Duxbury senior captain Rachel Myette got some light cardio in at The Bog on Friday afternoon as she skated to and from her net each time Lincoln-Sudbury committed a penalty. The rest of her teammates, meanwhile, skated the Warriors ragged in their 5-0 win in the first round of the MIAA tournament.
Captain Jacqui Nolan scored one minute and 36 seconds into the game on the Dragons’ third shot, and Duxbury never looked back. The Dragons added four more goals on 42 shots while Myette only had to make one save in the first period and seven total in the game to preserve the shutout.
After a loss to Falmouth and two hard-fought ties against Arlington Catholic and Reading, Duxbury head coach Friend Weiler said the dominating performance against a tournament team was just what the doctor ordered as the Dragons begin their quest for a fourth consecutive state championship.
“You always want to be playing your best hockey at the end of February into March, and I think the girls worked hard today,” Weiler said. “I was happy with the energy, I think the girls worked hard. Previously, we seemed to wait to see what the other team brought, but I think we played our game today.”
The Dragons controlled play from Marissa Fichter’s win of the opening face off. Duxbury kept the puck deep inside the Lincoln-Sudbury blue line and had two quality scoring chances before Meredith Wright set up Nolan for Duxbury’s first goal with a nice pass as she circled behind the net. Nolan has been the spark for the Dragons in recent weeks, scoring the first goal for the team in three of the past four games.
“She’s really played phenomenally going on three weeks now,” Weiler said of Nolan. “We’re going to go all the way.”
Following Nolan’s goal, Duxbury continued to keep the Warriors skating backwards as they refused to let Lincoln-Sudbury through the neutral zone. The Warriors finally got a shot on Myette eight minutes into the game, but the Dragons’ counter attack brought play right back inside Lincoln-Sudbury’s blue line and, two minutes later, Peyton Donato’s slap-shot from the blue line ricocheted over the right shoulder of Warriors’ goalie Sarah Provost for the Dragons’ second goal.
The Warriors had better luck getting to the Dragons’ net in the second period, but any momentum they hoped to gain was quashed by Ally Hammel’s goal with 4:27 left in the period. Similar to Donato’s goal, Hammel ripped a slap shot from just inside the blue line that changed course when it ticked off a body in front of the net, and Provost couldn’t adjust to the redirection.
“We’ve been talking to [our defensemen] all year about getting pucks to the net, and they did it today,” Weiler said. “That got our offense going.”
Dragon junior Jane Dudley seemed determined to get in on the goal scoring, but was frustrated on several chances in the first and second periods. Dudley had a chance to put a shot on net when she circled in front, but made the unselfish play to feed Fichter at the post for an easy one-timer to give the Dragons a 4-0 lead with 2:25 left in the second and take any fight left out of the Warriors.
“They’re all team players, but I thought Jane had some great set-ups today,” Weiler said. “She made some great passes and worked hard.”
Fichter added a power-goal in the third period off a pass from Hammel for Duxbury’s final goal, and the Dragons went into clock-management mode for the rest of the period before giving seniors Nolan, Hammel, Liz Collins, Zoe Griffin and Elizabeth Connolly the final shift in their final high school game at The Bog.
The Dragons will head to Stoneham on Thursday to play fourth-seeded Watertown/Belmont in the semifinals. With nearly a week between games, Weiler said the goal heading in is to keep the team loose to preserve the momentum from their rout of the Warriors.
“We’ll just keep it light,” he said. “We had a couple of things I want to work on still, but as a whole, I want to make sure we’re staying healthy and working hard.”