It was like a scene from a Hollywood movie. Or was it? No, not even Hollywood could have scripted a scene that took place over the final two days for the Mid-Fairfield (Conn.) Stars.
Catherine Crawley, fresh off a game-winning goal in double overtime in the semifinals that gave the Stars a berth in the USA Hockey National Championships title game, did it again. Crawley scored a second consecutive overtime goal 10 seconds into the extra session against Assabet Valley to cap her hat trick and lift the Stars to the 14-Under Tier I national title, 3-2, on Sunday in Rochester, Mich.
“Everything happened so fast,” Crawley said about the overtime winner in the final. “I just took the puck after the opening faceoff and went through one of their players and I just whipped the shot and it went in. I mean I don’t think anything could top this.”
Stars coach Moe Tarrant had high praise for the overtime hero.
“Catherine is the leading scorer on our team,” Tarrant said. “She has probably some of the most gifted hands I have ever seen in hockey at her age. She is a great competitor and can stickhandle with the best of them.”
Assabet Valley came out flying and was the better team in the first period, scoring 26 seconds into the game. Makenzie Kent scored the first of her two goals following a scramble in front, with Caitrin Lonergan and Alexandria Laing assisting. Lonergran and Laing both had two assists in the game.
“I thought we controlled the game from the start and had a good pace going,” Assabet Valley coach Dennis Laing said. “A couple breakdowns and a couple of lucky bounces turned the tide the other way.”
At times in that first period, the Stars were under siege. But standout goaltending from Emma Farrel kept Assabet Valley from building on their lead, and Assabet Valley led 1-0 at the end of the period.
“Emma has had a tremendous tournament,” Tarrant said. “She was just awesome and so was the team in front of her.”
The Stars scored the equalizer at the 2:18 mark of the second period. Crawley scored the goal and Sasha Fritts landed the only assist. Mid Fairfield was the better team in the second period but could not get beat goaltender Brooke Woejko as the second period ended with the scored tied 1-1.
“Brooke did everything she could to keep us in the game throughout,” Laing said. “She made all kinds of stops and it’s unfortunate that we could not pull this game out for her. She deserved a better fate.”
In the third period, Assabet Valley fell into some penalty trouble but took a 2-1 lead when Kent scored a shorthanded goal from Alexandria Laing. Less then a minute later, at 5:21, Crawley tied the game with the Stars on a 5-on-3 advantage to send the game into overtime. Katherine Savage and Sara McNamara assisted on the game-winner.
“Last night and before the game, our team got emails from all over the world from our former players,” Tarrant said. “The whole week was a great reward and we experienced the whole venue out, here which was nice.”
Story courtesy of Red Line Editorial, Inc.
Tag(s): 14 & Under