February 17, 2012

High School Journal: Duxbury earns bragging rights

By Ed Flaherty

Massachusetts’ defending girls hockey champions – Division 1 Hingham and Division 2 Duxbury – met with bragging rights on the line Wednesday night. 

Both teams are eyeing repeat performances in their respective divisions this year, making Wednesday’s matchup an event among Bay State girls hockey followers.

Duxbury struck a blow for smaller schools everywhere as the Green Dragons shut out Hingham, 3-0, at Hingham’s Pilgrim Skating Arena.

Duxbury improved to 16-0 with the victory, recording its fourth shutout victory in its last five games. It has outscored its competition 89-14 in its 16 wins.

Hingham, meanwhile, dropped to 12-5-1. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Harborwomen.

Hingham had scored 29 goals in that five-game winning streak, but Duxbury goalie Rachel Myette was up to the task against the Harborwomen all night long, making 26 saves to record the shutout.

Ally Hammel put Duxbury in front 1-0 with a goal in the first period, while Jane Dudley scored on a rebound in the second period for a 2-0 Green Dragons advantage.

The score remained 2-0 late into the contest before Marissa Fitcher added an empty-net goal for the 3-0 final score.

Hannah Murphy had a pair of assists in the win for Hingham. Taylor Walsh made 23 saves in goal.

Duxbury’s path toward an unbeaten season gets no easier as the Green Dragons take on another Division 1 power on Saturday with a contest against St. Mary’s of Lynn.

Connecticut 

The hottest team in the Nutmeg State might very well be Division 3 Newington-Berlin, which has rolled off 13 straight victories after opening the season with two losses in its first three games.

Newington-Berlin stands at 14-2 after its 6-2 win over Rocky Hill-RHAM-Middleton on Wednesday.

Among those 13 straight victories are four shutout wins and Newington-Berlin has outscored its opponents 68-13 over that stretch.

Among Newington-Berlin’s victories is one win against Division 2 competition – Windsor-Farmington-Avon – and two against Division 2 opponents – Wethersfield and Watertown-Pomperaug.

Maine

The Maine girls championship will be decided Saturday night in Lewiston when Falmouth takes on Greely for the state title.

Both teams advanced to the title game by winning regional championships on Wednesday.

Falmouth defeated York, 4-0, for the Western regional crown, while Greely topped Brunswick for the East title.

Falmouth (19-1) topped defending West champion York thanks to a three-goal effort from defenseman Megan Fortier. Jayde Bazinet had a goal and an assist for Falmouth, while Kirsten Mazur recorded the shutout.

Greely knocked off top-seeded Brunswick despite missing three of its top players due to illness.

The Rangers hardly missed a beat as Sarah Kurlan tallied three goals, Etta Copenhagen added a pair and Chelsey Andrews and CC Hodgkins had single goals.

Goalie Emma Seymour made 22 saves in the win for Greely.

Massachusetts

The Boston Latin boys improved to 12-2-4 in Division 2 following a 2-1 win over Lincoln-Sudbury on Wednesday.

According to coach Frank Woods, a victory against Concord-Carlisle on Saturday would give Boston Latin its first Dual County/Merrimack Valley title since 2004-05, when the Wolfpack won the state crown.

Boston Latin is led by senior Conal Lynch, who is one of the top scorers in all Division 2 this season.

Boston Latin has relied on an experienced group of returning players from last year’s squad, which won 15 games and advanced to the Div. 2 quarterfinals before falling against eventual champion Tewksbury.

“We had a lot of returning players," said Woods. “Eighteen of them. A lot of the guys back have that experience playing in big games.”

New Hampshire

Just one unbeaten team remains in the Granite State after Kennett’s 3-2 Division 3 win over Alvirne on Wednesday night.

Kennett is now 13-0, while Alvirne falls to 13-1.

The teams have been perched atop the Division 3 standings all season with unblemished records prior to their only regular-season meeting.

Alvirne took a 1-0 lead in the first period as Ryan Bellorose tallied, but Kennett’s Nick Massa scored a pair of second-period goals to put the Eagles on top.

Kevin Murphy gave Kennett a 3-1 lead in the third. Alvirne’s Cam Brock added a late tally for Alvirne but the Broncos couldn’t net the equalizer.

Kennett’s Johnny Bishop made 30 saves in goal, while Alvirne’s Justin Ferguson also made 30 stops.

Rhode Island

Division 2 North supremacy will be at stake on Feb. 17 when Pilgrim High School travels to West Warwick to take on Coventry at 9:30 p.m.

Coventry stands at 12-1 and sits atop the Div. 2 North standings, followed closely by Pilgrim (11-2-1).

This is the second meeting of the regular season for these teams. Pilgrim handed Coventry its lone loss of the season on Dec. 2, winning 2-1.

Since that loss Coventry has won 12 straight and has dominated the competition.

Coventry has recorded shutout wins in six of its last seven games and has allowed just one goal over that span. Coventry has outscored its opponents 62-1 in those seven contests.

Pilgrim, meanwhile, has won seven straight, the last two victories coming by shutout.

The teams will have one more regular-season matchup to look forward to when Coventry travels to face Pilgrim at Thayer Arena on Feb. 25.

Vermont

Vermont’s top girls teams stared each other down as Spaulding and BFA-St. Albans skated to a 2-2 tie on Feb. 8.

Both teams are now 11-3-3 as they battle for the top spot in the upcoming state tournament.

In their recent meeting, BFA-St. Albans’ Taylor Jackson scored with eight minutes left in regulation to force the tie. Morgan Lamos also scored for BFA-St. Albans. Shanley Howrigan made 35 saves in goal for BFA-St. Albans.

Hayley Arnold had both Spaulding goals, while Morgan Gosselin made 14 saves in goal.

BFA-St. Albans, which is 7-0-1 in its last eight games, is now 1-0-1 against Spaulding this season.

Game of the Week

It will be an interstate battle at Boston University’s Walter Brown Arena on Saturday when Catholic Memorial (Roxbury, Mass.) takes on La Salle Academy (Providence, R.I.) at 2 p.m.

La Salle enters the contest with a 13-4-1 overall mark and sits behind Bishop Hendricken in the Rhode Island Division 1 standings.

Catholic Memorial, meanwhile, is 7-7-2 overall but struck a blow for Massachusetts with a 2-0 win over Bishop Hendricken on Wednesday at Thayer Academy.

New England high school power rankings

Connecticut

1. Fairfield Prep (14-2)

2. Ridgefield (15-1)

3. Notre Dame West Haven (12-3-1)

4. Glastonbury (13-3)

5. Darien (12-4)

6. East Haven (11-4-2)

7. Newington/Berlin (14-2)

8. Guilford (10-3-1)

9. Hamden (9-3-2)

10 North Branford (11-5)

Maine

1. Thornton Academy (13-1-1)

2. Brewer (15-1)

3. Scarborough (11-2-2)

4. Bangor (12-4)

5. Messalonskee (14-2)

6. Lewiston (11-4-1)

7. Falmouth (10-4-1)

8. St. Dominic (11-5)

9. Greely (10-3-2)

10. Cape Elizabeth (9-4-2)

Massachusetts

1. Malden Catholic (13-1-3)

2. St. Mary’s Lynn (17-1-2)

3. Needham (16-3)

4. Hingham (14-4-1)

5. Central Catholic (11-2-4)

6. Burlington (11-1-6)

7. Westford Academy (11-3-3)

8. Woburn (11-4-3)

9. BC High (9-4-3)

10. Franklin (14-1-2)

New Hampshire

1. Pinkerton (12-2)

2. Memorial (13-3)

3. Merrimack (11-3)

4. Kennett (13-0)

5. Bedford  (10-3)

6. Alvirne (13-1)

7. Bishop Brady (9-5-2)

8. Pelham/Windham (11-3)

9. St. Thomas (8-6-1)

10. Trinity (8-6-2)

Rhode Island

1. Hendricken (12-2-1)

2. La Salle (10-4-1)

3. Johnston/North Providence (13-1)

4. Pilgrim (12-2-1)

5. Coventry (12-2-1)

6. Cumberland (10-3-2)

7. Prout (11-2-2)

8. Middletown (9-3-3)

9. Burrillville (10-5)

10. Mount St. Charles (10-5)

Vermont

1. Essex (15-0-1)

2. South Burlington (15-2)

3. BFA St. Albans (14-3)

4. Northfield (15-2)

5. Burr and Burton (11-3-3)

6. U-32 (10-2-2)

7. Stowe (12-4-1)

8. Colchester (11-5-1)

9. St. Johnsbury (11-6)

10. Missiquoi (10-7)

Ed Flaherty can be reached at feedback@hockeyjournal.com.