Mass. Girls HS Hockey: Acton-Boxboro, Notre Dame Academy Skate To 1-1 Standoff

Kevin Stone
Kevin Stone, a Waltham High Class of 06 graduate, played lacrosse and golf before going into journalism at New England College in Henniker, NH. Kevin went to Framingham State and Middlesex Community College after that. He started doing freelance work in August of 2008, working for The Palo Alto Daily (Palo Alto, CA) and The Waltham Daily News Tribune, and worked for Patch.com until getting jobs with The Norwood Record and Metro West Daily News in 2012. Stone's been writing for the Metro West ever since and has since added The Boston Globe, HNIB, MassVarsity, The New England Football Journal and BostonLax to his already extensive resume.

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Wednesday night’s matchup between D1 No. 8 Acton-Boxborough and No. 7 Notre Dame Academy wasn’t a must-win game for either squad, but it certainly was a chance to see how both teams matched up against elite competition.

A-B came in .500 in its last four games after starting the year 5-0. The Cougars entered losers of three straight following a 3-0-2 start to the season, so consistency was really what both teams were striving for when they took the ice at the Nashoba Valley Olympia rink.

This one turned into the Lily Prendergast show for most of the night as the NDA goalie made 31 saves. Prendergast’s counterpart on the other end Max Anderson (14 saves) didn’t face nearly as many shots, but she stopped some big ones in overtime and the teams ultimately skated to a 1-1 tie.

DI powers Acton-Boxboro and Notre Dame Academy skated to a 1-1 standoff Wednesday night.

The Cougars are now 3-3-3, the Colonials are now 7-2-1 and both teams can feel good about themselves coming out of the matchup.

“I thought we carried the play most of the night, but Notre Dame Academy is historically just a great program,” said A-B head coach Brian Fontas. “John (Findley) does a great job with them and those are the games you love to be in, that was a tournament type game. We had our chances tonight, but Prendergast was just unbelievable.”

Lily Prendergast Notre Dame Acad.

“Zone time, we dominated them for the first period and part of the second, we just don’t get shots on net, that’s our problem,” said Findley. “This is the kind of game you can get a little momentum. Defensively we were better and obviously Lily was great. The thing for us is, the girls are trying to dangle and we’re not danglers. We’ve just got to start getting pucks on net more.”

Acton-Boxborough took a 1-0 lead less than five minutes into the game when Erin Gamble buried a loose puck after a shot from Allison Corrieri. From there, Prendergast shut the door with 11 saves in the period.

“Honestly, the more shots the better,” Prendergast said of her busy night. “I’m not bored or cold or anything and it makes the game more exciting…the D played well. I had a lot of shots, but it’s exciting.”

With 7:22 to go in the second NDA knotted things up at 1-1 after Prendergast made a flurry of saves to keep it a one-goal game. Sarah White streaked down the left wing and let a shot go that seemed to handcuff Anderson, sneaking under her glove side arm. A-B outshot NDA 13-4 in the period, but the teams were still tied heading to the third.

“It’s going to sound a little silly, but I just try to use calming breathing and Zen-like practices,” Anderson said of how she stayed locked in on the other end while Prendergast saw most of the action. “When I get too riled up I get kind of frantic in the net, so when someone shoots I may let it in. So, I just try to kind of like chill out. My defense, there were so many opportunities the other team didn’t get because of them too.”

Acton-Boxborough started the third with 1:21 of power play time (there were eight total penalties in the game) and then earned another PP on a checking call but couldn’t score. The Colonials had a chance for the go-ahead goal with three minutes left in regulation, but Cailey Ryan sent a puck just over the net after flying in on a breakaway.

The Cougars were awarded an overtime power play thanks to an A-B trip with 1:41 to go, but Anderson made four saves in the extra frame to preserve the tie. 

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