IRVINE, Calif. – As a long-time English teacher at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, the prestigious prep school located in Faribault, Minn., Gordie Stafford knows there is a time to teach and a time to let his students demonstrate what they’ve learned.
In his role as the head coach of Shattuck’s 19 & Under girls hockey team, those same principles apply to the ice. Over the course of the long hockey season, practice is a time to teach and games are where his players show how well they’ve learned their lessons.
“You’ve invested the time and made a lot of sacrifices, so now is the time to hop over the boards and have fun,” Stafford tells his teams.
Judging from Shattuck’s opening game at the 2019 Chipolte-USA Hockey Girls Tier I 19U National Championship, Stafford’s prized pupils are ready to make the grade. Again.
Under Stafford’s direction, Shattuck has built something of a dynasty in girls hockey, winning three straight 19U titles, and eight overall. And entering this year’s tournament as the No. 1 seed, there’s little doubt that the maroon and white will be in the mix come title time.
Shattuck opened its title defense on Thursday against the hometown hosts, the Anaheim Lady Ducks, who for at least one period looked like they would give the defending champs all they could handle before the wheels fell off during a six-goal second period.
Casey O’Brien and Currie Putrah each potted hat tricks to pace the Shattuck attack that peppered Ducks goalie Lindsey Labadie with 51 shots. Eliana Ray was rarely tested in the Shattuck net but turned aside the 12 shots sent her way.
“I always tell my players that it’s not who you’re playing against but who you’re playing with,” Stafford said. “We encourage them to keep their intensity high and play with passion.”
Based on their opening game, it looks like Stafford’s students have learned their lesson very well.
Belle Tire 9, Dallas Stars Elite 0
Anna Segedi’s six-point performance paced the offensive onslaught for Belle Tire, who were the runner ups at last year’s tournament. Segedi’s hat trick was bolstered by the outstanding play of Danielle Hartje, who added a goal and four assists for the Detroit-based team. Hannah Turnage and Samantha Miller teamed up to shut out the Stars.
East Coast Wizards 7, Washington Pride 2
The East Coast Wizards scored five second-period goals to break open a close game on their way to an opening-round victory. Mia Fusco paced the Wizards offensive attack with two goals and an assist, and Lily Farden chipped in a goal and an assist. Sophia Merageas surrendered a first-period power-play goal to Lily Wildman and then clamped down on the Pride shooters on her way to a 16-save performance.
Rochester Youth Hockey 2, Mid-Fairfield Stars 0
Kiara Zanon scored a shorthanded goal in the second period to snap a scoreless tie, and Marle Dedert stopped all 24 shots she faced as Rochester blanked the Mid-Fairfield Stars. Zanon also set up Lauren Bernard for an insurance goal in the third period.
Boston Jr Eagles 6, Culver Academy 0
Caroline Kukas and Lily O’Neil teamed up to stymie the Culver offensive attack, and six different players scored as the Boston Jr. Eagles cruised to victory. Gabbie Cox, Cassi Ronan and Julia Nearis scored second-period goals to pad the Eagles lead created after Lilly Feeney’s opening frame marker. Deirdre Mullowney and Gaby Roy added goals in the third period to put the game away.
NJ Colonials 2, Detroit Honeybaked 0
In a bit of a stunner, the 10thseeded NJ Colonials blanked Detroit Honeybaked, the 7thseed, in the opening game for both teams. Taylor Zahimyi scored a first-period goal, and Caroline Goffredo added a third-period power play goal to give Courtney DeNaut (28 saves) more than enough offensive cushion for the Colonials.
Chicago Mission 4, Team North Dakota 0
Abbey Murphy found the back of the net three times, and Annie Spring stopped all 14 shots sent in her direction as the Mission started their championship quest off on the right foot. Ella Huber and Jayna Park helped trigger the Mission attack with a pair of assists, apiece. Lucy Morgan kept Team North Dakota in the game with a 49-save effort.
CT Polar Bears 2, San Jose Jr Sharks 0
The San Jose Jr Sharks found a steady diet of Katie Broccoli was not to their liking as the Polar Bears goalie stood strong in goal with a 15-save performance. Isabella Halsted Deluca provided the offensive firepower with a pair of goals.