MIAA Girls Division 1 Quarterfinal: Acton-Boxboro Has Final Say, Downs St Mary’s, 5-4, In OT

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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While Acton-Boxboro head coach Brian Fontas fully expected a close game when his Colonials faced off against St. Mary’s in Saturday’s MIAA Division 1 Quarterfinal, he didn’t expect it to be an offensive style of game.

The teams combined for five goals in the first period, and Acton-Boxboro rallied four different times from a one-goal deficit, ultimately winning this game, 5-4, on an overtime strike by freshman Natalie Hodgson.

Hodgson came down the right wing and fired a shot on goal that was saved by St. Mary’s goalie Rylee Smith, but Hodgson followed he own shot and was able to slip home the rebound three minutes into extra time.

The play started deep in the A-B zone, as the Colonials deliberately moved the puck up ice for the winning goal.

Acton-Boxboro’s Natalie Hodgson scores the first of her two goals in the second period that at the time knotted this game at 3-3. Hodgson scored the game-winner in OT as the Colonials prevailed, 5-4.

“We try to run some stuff like that, they don’t work all the time but they executed it well,” Fontas said. “It worked out, fortunately. I didn’t envision that game being 5-4 coming into it. Two good defensive teams. A good win against a real good team. I am proud of my team.”

St. Mary’s grabbed the first of its four leads in this game just 3:23 into the contest, as Jenna Chaplain broke in alone behind the defense and fired one past A-B goalie Max Anderson.

Just a minute later, the Colonials drew even as Cailey Ryan buried a shot right off a faceoff to the right of Smith.

Amanda Foriati’s first of two goals put the Spartans back in front, 2-1, at 6:10, but the Colonials answered back again with a power play strike by Ryan from the right circle at 10:40.

St. Mary’s forward Maggie Pierce battles A-B’s Allison Corrieri for puck possession behind goalie Max Anderson in Colonials’ 5-4 OT win.

It took St. Mary’s just 14 seconds to regain the lead, as Chaplain’s second of the day, assisted by Maggie Pierce and Regan Sullivan, pushed the Spartans on top 3-2 after the first period.

Acton-Boxboro had the lone goal in the second period. It came at the 1:11 juncture and was scored by Hodgson, who slammed home a rebound of a shot by Allison Corrieri.

In the third period, the Spartans went on a power play early, and about midway through the man-advantage, Forziati tapped home a loose puck in the crease, with assists going to Julia Lambert and Chaplain.

With 5:48 to go, the Colonials went on a power play. Fontas called a timeout to go over strategy and it worked, as Corrieri found a seam and buried an blistering slap shot into the top corner to tiet things up again at 4-4.

“She’s got a really good shot. A lot of teams will cover her,” Fontas said. “She just happened to get loose on the power play. It is hard to stop her for a long time. She’s got a bomb.”

That set the stage for Hodgson’s heroics in overtime that sent the Colonials to the semifinal round Monday night (TBA) against top-seeded Austin Prep.

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