FRISCO, Texas – Shattuck St.-Mary’s handed the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers their first loss of the 2023 Chipotle-USA Hockey National Girls Tier I U19 Championship as they were crowned champions on Monday at Comerica Center with a 4-1 victory.
Shattuck, coached by Gordon Stafford and Brianna Decker, came into the championship matchup undefeated as well with a 6-0-0 record in the tournament.
“We made a pledge at the end of last year that we had to defend better, and this team all the way through has really worked on that and over the course of the year we’ve been pushed, and every time they’ve been pushed, they responded,” head coach Gordon Stafford said.
“The resilience has just been amazing. To come into the tournament as the No. 1 seed, and you have a target on your back, that’s really hard. Every time we got down, they found a way.”
Strong offensive pressure from both teams yielded no results in the first period, with the Jr. Flyers outshooting Shattuck 13-6. A Philadelphia scoring chance saw Ava Thomas receive a pass in the defensive zone and skate up the ice, firing a shot that went just wide. With 7:30 remaining in the opening frame, Shattuck’s chance came when Maggie Scannell drove hard to the net on a 2-on-1, only to be stripped of the puck just as she neared the crease.
With 13:04 in the second period, the Jr. Flyers got the result they wanted when Thomas sent a pass from the left point to Stella Costabile at the top of the circle. Costabile sent a hard cross-ice pass to Kaylee Lewis, who found put the puck home to make it a 1-0 game.
That would be the lone goal allowed by Shattuck, who next scored four unanswered goals.
Just 40 seconds after Shattuck’s first power play opportunity ended late in the second period, Scannell helped draw a tripping penalty to put Shattuck right back on the power play. Jackson Kinsler helped deflect a hard Scannell shot from the point to tie the game at 1-1.
Shattuck’s second period domination continued when just 26 seconds later, they got the 2-1 lead and eventual game-winner on a breakaway opportunity with Allie Lalonde able to poke her own ricocheted shot just past the netminder’s pads.
Shattuck found the back of the net early in the third period, further extending their lead to 3-1. Jordyn Petrie skated the puck through the neutral zone, making her way thorugh the Jr. Flyers defenders, and firing a shot from the top of the slot that found the back of the net with ease.
To close out the matchup and seal the 2023 Girls Tier I 19U national championship, Delaney Fleming put home an empty-netter with 2:03 to play.
“We’ve all wanted to win this with this group. Since day one, we’ve all had this goal in mind,” Shattuck goaltender Genevieve Klein said. “We came out on top and we’ve reminded ourselves each game at this tournament that we wanted this and continued to push for that goal.”
Klein stopped 30 of 31 shots in the contest to lead her team to the victory.
“I couldn’t do it without them, with them blocking shots and putting people in the middle,” Klein said. “Of course it’s my job to stop pucks but they’ve just been awesome. This is always going to be a memory I’m going to have with them, and it’s going to be amazing to look back on.”