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|Lady Dragons continue to march toward title|
|Written by Mike Halloran|
|Tuesday, 08 March 2011 08:43|
The Duxbury girlsâ€™ hockey team got spectacular goaltending from freshman Rachel Myette, while classmate forward Jackie Nolanâ€™s first-period goal proved to be the game-winner in the Lady Dragonsâ€™ 7-0 blanking of No. 10-seed Canton on Sunday afternoon at the Foxboro Sports Center.
Second-seeded Duxbury had beaten the Bulldogs during the regular season, 5-1, but they knew Canton could be a tough draw and they proved it throughout the afternoon, testing Duxburyâ€™s freshman netminder, while being denied on every occasion.
At the 12:53 mark it was pure hustle on the part of Nolan, as she outraced a pair of Canton defenders to a clearing pass and beat goaltender Sarah Healey for a 1-0 lead.
Duxbury would kill off a Canton power-play shortly after the goal and the game remained tight over the next seven minutes until the ever-hustling Briana Connolly went flying into the right corner and centered a pass out front to Hannah Murphy, who beat Healey with 4:38 left in the period for a two-goal advantage.
It was the Rachel Myette Show in the second period, as she singlehandedly kept her team out front with save after save: the big one coming with 12:20 on the clock when she stuffed a Bulldog breakaway.
Six minutes later the Bulldogs tried it again after stripping the Dragons defense of the puck. But this time the skater tried to go high on Myette, who flashed out her glove and saved her team from a disastrous turnover.
Twenty seconds later, the Bulldogs were on the power-play when Martha Findley went off for hooking. On this team, playing a man short can sometimes be an advantage, as the forwards can skate and chase down a lot of clearing passes.
This time it was Lily Connolly who went flying into the zone and got possession, centering the puck out front to Briana Connolly who beat Healey for a more comfortable 3-0 lead.
Briana was at it again at the 3:59 mark, racing after a puck at her own blue line and beating the Canton defenders down ice, going in alone on Healey to register her second of the game for a 4-0 lead.
In a desperation move with five seconds left in the period, Canton pulled its goalie for an extra skater and it almost worked, as the drawer went past Myette and through the crease as the buzzer sounded.
Myetteâ€™s performance made the third period far more enjoyable, as the Lady Dragons continued to attack with Lily Connolly and net two third period goals in a three-minute span to put the game away.
â€œWe got off to a fast start and that Nolan goal got us rolling,â€ said Coach Friend Weiler. â€œThe kids worked hard and they were flying out there. Our intensity level was there tonight and you could see they were moving their feet. But in the second period it seemed the ice was slanted in Cantonâ€™s favor and Rachel continued to keep the game out of reach for Canton.â€
The Lady Dragons will now take on Concord-Carlisle in the semifinals, date and time to be determined. A win by the Lady Dragons will send them to their first Division II title game in the programâ€™s history.