In a thrilling, fast-paced battle between a pair of undefeated powerhouses in front of a packed house at O’Brien Rink, second-seeded and defending D1 state champion Woburn advanced to Sunday’s championship game with a 2-1 win over third-seeded Austin Prep.
Top scorer Georgie Santullo notched the game winner for the Tanners, banging home the rebound of a Kaitlyn Delaney shot at 10:14 of the third period with Woburn enjoying a two-man advantage.
On the play, Delaney had the puck high in the center slot. She fired on net. Cougars goalie Hannah Aveni made the save, but Santullo was able to control the rebound in a scramble in front and put it home.
The Cougars, who finish an outstanding season at 21-1-2, had some pressure the rest of the way, pulling Aveni with 1:30 to go, but couldn’t get the equalizer.
Austin Prep had the edge in play in the first period, and grabbed a 1-0 lead at the 5:54 mark when eighth-grade defenseman Maeve Carey took a pass from Francesca Frelick at the right point and whistled home a wrist shot.
Woburn was able to tie it up just 13 seconds into the second period. Senior Marissa Gregory skated down the right wing side, deked a defenseman, and slid a low shot that snuck through Aveni’s pads and over the goal line. Santullo had an assist on the goal.
* Woburn’s opponent in Sunday’s D1 state final will be Methuen/Tewksbury, which also rallied from a 1-0 deficit to win, ousting Masconomet, 4-2.
The two teams had met twice during the regular season, with the Red Rangers winning one and the second finishing in a tie.
Senior Kelly Golini had the game-winning goal for Methuen/Tewksbury, depositing home a backhander midway through the third period to break a 2-2 deadlock. Masco’s Erin Irons had moments earlier tied the game at 2-2.
The Chieftains, making their second straight appearance in the semifinals, led 1-0 after the first period. Irons also had that tally, assisted by her sister Kate Irons.
Goals by Golini and Kaylen Taddia had staked the Red Rangers to a 2-1 lead before Erin Irons tied it up.
Cassidy Gruning added a late goal for Methuen/Tewksbury, making its first-ever appearance in a state final, in this the program’s first year in Division 1.