomore Tori Messina, who intentionally sent a shot from the point wide.

The puck caromed off the back boards and landed right on Freda's stick for an easy score. Schwenzfeier added the insurance goal with 2:55 left to play with assists from linemates Freda and Catherine Linehan.

Lanzilli came close to making it a one goal game as Kaleigh Finigan set up her up for a hard one-timer, but Walsh got there in time to make the stop.

"One thing about our team is, we're resilient and they are going to play the same game all three periods which is nice to see," Findley said. "It's always good to come away with the win but we want to be able to be at a high level once February and March comes."

While the Spartans are still a work in progress, they showed tremendous strides from their previous outing, a 5-0 loss against Woburn. It's likely just a matter of time before the Spartans talented forwards start turning those chances into goals, and Skinnion's promising effort will be confidence booster.

"I thought the brightest spot tonight was Lauren Skinnion, I thought she played tremendous tonight," Spartans head coach Frank Pagliuca said. "If she plays like that, we're going to be fine. Hingham's a great team, obviously, and they finished their chances and we didn't. It was a measuring stick for us and we know where we stand right now but we're going to be fine."

ESPN Boston MIAA All-State girls' hockey team

March, 24, 2011
3/24/11
6:36
PM ET
First Team
F - Sabrina Iannetti, St. Mary’s (Lynn)

The state’s most feared offensive player, Iannetti led the Spartans with 53 points, including 29 goals, during the regular season. The Lynn native was also instrumental to the Spartan’s state long 100-game unbeaten streak, which ended in an overtime loss to Hingham in the Division 1 quarterfinals.
F - Colleen Martell, Woburn
The explosive Tanners forward led the state in scoring, notching 73 points, including a 40-goal regular season. The captain helped lead Division 1 semifinalists to the Middlesex League title.

F - Kayla Smith, Woburn
Smith was also among the state’s top scoring threats, playing alongside Martell on the Tanners’ top line. The sophomore tallied 61 points (26 G, 35 A) during the regular season for the Middlesex League champs.

D - Angela Dandreo, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
The Swampscott resident played on the Spartans’ top pairing and was not only a top-notch defender, but also a scoring threat. Dandreo, a captain, finished fifth on the team in points with 27 while dishing out 22 assists.
D - Caleigh LaBossiere, Acton-Boxborough
The senior provided a boost of offense from the blue line, trailing only fellow All-State teammates Sarah McNicholas and Kati Goguen in points for the Colonials. LaBossiere tallied 11 goals and 13 assists to finish with 24 points for the regular season.
G - Sarah Foss, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
The sensational sophomore was nearly unbeatable in net for the Spartans. Foss, a North Reading resident, posted a 0.55 goals against average during the regular season while posting shutouts in 11 of her 16 starts.

“Line Change” Second Team
F - Michaela Chiuccarriello, Winchester

Chiuccarriello became the Sachems’ all-time leading scorer this season, finishing her career with 170 points (110 G, 60 A) and smashing Carly Robinson’s record of 123 points. The senior scored 37 goals for 54 points while leading Winchester to its fourth straight tournament appearance.
F - Sarah McNicholas, Acton-Boxborough
The senior led the Colonials in scoring with 32 points (12 G, 20 A), while leading the Division 1 state finalists to the MVC/DCL Large title this season.
F - Taylor Shepherd, Fontbonne Academy
The senior topped the 100-goal plateau for her career with a 32-goal season this year while leading the Ducks to yet another Division 2 title game appearance.
D - Martha Findley, Duxbury
Findley was regarded as one of the state’s premiere blue liners and was instrumental in helping freshman goaltender Rachel Myette and the Dragons to a Division 2 state title. Thanks to Findley, Duxbury surrendered only 25 goals all season and was a staggering +96 in goal differential.
D - Taylor Brown, Winthrop/Lynn
The Eastern Mass Ice Hockey League MVP helped lead the Bulldawgs to the Division 1 semifinals in front of eighth-grade goaltender Katie Burt.
G - Beth Findley, Hingham
The senior capped a stellar career at Hingham by winning the Division 1 state title, the second of her career after taking a D2 title three years ago. Findley collected 82 career wins while posting 39 shutouts in her four-year varsity career.

Best of the Rest
F Amanda Abromson, Braintree
F Alison Butler, St. Mary’s
F Christie Caliendo, Billerica
F Lily Connolly, Duxbury
F Cara Curran, Westford Academy
F Kati Goguen, Acton-Boxborough
F Erika Kelly, Watertown/Melrose
F Brittani Lanzilli, Medford
F Sara Lehman, Lexington
F Kim Lizzotte, Westford Academy
F Jessica Love, Medway/Ashland
F Ali Maloof, Norwood
F Hannah Murphy, Duxbury
F Jenny Robinson, Concord-Carlisle
F Sarah Schwenzfeier, Hingham
F Katie Walsh, Hingham
F Alex Warren-Caldwell, Arlington
D Catherine Chittick, Hingham
D Meg Collins, Fontbonne Academy
D Meghan McNabb, Lexington
G Katie Burt, Winthrop/Lynn
G Courtney Davis, Woburn
G Casey Schaejbe, Arlington

All-Freshman Team
F - Cathrine Linehan, Hingham
F – Gina Beth Manganiello, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
F – Ashley Moran, Woburn
D – Hannah Quin, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
D – Tori Messina, Hingham
G – Rachel Myette, Duxbury

Coach of the Year
Tom Findley, Hingham

In just seven years, Findley has established the Harborwomen as a state power, building the team from scratch into a Division 1 state champion. Findley claimed his second state championship (D2 champions three seasons ago) while leading Hingham to a 20-4-2 record, culminating with a 3-1 win over Acton-Boxborough in the D1 final.

Hingham claims first D1 hockey championship

March, 20, 2011
3/20/11
11:34
PM ET


BOSTON -- Hingham claimed its first M.I.A.A. Division 1 State Championship Sunday night, 3-1, with two goals from freshmen forward Catherine Linehan and 17 saves from senior goalie Beth Findley.

“My defense played awesome, they let me see the puck really well,” Findley said postgame, who was in net for her 82nd win.

“She optimizes the perfect type of kid that you want in the net, nothing bothers her,” Hingham head coach Tom Findley said of his senior goaltender.

“We couldn’t lose to a classier team or a classier program,” said Acton-Boxborough head coach Brian Fontas of Hingham, “Top notch coach, top notch team with top notch players.”

The only goal of the first period was scored by the Harborwomen at 5:56. Jane Freda made a nice pass from the corner to Sarah Schwenzfeier in front of the net, her shot was saved but Linehan put in the rebound and it was 1-0 after the first.

Hingham was able to double their lead at 4:05 in the second period. Emily Falvey’s shot was stopped by Acton-Boxborough’s seventh grade goalie, Cali Loblundo, but the puck slipped out of her grasp and over the goal line for a 2-0 Hingham advantage.

The Colonials pulled to within a goal at 7:34 in the second period. Senior defenseman Caleigh LaBossiere took a hard slap shot that was redirected in front of the net by Kati Goguen to teammate Annie Nero, who scored the goal making it 2-1.



The Harborwomen regained their two goal lead at 9:11 in the second period when Linehan scored her second goal of the night. The freshmen tipped home a bouncing puck from the top of the crease, Schwenzfeier and Freda again assisting.

“I don’t think I’ve had that many all season!” Linehan said of her two-goal preformance, “I just wanted to try as hard as I could. And I didn’t expect to score, I just wanted to put 100 percent out there and I did.”

“I think she’s just having fun playing,” Coach Findley said of his freshman forward, “if you have fun you’re going to play well.”

The championship is the second in as many years for Hingham High as the boys' team won the Division 1A title last season.

“I think it says hockey is important to the town,” Beth Findley said of Hingham’s hockey success, “as you saw there were a lot of very little girls in the crowd. It’s nice to see that we give them something to look up to, to say ‘someday I want to be a Harborwomen.’”

“We’re here, and the town is here, they support both their teams and we’re lucky we have a great program,” added coach Findley, “Our youth program is unbelievable and we have a feeder system coming, I’m just ecstatic."
All eyes will be on the TD Garden Sunday as championships will be decided in six divisions of MIAA title games. We'll have you covered all day long, but until then, we provide to you a breakdown of each of the game and our predictions:

GIRLS’ TOURNAMENTS
Division 2

No. 4 Fontbonne Academy (16-2-5) vs. No. 2 Duxbury (20-3-0), 9 a.m., TD Garden
The Breakdown: The Ducks’ Taylor Shepherd can hold her own against the very best the state has to offer and along with linemates Liz Coleman and Erin McLoughlin, they’ve created one of the state’s most potent pairings. Make no mistake, the Green Dragons can also score with the best of them — with prolific sister duo Brianna and Lily Connolly leading the way—but Duxbury is strong from the net out with freshman Rachel Myette turning in a strong first season between the pipes.
The Pick: While the Dragons might be the deeper team, Shepherd is perhaps the most dynamic player in the state, and talent goes a long way this deep in the tournament. We like the Ducks to win their second title in three seasons. Fontbonne, 3-2.

Division 1
No. 8 Hingham (19-4-2) vs. No. 3 Acton-Boxborough (19-3-1), 8:15 p.m.

The Breakdown: Jane Freda scored a rather historic goal during the Harborwomen’s overtime upset of top-seeded St. Mary’s. Not only did she catapult Hingham forward on its march to the finals, she also ended the Lady Spartans’ 100-game unbeaten streak. Katie Walsh and Sarah Schwenzfeier have contributed a consistent scoring punch all season for Tom Findley’s team, while Beth Findley has been stellar in nets with a 1.30 goals against average to go along with nine shutouts. While it might not have as historic, Kati Goguen’s third-period goal lifted the Colonials in their upset win over Woburn in the semifinals. A-B boasts a staunch defense led by one of the best in the state in Caleigh LaBossiere and seventh-grader Cali Loblundo (90.6 save percentage) has been a revelation in goal.
The Pick: Instant karma’s going to get you, and we feel that Hingham has it on their side after toppling the state’s undisputed No. 1 team. Hingham, 2-1.

BOYS’ TOURNAMENTS
Division 3
Westfield (15-5-4) vs. Marblehead (20-4-3), 11:15 a.m.

The Breakdown: Defenseman Colin Arnold and forward Matt Gagnon were just freshmen when the Bombers won their last state title in 2008. This year, the pair were a major driving force behind Westfield’s run to the state title game, which included an upset over Central champion Hudson in the state semifinals. Marblehead’s seniors are trying to win their first state title as a group, despite having won three of the last four North sectional titles. Forwards Chris McLeod and Ryan Dempsey lead a dynamic offense, while you’d be hard pressed to find a better blue-liner in all of D3 than captain Jake Kulevich.
The Pick: We’re going with the emotional pick here and siding with the Magicians, but it’s also a reflection of their skill. This is a very talented and deep hockey team. Marblehead, 4-2.

Division 2
Tewksbury (18-5-1) vs. Franklin (17-4-2), 1:30 p.m.

The Breakdown: The Redmen won their first D2 North title since 1995, while the Panthers haven’t won a state title since 1983 – that’s a year after somebody named Laviolette moved onto bigger and brighter things and when current head coach Chris Spillane was playing. Something has to give and one of the hockey-rich towns will come away with a long-awaited title. Tewksbury is led by explosive forward Ryan Doherty, who leads the Redmen in scoring, along with Frank Mazzei and Derek and Mark Petti. The Panthers are very strong on the back end with defensemen Alex Taddeo, who’s among the state’s best, and netminder Billy Spillane, who’s been solid all year.
The Pick: It’s usually a safe bet to take defense over offense this time of year and we’ve always been a fan of the Panthers’ team defensive philosophy. Franklin, 3-2.

Division 1
Wakefield (14-6-4) vs. Marshfield (18-3-5), 3:30 p.m.

The Breakdown: Both of these teams had to defeat the No. 1 seeds, who also happened to be Super Eight tournament participants to win their respective sectional tournaments. The Warriors slipped by St. Mary’s in a one-goal decision while the Rams took a hammer to Springfield Cathedral in the South. Wakefield (No. 7 seed in the North) has been led on its Cinderella run by goaltender Joe Centrella, who’s big and plays high (think Martin Brodeur) while playing his angles well. The potent Marshfield offense is led by 100-point scorer Ryan Connors and Chris Perry.
The Pick: This game might be the hardest of the day to forecast. We went back and forth on this one before settling with the Rams. Marshfield, 2-1.

Division 1A
No. 2 St. John’s Prep (18-5-1) vs. No. 1 Malden Catholic (20-2-2), 6 p.m.

The Breakdown: This is the matchup everyone’s been waiting for, simply put, they truly are the two best teams in the state this season. Both are skilled. Both play fast. Both have the type of talent that draws attention from scouts. The Lancers top line of Brendan Collier, Ryan Fitzgerald and Mike Vecchione hasn’t seen a parallel in this state in quite some time. MC’s second isn’t far behind with Mike Iovanna, Nick Roberto and Garrett White stepping up their play in the tournament. The Lancers have plenty of talent along the blue line as well with playmaker Connor Evangelista and rising star Colin MacGillivray. Pat Young is a stalwart in net. The Eagles have perhaps the best player in the state in center Colin Blackwell, who’s put on an offensive display along with linemates John Farrow and Shane Eiserman. Winger Sam Kurker provides a power-forward presence on the Eagles’ second line. Junior netminder David Letarte has been steady all season long.
The Pick: We wouldn’t be at all surprised if this one turns into a barnburner, however, the most encouraging thing the Lancers might have going for them is the defensive clinic they put on during the second period of their crossover round win over BC High. If the Lancers forecheck like they did against BC High, they will be very hard to beat. Malden Catholic, 5-3.

Hingham, A-B advance to D1 girls final

March, 14, 2011
3/14/11
1:40
AM ET
STONEHAM, Mass. -- The Division 1 girls' hockey semifinals saw a little bit of everything: clutch goaltending, timely goal scoring, terrific defensive play, and even a shootout. But now that all is said and done, two teams survived a pair of thrilling contests at Stoneham Arena and No. 3 Acton-Boxboro will take on No. 8 Hingham in Sunday's championship game at TD Garden.

HINGHAM 4, WINTHROP/LYNN 3 (Shootout)
Staring across the ice at Winthrop/Lynn's eight-grade star goalie Katie Burt and having just watched her stop 46 shots through periods and an overtime, Hingham coach Tom Findley thought to himself that there was no way he wanted to go to a shootout. Then he remembered that he has a pretty elite netminder of his own in his daughter Beth, a fact which not only left him feeling good about his own chances, but also gave him comfort in knowing that his team was used to shooting at a top goalie.

"I didn't want to go," Tom Findley said on the prospect of a shootout. "But to be quite frank, these girls take shootout shots every day on Beth and she doesn't let them in. They had that one goal and that was it."

Findley allowed just one goal in the shootout to Courtney McTague while Catherine Chittick, Jane Freda and Victoria Gong each scored for Hingham, with Gong's serving as the game-winner.

"I basically did what my coaches told me not to do in practice and I scored," said Gong afterward with a laugh. "They tell us in practice not to shoot five-hole because Beth never lets it in. But Katie is just really big and it seemed like she was waiting for everyone to go up high after she fell so I decided to do something different."

Just getting the shootout proved to be exhilarating experience, at least for the overflow crowd that packed Stoneham Arena, if not for the coaches.

Hingham (19-4-2) dominated the play, but Burt proved herself capable of pulling off a major heist. Not to mention, Winthrop/Lynn (17-4-1) stunned the crowd by turning of its own rare opportunities into a goal as MacKenzie Clark walked in on Findley off a faceoff and beat her with a hard shot to Findley's stick side with 5:06 to go in the opening period.

The Harborwomen sent 31 shots at Burt through the first two periods and managed just one goal, when Katie Walsh redirected a loose puck into an open net with 43 seconds left in the frame.

"We knew that if we were going to win, Katie Burt was going to steal it for us," admitted Bulldogs coach Anthony Martucci. "We're built from the goaltender out and we try to do the best we can from there."

Hingham came through with the crucial next goal, as Sarah Schwenzfeier scored a power-play goal just 10 seconds into the third.

The Bulldogs showed that they are more than a one or two horse team, however, as Chelsea Bartlett fired home the rebound of a Clark shot to tie the game at 2-2. Schwenzfeier scored her second to put the Harborwomen back on top, but the Bulldogs answered again, this time on a high shot from Lindsay Roy, leaving us with a 3-3 game and 4:13 left in regulation.

Two disallowed goals, one for each team, could have changed the outcome in this one. With seven seconds left in the second period, a Hingham shot banked off the crossbar and landed directly on the goal line behind Burt. There was some question whether the puck was across the line, but the referees ruled it no-goal.

Then, with 54 seconds left in overtime, Winthrop/Lynn thought they had the game won when Clark fired a shot that appeared to some observers, this one included, went in and then shot back out off the pipe in the back of the net. The goal light, however, never came on, and after some deliberation, it was ruled no-goal.

"I definitely had it," Beth Findley said afterward. "It went off the post for sure. I guess it was just kind of karma for our disputed goal that happened in the second period. It tipped off my glove and hit the post and then it kicked out and I covered it up. There was also a stick with black tape on it in the net that may have caused the confusion. The Hockey Gods were with me."

ACTON-BOXBORO 2, WOBURN 1
The early game of the afternoon may not have reached overtime or a shootout, but it lacked no less for drama or excitement.

Ultimately, it was one play in which Sarah McNicholas sprung linemate Kati Goguen for a breakaway, and Goguen dodged a defender and let loose a perfect wrist shot high and to the far post with 4:19 remaining in the third to lock up the win for Acton-Boxboro and avenge an 8-2 drubbing in the two teams regular season finale.

"It would not have happened without Sarah McNicholas with that beautiful pass from the wing," Goguen said. "Sarah made a beautiful pass as I was coming up, and I always get nervous when I go up but I knew I had a lane so I just went, saw and opening and stuck it."

Senior defenseman Caliegh LaBossiere turned in a stellar performance at both ends of the ice for the Colonials (19-3-1). At one end, her job was to shadow the state's leading scorer, Colleen Martell. As one of the Colonials top scorers all year, LaBossiere also gets heaviily involved in the offensive end and tallied the game's first goal with a blast from the point that found its way through traffic at 3:02 of the first.

"My defensive partner Sarah Berkley shot it but she kind of mis-hit it so I was like, I'll give it a little bit more of a push," described LaBossiere. "Luckily Sarah McNicholas had a great screen out front and my shot got through."

With just over a minute to go in the opening stanza, Woburn (20-2-1) took advantage of a power play as Kayla Smith snapped the rebound of a Martell shot through traffic to tie the game at 1-1.

AB had a golden opportunity in the second when a penalty shot was awarded after a forward was hauled down on her way to the net. LaBossiere took the shot, and tried to fire a wrister past Tanners freshman Courtney Davis, but Davis got her shoulder up in time to knock it away.

Following a lackluster first two periods, Woburn kicked it into gear for the third and several scoring chances, but the Colonials have an eight-grade goalie standout of their own in Cali Loblundo. Loblundo stoned Martell on a point-blank shot, and followed that up with similarly tough stops on Kelly Duran and Smith.

Then, with just over four minutes to go, McNicholas sent Goguen streaking down the right wing with a step on her defender. Goguen pulled herself just a little wide and sent her shot screaming past Davis inside the far post for what held up as the winner.

"I thought if we could keep them to one or two goals we had a chance to win the game," A-B head coach Brian Fontas said. "That was our goal: defense first and hopefully offense would come from our defensive zone. Then, as soon as I saw (Kati) in the neutral zone and she made that one move, she's just so good at that quick wrist shot. As soon as it went, I just thought it was going in."

Hingham ends St. Mary's streak at 100 games

March, 11, 2011
3/11/11
2:13
AM ET
STONEHAM, Mass. -- Six games ago, Hingham girls' hockey coach Tom Findley decided to move sophomore defenseman Jane Freda off the blue line and onto his top line to ride alongside fellow sophomore Sarah Schwenzfeier and freshman Catherine Linehan.

That move is starting to make Findley look like a genius.

In Thursday night's Division 1 quarterfinals, Freda scored the game-tying and game-winning goals to help No. 8 Hingham stun three-time defending state champion and top seed St. Mary's, 3-2 in overtime at Stoneham Arena, eliminating the Spartans (20-1-3) from the tournament and stopping their nearly four-year long unbeaten streak at 100 games.

"That was the greatest high school game I've been associated with," Tom Findley said. "That's a great program over there in St. Mary's. That feat will never be done again. Our kids were prepared. We've played so well the last six games."

Added St. Mary's coach Frank Pagliuca, "Obviously a disappointing way to go out but you can't play one period of hockey and expect to beat a great team like Hingham. We didn't show up for the first two periods and a lot of that had to do with Hingham. I thought they played a great game, they deserved the victory."

The night's other hero spent her night between the Hingham (18-4-2) pipes. Senior goalie Beth Findley, daughter of Coach Findley, made 13 of her 20 saves in the third period. None, however, were bigger than the amazing stop she made with just 55 seconds left in regulation.

St. Mary's forward Gina Beth Manganiello made a strong rush down the right wing and got off a shot as she cut toward the middle. Findley made the initial stop, but Manganiello continued around behind the net and went to jam the puck inside the far post. With her head turned to the left, Findley somehow shot her right leg across the crease just in time to make what was a game-saving stop.

"I've been working on that a lot in practice," Findley said of her big save. "Last year, one of the goals that Sabrina Iannetti scored on me was a wraparound and I really wanted that one back so I've been working really hard on that, getting over fast. I owe a lot of credit to my defenseman Catherine Chittick. She really helped me out a lot there."

That set the stage for the overtime, and it took just 45 seconds for the game to end. Freda made a play at her own blue line to disrupt a shot by St. Mary's Hannah Quin and caromed the loose puck off the boards to herself. Freda broke in on Spartans goalie Sarah Foss, and with Rachel Donohoe hustling back to prevent her from cutting across, Freda instead let the puck fly and it trickled past Foss to give the Harborwomen their first victory over St. Mary's in eight tries.

"I just saw the puck, I flipped it off the boards and I took a shot hoping to get a rebound and it went in instead," described Freda of her game-winner. "It's like a dream. I still can't wrap my head around it."

Hingham had been struggling to find its offensive identity after dropping a 4-2 decision to St. Mary's in the latter stages of the regular season. Coach Findley bumped Freda up to the first line in hopes of creating a spark.

"We needed a little more pace up there," Findley said of the change. "She had played with Sarah (Schwenzfeier) before and Cat Linehan. Two sophomores and a freshman, that's our big line. They are young but they are so disciplined and they have so much poise."

Freda also made the play that helped set up the game's first goal. Hingham opened the second period with a power play, and Freda was set up for a hard shot from inside the right faceoff circle. Foss (17 saves) made the stop, but the rebound fluttered out to her left where Schwenzfeier swooped in and buried it to give Hingham a 1-0 lead.

The Spartans showed a renewed energy in the third, and their hard work led to a pair of quick goals midway through the frame. First, it was Bridget Donovan scoring on a rebound of a shot by Iannetti to tie it with seven minutes left, then just 34 seconds later, Donovan cycled the puck over to Quin, who rifled a shot past Findley for her first career goal.

"I was very proud of my kids for coming back in the third period but again, you can't do that in a game like this against a great team like that," Pagliuca said. "You can't turn it on and off and that's been an issue all year.

Rather than wilt under the Spartans attack, however, the Harborwomen responded as Freda buried a loose puck from in front with 5:36 left in regulation to tie it.

The game would not have gone to overtime without the play of either Findley or Foss. Foss made three huge stops over the final three minutes, and caught another break when Freda lifted a shot just too high over the crossbar behind her.

And of course, Beth Findley came through with the save of the night, and maybe the most important stop in the seven year history of the Hingham girls' hockey program.

"She's my kid so I don't normally say much about her but she won us that game," praised Tom Findley. "That last save was unbelievable. I don't know how she got over there that quick but she did. She made the save and that's why she's an elite goalie."

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