SAN JOSE, Calif. -- As has become a familiar theme at USA Hockey's Girls 19 & Under National Championship, Shattuck-St. Mary’s again came out of its district tournament.
The Sabres also skated away with their third consecutive Nationals title on Sunday at Logitech Ice Center.
“I think that when you start any season, you set a goal,” Shattuck coach Gordon Stafford said moments after watching his team top Assabet Valley, 2-0, in Sunday’s finale. “It gives you a sense of direction for the year.”
That direction pointed Shattuck-St. Mary’s straight toward another gold medal performance, keeping the game well under control for the entire 45 minutes.
Jocelyn Lamoureux put Shattuck on the board in the opening period, taking a pass from twin sister Monique Lamoureux with 4:54 left in the period and slipping it past Assabet Valley goalie Alissa Fromkin. Monique Lamoureux, who finished second only to her sister with 13 points (nine goals, four assists, while Jocelyn had 11 goals and four assists), had been denied by Fromkin on two point-blank scoring chances earlier in the first period.
Shattuck nearly scored again in the final seconds of the period as Fromkin made two stellar saves to keep her Massachusetts District champion team in the hunt for the title.
“I thought we were controlling the game,” Stafford said. “We seemed to be getting stronger as the game went on.”
With most of the second period played in the Assabet Valley end, Shattuck again peppered the net to close out the second period. But Fromkin, again, was solid, keeping her team’s hopes alive with three saves in the final 10 seconds.
Shattuck finally punched in the insurance goal just 3:24 into the third period as Monique Lamoureux scored to give Shattuck the final 2-0 score.
“It’s wonderful to see them reach its goal like this,” Stafford said.
With 15 players set to return next year, Shattuck-St. Mary’s would appear to be favored to net its fourth straight title next year -- a goal Stafford will set for his team come September.
“We’ll just start the season [this fall] and start working together,” Stafford said, “and we’ll see how it goes.”
The defending champion’s path to Sunday’s grand conclusion began with a 3-0 run through the round robin that included a 4-2 win against Assabet Valley on Friday.
In Saturday’s quarterfinals, Shattuck topped the Connecticut Polar Bears, 5-2, but nearly saw its threepeat hopes derailed in Saturday night’s semifinal against Michigan District champion Belle Tire.
Leading 2-0 going into the third period of Saturday’s semifinal, Shattuck watched as Belle Tire scored three goals in six minutes. Only Jocelyn Lamoureux’s power play goal with less than six minutes left in regulation and another goal just seven seconds into overtime saved Shattuck from an early departure.
Assabet Valley was 1-1-1-0 in round robin play. It also had to survive an overtime scare on Saturday, clipping Team Illinois, 3-2, in extra time of Saturday’s quarterfinals, before getting a late game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory against Southeastern District champion Washington in the semifinals.
Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc.