Girls Ice Hockey

Methuen-Tewksbury edged by defending champs in title game at Garden

BOSTON — With the clock ticking under a minute, Methuen-Tewksbury mustered one final rush up the ice, and fired one last shot that, for a moment, looked like it may slip past the goalie. 
But the shot was stopped, and after a brief struggle for the puck, time ran out on the No. 4 Red Rangers, who fell to No. 2 Woburn 1-0 in the Division 1 girls state championship game at the TD Garden in front of an estimated crowd of 1,500. 
“I thought the girls gave it their all, but it just didn’t happen today,” said Methuen-Tewksbury coach Sarah Oteri. “There were nerves, but by the third period we were pressuring and controlling the puck. We just didn’t have a goal in us. But I am so proud of the girls.”
It was the first state title game appearance in the six-year history of the Red Rangers (22-2-2). With the win, Woburn (24-0-2) claimed its second straight girls Division 1 crown.
“It was a good game,” said Methuen-Tewksbury star Kelly Golini. “It was 1-0 so obviously it was a really close game. It came down to the last seconds at the end when we pulled our goalie. I thought the goal would come, but we just didn’t get enough shots on net and that hurt us.”
Trying to win the first Massachusetts state hockey title — boys or girls — ever by a local team, the Red Rangers hit the ice for a 9 a.m. start. Woburn carried the momentum early, but thanks to a few key stops by Methuen-Tewksbury star goalie Kaia Hollingsworth (20 saves), it was 0-0 at the end of one.
“We started slow,” said Oteri. “Kaia as always made some great saves. She is so solid. She gives us so much momentum. She was great to have back there.” 
Woburn was able to break though with 8:26 to play in the second on a goal by Kaitlyn Delaney to take a 1-0 lead. 
Sparked by another huge check by Methuen’s Brenna Greene, Methuen-Tewksbury took the momentum.
But despite keeping the puck in the Woburn defensive zone, the Red Rangers could not find the equalizer.
“We were doing everything we could,” said Golini. “But we didn’t have enough shots on net. I didn’t get enough shots on net. We didn’t test her (Woburn goalie Amanda Essigmann) as much as we should have. They blocked a lot of our shots. I should have taken more shots. I tried to go for that last move, but it just wasn’t working tonight.”
The Rangers struggled to find clean lanes for shots on Essigmann, as Tanner defenders were hitting the ice to block shots, while disrupting others with their sticks.
It was just the second time they were shut out this year. The other was 2-0 by Andover on Dec. 30.
“Our girls were trying to make plays,” said Oteri. 
“But Woburn did a great job of putting defenders in front to protect their goalie and they cleared the puck very well. We tried everything, and we made adjustments. But we just couldn’t find the goal.”
While the Red Rangers fell short of a state title, Oteri reminded her players of how much they accomplished this winter.
“We made it to the Garden and every player should hold their head high,” she said. “It takes so much to even make it here. Every girl should be proud they made it this far. They were just amazing. 
“The girls rose to every challenge all season. We put the bar high, and they pushed it even higher. Our expectation is to make it to the Garden now, and hopefully we’ll be back next year.”
And while she was disappointed with the results, Golini, a St. Anselm recruit from Tewksbury, was proud of her team’s accomplishments.
“We did everything we set out to do besides one thing,” said Golini. “We said we were going to go to the Garden, and the only thing we didn’t do was win today. We accomplished everything else we set out to do this year. 
“What a way to go out, playing your last high school game at the TD Garden. I am so proud of what this whole team accomplished this year.”
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Girls Ice Hockey, 03/18/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Methuen/Tewkksbury surges into first state title game

WOBURN — Kelly Golini was furious.
With a trip to the TD Garden on the line, the Methuen/Tewksbury star had just seen Masconomet tie the game early in the third period. And she simply would not let it stand.
“I was honestly very, very mad they got that goal,” said Golini. “For them to score that goal at that point made me so angry. I just wanted to throw in back in their faces. So I got the puck and something in me told me I needed to get to the net and my shot had to go in.”

Golini picked up the puck near center ice and broke towards the goal. She deked one defender, flipped the puck to her backhand to out-maneuver another, then slid the puck just outside the goalie’s skate to give Methuen/Tewksbury the lead with 9:21 to go in the game. 
From there, the No. 4 Red Rangers held strong to take a 4-2 victory over No. 9 Masconomet in the Division 1 state semifinal at O’Brien Rink in Woburn in front of a jam-packed estimated 1,000 fans.

“It’s amazing,” said Golini. “I don’t even know how to explain it. It’s so much adrenaline. Senior year, doing this is everything I could have asked for and so much more. This is all going exactly how I wanted it to.”
With the win, Methuen/Tewskbury advances to its first state title game in the program’s six-year history, at the TD Garden on Sunday (time TBA).
The Red Rangers will take on No. 2 Woburn (23-0-2). The Tanners beat No. 3 Austin Prep 2-1 in the earlier semifinal Monday night. Methuen and Woburn did not meet in the regular season.
“I can’t even put this feeling into words,” said Methuen/Tewksbury head coach Sarah Oteri. “The kids battled so hard. They did everything we asked them to. It was a good battle tonight. Masco was a good team. But we never gave up and we just kept battling.”
Methuen’s Brenna Greene set the tone just minutes in on Monday, delivering a monster open ice check on a Masco forward. The sophomore was not called for a penalty.
But it was Masco that struck first, as Erin Irons took a pass from sister Kate Irons and scored to give the Chieftains a 1-0 lead 5:38 into play.  
“I think the nerves of the big game and the crowd of the big game got to us a little early,” said Oteri, a former Andover High star. “But it just came down to making a few good plays and getting the confidence that we could do this.”
Red Rangers goalie Kaia Hollingsworth went to work after that, making a few huge saves to kill a Masco penalty that ended the first period. Her best was when she stopped a shot with her chest, then lunged to cover the rebound.
After one goal was disallowed, Methuen/Tewksbury tied the game 3:49 into the second. Golini gathered in a rebound in front of the goal and hammered it home to make it 1-1. Assists went to Greene and Lydia Pendleton.
Just over two minutes later, Kaylen Taddia gave the Rangers the lead, taking a pass in the left faceoff circle and firing home a shot from an impossible angle. Greene and Golini had the helpers.
“That was huge,” said Oteri. “We had been working on the power play, which I think is a strength. Kaylen is battling a sickness, so for her to get that on the power play was huge.”
Masconomet tied it up 4:23 into the third. But Golini needed just 1:16 to give the Red Rangers the lead for good with her highlight-reel score.
“It was a beautiful goal,” said Oteri. “Kelly has a great deke. It was Kelly with her tic-tac-toe goal for sure. It was huge.”
Masco had a few opportunities late, but Hollingsworth (26 saves) would not let another in. With just over 30 seconds left, she squashed the one final attempt, blocking the right post with her skate as Chieftain tried to hammer it past her. 
Cassidy Gruning scored in the final seconds, setting off a huge celebration for the Rangers. 
“It’s amazing,” I am honestly so excited to play at the Garden. I can’t wait to do everything and see everything and experience everything about the state title game. It is something none of us will every forget.”

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Girls Ice Hockey, 03/12/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Austin ousts Andover

Austin Prep blanked Andover, 3-0, in the Division 1 state girls hockey quarterfinals. Andover coach Kevin Drew said, "They are the best team we've seen. There is nothing like this team. They have 8 or 9 kids who can really go. They had too much firepower. Sean D'Urso (27 saves) held us in there. She's our backbone and Emma Gilmartin played her heart out."

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Girls Ice Hockey, 03/06/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Methuen 3, Barnstable 1

BRIGHTON — Kelly Golini scored twice and Cassidy Gruning scored as Methuen-Tewksbury tripped up Barnstable 3-1 in the Division 1 state quarterfinals.

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Girls Ice Hockey, 03/06/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover topples No. 6 Melrose

MEDFORD — No. 22 Andover knocked off No. 6 Melrose, 4-3, in the first round of the state girls Division 1 hockey tourney.

The Golden Warriors (12-5-5) scored once in the first period then three goals in a six-minute span midway through second period. The game-winner was a short-handed tally from Emily Wagner. Melrose (17-4-1) scored a goal in each frame but Sean D'Urso (22 saves) and the Andover defense were up to the challenge.

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Girls Ice Hockey, 03/04/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Hillies bow out


After giving up two goals in the first period to No. 1 seed Shrewsbury, the HPNA girls made a game of it before dropping out of the Division 1 hockey tournament with a 2-1 loss.

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Girls Ice Hockey, 03/03/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Red Rangers roll

Riley Cote, Cassidy Gruening, Kelly Golini and Carolyn Curley all scored as Methuen-Tewksbury dumped Franklin, 4-1, in the first round of the Division 1 state open tourney. Kaia Hollingsworth stopped 19 shots for the win. "We just played a complete team game with four different goal-scorers," said Red Rangers coach Sarah Oteri. Brenna Greene and junior assistant captain Megan Forbes were the defensive leaders for 21-2 Methuen-Tewksbury.

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Girls Ice Hockey, 03/03/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover girls score first-round upset

Callie Willey potted a pair of second-period goals to send No. 22 Andover to a 3-2 upset win over No. 11 Lincoln-Sudbury in the Division 1 preliminary round. 
Allie Wright added the other Golden Warrior goal, and assist on one of Willey's tallies. Sean D'Urso once again starred in net, making 24 saves. The Warriors next face No. 6 Melrose on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Flynn Rink in Medford. Time is listed for 2 p.m. on MIAA.net.
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Girls Ice Hockey, 02/28/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Driscoll lifts Methue


Jessica Driscoll scored with eight minutes left on assists from Ryan Quin and Tori Schiller to lift Methuen/Tewksbury past Reading 3-2 in a Division 1 preliminary game. Caroline Curley also scored and Brena Greene opened the scoring in the first period and also played a strong defensive game.

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Girls Ice Hockey, 02/28/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

HPNA girls advance

The 17th-seeded Haverhill-Pentucket-North Andover girls team beat No. 16 Longmeadow late Tuesday night, 5-4.
HPNA will now play No. 1 Shrewsbury (19-0-1) in the state Division 1 tourney first round. The game is Saturday at 5:10 p.m. at North Star.
Gino Albano netted the game winner in the third period Tuesday.
HPNA’s Deanna Bosco scored the first goal of the game and the first of her career.
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Girls Ice Hockey, 02/27/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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