Girls Prep Hockey – Dorothy Howard Small School Tournament: New Hampton Repeats As Champion

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopouloshttp://www.hnibnews.com
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 Dorothy Howard Small School champions: New Hampton School

For the second straight season, New Hampton and Groton met for the Dorothy Howard Small School championship, and for the second straight season, it would be New Hampton that came out on top.

The second-seeded Huskies got a goal from Kayleigh Michaud-Nolan with 2:41 to go in the third period, snapping a 1-1 tie and giving New Hampton its second straight title with a 2-1 victory.

It was New Hampton’s third straight trip to the Small School finals, having lost to Rivers in 2022.

The Huskies went 5-1-2 over their final eight regular season games, but it was the only loss during that stretch, to St. Paul’s, which proved to be the biggest factor heading into the playoffs.

“I think we learned more in the 5-1 loss to St. Paul’s in the Lakes Championship than anything else,” said New Hampton coach Craig Churchill. “Our effort wasn’t sustained and we gave up four power play goals. What the run and that loss taught us was that we needed to be more disciplined and we needed to believe in ourselves.”

This game was scoreless until late in the second period, when the Huskies struck first on a power play. A cross-ice pass from Reese Luber alone in the left circle and her wrist shot beat Groton netminder Veronika Hadamovsky with 2:41 to go in the period.

The Zebras answered quickly at the 1:51 mark of the third period. Christina Scalese sped down the right wing side and fired one home past New Hampton netminder Vera Lee.

New Hampton goalie Vera Lee was named the Kim Nanof MVP award winner. Nanof (r) presented the award to Lee and coach Craig Churchill (l)

On the winning goal, a loose puck behind the net squirted to the left post, where Michaud-Nolan was stationed to tuck it home. True Thompson and Julia Loughlin had assists.

Groton coach Tim LeRoy pulled Hadamovsky early and the Zebras had some pressure, but couldn’t get the equalizer.

The two teams met in the regular season, and Groton came on top, 3-0.

“We we played the first time, we faced a strong goalie and shooting to score wasn’t working,” Churchill said. “We shifted our focues to shoot to get pucks to the front and look to make the goalie uncomfortable with tips, screeens and second chance opportunities. We also recogized that in the two games we played them the past two years, we gave up four goals, all on the power play. We knew we needed to play them 5-on-5 to give ourselves the best chance to win.”

New Hampton goalie Lee was selected as the recipient of the Kim Nanof MVP Award for the tournament.

New Hampton finished the season at 18-6-6, while Groton closed out at 18-6-2.

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