Way back in late December, on opening night, St. Mary’s and Matignon faced each other and it would be the Warriors coming out on top, 3-1.
Fast forward to the final game of the season, where these two teams would meet again for the Catholic Central League Cup championship. Matignon went on to prove that the opening night win was no fluke, bringing a perfect 11-0-0 record into the Saturday’s title game against perennial power St. Mary’s.
On this occasion, it would be the Spartans who came out on top.
Down 2-1 late in the second period, St. Mary’s struck for two goals in just over nine seconds in the frame’s final minute, both by Jenna Chaplain (who had all three St.Mary’s goals), and held on in a scoreless third period to win the CCL Cup, 3-2. Maggie Pierce assisted on all three goals
“It was great to respond so quickly after giving up a power-play goal,” said St.Mary’s coach Frank Pagliuca. “Great to see Jenna Chaplain step up with the hat trick tonight. She scored three unbelievable goals for us. It was also great to see us not panic and play with the resiliency to regain the lead.”
All five of the game’s goals were scored in the second half of the second period.
The Spartans (15-2-3) struck first when Chaplain broke loose on the right wing side and whistled a wrist shot past Matignon goalie Giana McCusker.
Matignon (11-1-0) tied it at 11:18 with a power play strike by freshman Lizzie Greeley. She came into the zone, used a Spartans’ defenseman as a screen and drilled a shot far side past St. Mary’s goalie Ang Catino.
A minute and a half later, the Warriors grabbed a 2-1 lead as Erin Bennett’s blast from the left point found its way home through some traffic in front.
St. Mary’s drew even with 31.3 seconds left when Chaplain snapped home a shot off the left post. Off the ensuing facoff, the Spartans entered the offensive zone and Chaplain was able to deliver again, putting the Spartans up 3-2.
The Spartans were able to kill off a penalty late in the period and were also able to pin Matignon in its own zone for most of the game’s final minute, making it tough for McCusker to leave for a sixth attacker.
“I think the kids wanted another shot at Matignon all year,” Pagliuca said. “Matignon had a great year themselves so they deserve to be in the final and it was great to have a chance to play them again.”