Despite a 10-day layoff, the Lady Dragons scraped off the rust from their skates after four minutes of play last Wednesday night at the Gallo Arena in Bourne and proceeded to take care of No. 16-ranked Sandwich, 6-1.
The win was No. 3-ranked Duxbury’s ninth win in a row and just the seventh goal the team has allowed in nine games while pushing its record to 9-0.
If Duxbury needed something to get their heads back in the game, it came early when Sandwich’s Nicole Martin tipped in a Katie Flynn shot to put the Blue Knights ahead 1-0 just over three minutes into the game.
The celebration had hardly ended when Lily Connolly scored 31 seconds later with a shot that beat Sandwich goalie Molly Kennedy to the top left side and tied the game at 1-1.
That was all it took to get the Duxbury offense rolling, as Hannah Murphy followed two minutes later with a shot from the top of the slot that eluded Kennedy to give the Lady Dragons a 2-1 lead they would never surrender.
While momentum seemed to be on Duxbury’s side, Sandwich mounted an offensive blitz of its own for over a minute, forcing Duxbury goaltender Rachel Myette to make two critical saves.
No sooner had Duxbury stemmed the Sandwich assault when Connolly notched her second goal of the game when she took a cross-ice pass from Murphy on the left wing and buried her shot past Kennedy with 6:44 to go for a 3-1 lead.
Myette was at it again with 1:31 to go when she stopped a 2-on-1 Sandwich breakout to preserve the two-goal margin as the period ended.
“We were definitely rusty in that first period,” said Coach Freind Weiler. “We just weren’t clicking. We started to get better in the second period and the third period was even better. We had just come out of exams and that 10-day layoff didn’t help. But those are just some of the things you run into when you have a winter schedule.”
Duxbury had a chance to ice the game for good when they went on the power-play midway through the middle period, but Myette came to the rescue once again when Sandwich intercepted a cross-ice pass and raced in alone on the sophomore netminder, only to be foiled on their shorthanded attempt.
Despite out-shooting the Blue Knights by a 38-18 margin, Myette was called on repeatedly, especially in the first minute of the third period when she turned aside a tipped shot.
Two minutes later Myette and the Duxbury defense would be tested to the extreme when two Lady Dragons went to the penalty box, producing a 5-on-3 for the hosts.
After weathering the storm, Duxbury controlled play for the rest of the period. Enabling Connolly to score her eighth goal of the season for a 4-1 lead after two periods.
Whatever chance Sandwich had of getting back in the game disappeared quickly as sophomore Caroline Shaunessy fired a shot through the legs of Kennedy 52 seconds into the period for a 5-1 lead with assists to Murphy and senior defenseman Martha Findley.
The outcome was never in doubt thereafter, as senior Colleen Leddie put an exclamation point on the evening by scoring on a break-away with 6:19 to go.
The girls will take on Ursuline Academy on Wednesday night at The Bog at 5 p.m.