Mike Mullowney knew his Boston Junior Eagles 19U Tier I girls team had scoring talent going into this season.
Mullowney, the Junior Eagles girls director and the head coach of the 19U team, set out to make sure the Junior Eagles had the defense to match.
His team responded with 13 shutouts and only gave up 15 goals all season. That ability to keep pucks out of the net is a big reason the Junior Eagles will arrive at the Chipotle-USA Hockey Tier I 19U Girls National Championship on April 4-8 in Irvine, California. Heading into the tournament, the Junior Eagles are unbeaten through 26 games.
With the team coming in with offensive talent, Mullowney tasked his team with working on becoming better defensively. He felt very strongly about following his defensive philosophy and having defensive responsibility.
“We work very hard at it,” Mullowney said. “We knew going into the season that we had a lot of offensive skill. I felt like that was going to come.”
It didn’t take long for this Boston-based team to show its improvement on defense. The Junior Eagles allowed just one goal while scoring 39 in five Massachusetts District tournament games while winning the 19U Tier I state title and a berth at nationals.
Offensively, Harvard University commit Taze Thompson scored a tournament-high seven goals and assisted the only goal of the championship game victory over the East Coast Wizards.
Gaby Roy scored in the second period for the 1-0 victory. Roy is committed to play at Boston College.
Defense set the Junior Eagles apart in the later stages of the tournament.
“We spend more time than most practicing different D-zone structures,” Mullowney said.
Mullowney also praised his quality of goaltending during the season. Madeline Beck and Caroline Kukas handle the goaltending duties.
Like other 19U and 16U teams in Massachusetts, the Junior Eagles played their season prior to November. They did get together for four more wins between Christmas and New Year’s.
The Junior Eagles program is also sending a 16U Tier I and 19U and 14U Tier II girls teams to nationals through at-large berths and an 18U Tier I boys team as a Massachusetts District champion.
North Shore Vipers capture 14U district title
The North Shore Vipers won their six district games by a total of 41-7, beating the Islander Hockey Club, 4-1, in the championship game.
The Vipers joined four East Coast Wizards teams and the Junior Eagles 19U Tier I’s as the state championship teams that earned the district’s automatic girls nationals berths.
Samantha Taber had three goals and an assist in the final. Caroline Cervini added two goals in the win that officially secured the spot in the event in Amherst, New York, April 4-8.
The Vipers showed off a variety of weapons and were balanced with five of the tournament’s top eight scorers.
Julia Small had a tournament-high 10 points. Brenna Young added nine and Ella Cedrone, Julia Pellerin and Taber had eight each.
Cabral led with six goals while Smith led with seven assists.
Unlike the older age groups, the 14Us stay together all season.
North Shore, with a young roster for the age group, is 44-11. The Vipers are 8-0 in March and allowed only eight goals the entire month.
2019 USA Hockey Massachusetts District Girls Tournament Champions
14U: East Coast Wizards
16U: East Coast Wizards
19U: Boston Jr. Eagles
14U: North Shore Vipers
16U: East Coast Wizards
19U: East Coast Wizards
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.