AMHERST, N.Y. -- It was the Perfect Storm — the coming together of the Cape Cod Storm and the Keweenaw Storm in the 19-and-Under title game at the Toyota-USA Hockey Tier II Girls National Championships.
A first-period tally and a third-period breakaway goal gave Cape Cod the 2-1 victory. Madison Haberl scored both goals.
“I feel extremely fortunate right now,” Cape Cod coach Scott Ghelfi said. ”I think we had some opportunities that we missed. We did have the jump on them with that first goal. But then once they tied it, that seemed to light their fire and we were back on our heels the rest of the game.”
That first goal by Haberl came with less than two minutes left in the first on a puck that was bouncing every which way.
“Kelly [Ferreira] and I broke it out of the zone and then Kelly was carrying it wide,” Haberl said. ”I just cut right to the net. I hit it first and it didn’t go in, and it was kind of in the air, and it dropped, and I just hit it again.”
Then the penalties started coming. Cape Cod committed two in the first, three in the second and four in the third, providing Keweenaw with eight power play opportunities.
Keweenaw, which hails from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, took advantage of the second one, tying the game 20 seconds into the middle stanza. Maybelline Beiring shot it from the left dot to beat Madison Scavotto.
However, that was all Keweenaw was able to muster with the numerous power plays. Shortly after the tying goal, Cape Cod killed off a two-man advantage for 1:50 and then late in the third withstood nearly a minute of being down two players.
“The girls have really good wheels,” Ghelfi said. ”I had confidence with every line to kill penalties. We’re just so active on the penalty kill that people have a tough time setting up against us. We did have a couple of five-on-threes, which didn’t make it any easier.”
Haberl gave Cape Cod the lead at 9:42 of the final period, stealing the puck at her opponent’s blue line, springing her on a breakaway.
“I don’t know how I got it,” Haberl said. ”I just remember I was at center ice and I had the puck. I was freaking out. I normally don’t do good with that. But all I could think about is the semifinal game with my high school team and I literally had the same exact thing happen, and I just shot it the same exact way because I knew if I deked it I would not do good with that. I just shot the puck. I can’t believe it went in.”
Her shot beat Stephanie King over the glove just inside the crossbar and post.
“I feel like they handled us in the second and third periods and we could never get it going after that first period,” Ghelfi said. ”We could never get our groove back because of the penalties. Thank God for Maddy Scavotto, our goaltender. She came up huge when we needed her. And Maddy Haberl, she got that one break on the turnover and she made it pay, and here we are.”
Keweenaw pulled its goalie with 1:13 left, part of which was on the power play, but the Storm could not get the equalizer.
“We’re really excited,” Haberl said. ”We’re really glad we did it as a team. All this hard work. We’ve been together for so long. Our dreams came true.”
The win completed a Massachusetts sweep of the Tier II girls’ championships.
“That’s incredible,” Ghelfi said. ”We have a preseason tournament in September and Charles River was at our tournament. They won our U16 division and we won our U19 division. So that’s pretty cool our home tournament can boast two national champions now. It’s just incredible for Massachusetts.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.