Girls Prep Hockey – Chuck Vernon Elite Championship Game: Nobles Turns Tables, Knocks Off Williston For Title

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos has been covering prep school hockey for the HNIB News for over 30 years, and has been the editor of the HNIB News since 2005. A former sportswriter and news editor at the Woburn (MA) Daily Times Chronicle, he has been the HNIB News' key reporter for Mens Prep School hockey since 1988, as well as womens hockey, both at the prep school and high school levels. for almost 20 years. Gary also helps organize and oversee HNIB's many summer tournaments and festivals for scholastic players.

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The 2024 Chuck Vernon Elite 8 Tournament champions: Noble & Greenough

Putting the finishing touches on an undefeated season, top-seeded Nobles took home the 2024 Chuck Vernon Elite 8 Tournament championship on home ice Sunday, and in the process dethroned two-time champion Williston, 3-1.

It marked the 11th overall New England championship for Nobles and veteran coach Tom Resor, the first since 2020. The victory was also special, as in their drive to the Elite titles the past two years, Williston had been the team to knock Nobles out.

Nobles (27-0-4) had a pair of one-goal victories to reach the finals, defeating St. Paul’s (4-3) in the quarterfinals, and then Loomis Chaffee (1-0) in Saturday’s semifinal.

Nobles goaltender Anya Zupkofska was named MVP of Tournament

“Our one-goal games in the quarters and semis definitely helped prepare us for the finals because of the importance of doing the little things like getting pucks out of our zone, getting pucks deep in the other team’s zone, hitting the net with shots and blocking shots,” said Resor. “Fortunately, we were able to take the lead in each of the three games, which helped keep the momentum in our favor.”

The victory was extra sweet for Resor and the program. The veteran coach announced in the pre-season that this would be his last behind the bench for Nobles, only to reverse that decision last week, annnoucing he indeed will be back next winter.

“As the season progressed, I started to think more and more about returning to coach because I enjoy it so much,” Resor said. “Over the years, I have been blessed with such great kids and parents and I realized I wanted to continue if possible. Because we had not named a coach, I was able to do so.”

Catherine McCool

Eighth-grader Catherine McCool put the Bulldawgs ahead 1-0 in the first period by converting a rebound while on a power-play, assisted by Rachel Zhao and Olivia Maffeo.

In the final minute of the second period, with it still a 1-0 game, Nobles was battling to stave off a Williston power play when Sophia Levering started a 2-on-1 breakout. She cruised down the left wing and fired home a wrist shot to give Nobles a huge two-goal lead.

Just before the midway point of the third period, senior veteran Olivia Maffeo buried a shot to make it 3-0 in favor of Nobles.

Williston, which finished another superb season with a record of 21-4-1, didn’t fold. At the 10:45 mark, the Wildcats got on the board with a goal from close range from Riley Stocker, assisted by Camille Armaganian and Emily Hamann.

They continued to press, buoyed by another power play, but could not close to within a goal.

“When we scored to go up 3-0, our bence erupted, and everyone was sky high,” Resor said. “And even though Williston scored about two minutes later, everyone’s spirits stayed up because of their belief in each other, something we have had since the start of the season. In this particular game, the players seemed to find an extra gear every time Williston increased the pressure.”

Nobles netminder Anya Zupkofska was named the Elite 8 Tournament MVP. The Award was named after John Cooper, who coached for 32 years at Hotchkiss and presented the award following the game.

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