(Senior Colleen Leddie celebrates her hat trick during Monday night's 4-1 win over Sandwich. Photo: Jim Tarbox)

Forward Colleen Leddie has been a member of the DHS girls’ hockey program for four years. During that time she has been over-shadowed by a variety of teammates, especially this year riding alongside scoring machines Hannah Murphy and Lily Connolly.

Listening to the post-game celebration in the Duxbury locker room, there is no question she isn’t living in the shadows anymore. With chants of “Leddie, Leddie, Leddie” echoing throughout the locker room and the stands, the Lady Dragons and their fans were acknowledging the efforts of their teammate after she scored her first career hat-trick in a 4-1 win over Sandwich in the quarterfinals of the MIAA Division II South Sectional. “I’m on cloud nine right now, not for myself, but for my teammates,” said the hard-working senior. “We were down in that first period and all we could think about was getting back in the game. I’m so happy that we were finally able to catch up, get ourselves together, and finally win.”

Duxbury had beaten Sandwich handily on two occasions this year, so the Blue Knights had plenty to prove in their third match of the season. In the pre-game skate, they appeared to have plenty of zip in their step and they never let down, as they skated with the Lady Dragons stride for stride once the puck was dropped.

The Lady Dragons tested Sandwich goalie Molly Kennedy early with shots by Caroline Shaunessy and Meredith Wright. But the Blue Knights had some chances of their own at the 4:58 mark when Courtney Alexander came in alone on Myette, only to be denied.

The Lady Dragons could see that playoff hockey is a lot different than the regular season, as Sandwich was in overdrive for the first 15 minutes and put Duxbury in the very unfamiliar position of being behind 1-0 with 4:04 left in the first period.

It wasn’t the prettiest of goals, but it sent a message that Sandwich came to play, as the pile of players in front of Rachel Myette looked like a rugby scrum as they kept pushing the pile into the Duxbury net for the lead.

There was no let-up for Sandwich in the opening minutes of the second period, but with 11:33 on the clock Leddie notched her first when she came over the blue line and unloaded a high shot on Kennedy that beat her to the left side to tie the game at 1-1.

After Duxbury killed off a Sandwich power-play that ended with seven minutes left in the period, Leddie scored her second goal thirty seconds later with the help of freshman Marissa Fichter, who dug out a puck and fired a shot on Kennedy that rebounded right to Leddie who made it 2-1.

Momentum took a big swing from that moment on when play entered the final period. After surviving a shot off the post, the Lady Dragons came back to take a 3-1 lead when Fichter unleashed a shot from the left face-off circle to beat Kennedy.

The goal took some of the pressure off the Lady Dragons, who were able to weather a Sandwich power-play with 3:16 to go and rejoice in the efforts of Leddie who notched her third goal with 1:11 left.

“No girl is more deserving. She comes to the rink every day and is a hard worker,” said Coach Friend Weiler. “She always has a positive attitude no matter what is going on. To see her get that hat-trick brought a smile to everyone’s face.”

The win moves Duxbury on to the semi-finals where they will face No. 5 seeded Belmont at Gallo Arena in Bourne on Saturday at a time yet to be determined.