Methuen Rangers Girls Ice Hockey '19-'20

Sat, Jan 11, 2020 07:00 PM @ Methuen
Team 1 2 3 OT Final
Haverhill 0 0 2 0 2
Methuen 1 1 0 1 2

Methuen, HPNA play to thrilling tie

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Saturday, January, 11 By David Willis
Staff writer

METHUEN - Jessica Driscoll wasn't quite sure how the puck ended up on her stick, but she knew just what to do.

"I have no idea who passed it to me," said the Methuen/Tewksbury sophomore. "But I got it and I thought, ‘I might as well shoot it. There's nothing to lose.' So I took the shot, and it went in. It was so exciting. That is one of our biggest rivals, so to score the last goal is amazing."

Haverhill/Pentucket/North Andover delivered a fierce third period comeback, rallying from two-goals down to knot it up on an Eliana Kane goal with 5:52 left in regulation, giving the two teams a 2-2 tie in the record books.

But Methuen/Tewksbury was celebrating at the end, as Driscoll scored during the sudden death overtime - which is in a trial run and doesn't count in the final standings.

 "It was a huge relief to get that final goal," said top Red Rangers defenseman Madi Sjostedt. "There has been a big rivalry between these two teams the last few years. They were really looking to beat us for the first time. So for us to score that final goal was really exciting."

The contest looked every bit a battle of two of the top teams in Massachusetts. Defending Division 1 state champion Methuen/Tewksbury (4-1-3) is ranked No. 8 and HPNA (6-0-2) is No. 9 in the state-wide Hockey Night in Boston Top 10.

"This was huge for us," said HPNA coach Gary Kane, whose team is now 0-10-4 against the Red Rangers all-time. "We played an excellent third period. I though we came out tentative early, playing against the defending state champions, who we've never beaten. But, in the third period, we turned it on. It really showed something about this team. We came out flying and played a great third."

For the first two periods, Methuen/Tewksbury was able to flex its state championship muscle.

The Red Rangers took the lead with 5:47 remaining in the first, when senior co-captain Ryan Quinn picked up the puck near center ice, broke in and scored.

Driscoll added to that advantage with a goal 3:37 into the second period. The Tewksbury resident now has eight goals for the season, with at least one in each of the Red Ranger's last five games.

"(Tori Schille) passed it to me, and I just looked up and shot it," said Driscoll. "It went in, and I was very excited about that one too. I was very happy with the way we played."

HPNA, however, came with a vengeance in the final period.

Tri-captain Hannah Keating cut the lead in half 1:48 into the third, when she attacked the net and slid it in. It was the Utica College-bound Eagle-Tribune All-Star's ninth goal of the young season.

Fellow tri-captain Eliana Kane then tied it up with 5:52 left in regulation, picking up a loose puck and scoring her eighth goal of the season, an unassisted tally.

"I was really impressed by the rally," said Gary Kane, Eliana's dad. "It shows the character of the kids. To be down 2-0 to the defending state champions, and to come out flying in the third. We made a few changes, and the girls executed it well. It was great to see them come back and sustain that offense."

HPNA goalie Jenna Hubbard (18 saves) made some huge stops late, kicking away a breakaway with 2:26 left, and stopping a final strong attack at 0:36. Methuen/Tewksbury goalie and two-time defending Eagle-Tribune MVP Kaia Hollingsworth (16 saves) also made some big stops.

"I though we played really hard against a very good team," said Methuen/Tewksbury coach Sarah Oteri. "They have some very good players. It was a back-and-fourth game, and I'm happy with the result. They're a really good co-op team, we're a really good co-op, and the rinks are close together, so it has become a nice rivalry between these two schools."


Game Statistics:

Goals: M/T — Jessica Driscoll 2, Ryan Quinn; H — Hannah Keating, Eliana Kane

Assists: M/T — Tori Schille 2, Quinn 2, Nikole Gosse, Brenna Greene; H — Deanna Bosco, Reese Pascucci

Saves: M/T — Kaia Hollingsworth 16; H — Jenny Hubbard 18

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