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Mid Fairfield 16U Players Heading to Fifth Nationals Together

By Tom Robinson - Special to USAHockey.com, 04/01/14, 4:45PM MDT

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The Mid Fairfield Stars bring an impressive list of recent and past accomplishments with them to the Toyota-USA Hockey Tier I Girls’ National Championships, particularly on the 16-and-Under level.

Mid Fairfield went unscored upon through four games of the New England District 16U championships and bring a seven-game shutout streak to nationals, which open Wednesday in Marlborough, Mass.

Many of the players on the team are taking their fifth straight trip to nationals and pursuing their second championship together.

The current group of 16U Stars went to nationals on the 12U level, then two straight years each at 14U and 16U. They won the 14U Tier I national title in Detroit in 2011.

“It’s been a really tight group of girls for five years.” team manager James Yue said of the southern Connecticut team.

Ryan Equale and Moe Tarrant served as co-coaches on the 2011 national champions and have been in the same role with the team for two of the past three seasons.

Among the players with the current 16U Stars is Catherine Crawley, the leading scorer in the 2011 title run. She had a pair of overtime game-winners in Detroit, including one to complete hat trick in the national championship game against Assabet Valley.

This season, Emily Yue and Claire Marshall each had one solo shutout while combining for a third shutout to get the Stars to the New England championship game. Paige Lewis scored the only goal of the 1-0 championship-game win over the New Hampshire Avalanche on March 23 at Trinity College.

The Stars held on through a late 6-on-4 situation while they were shorthanded and the Avalanche had the goalie pulled. Yue helped preserve the win and extend the shutout streak by stopping a breakaway with 14 seconds left.

Ashley Carbone, Serena Sommerfield, Abigail Marmer, Katherine Tewksbury, Taegan Blackwell and Pagie Capistran form the defensive unit that has teamed with Yue and Marshall for the long unscored-upon streak.

Three Qualifiers

Mid Fairfield is continuing its run of taking multiple teams to nationals.

The Stars sent all three Tier I teams — 19U, 16U and 14U — to nationals last season and have taken the 16U and 14U teams together for each of the past three years.

Mid Fairfield has three teams going to nationals this year, including one to the Tier II tournament in Amherst, N.Y. The Stars finished second in the New England Tier II 16U tournament, the only one in which New England was allotted two national berths.

The Tier I 14U team had to avenge a round-robin loss to the Connecticut Northern Lights in the semifinals before handling what had been a dominant Connecticut Polar Bears team in the final.

The Polar Bears were unscored upon in three round-robin games and had outscored four district opponents by a total of 16-1 before falling to the Stars 2-1 in the championship game.

Two Polar Bears Teams Advance

Even with the loss in the Tier I 14U final, the Polar Bears were the other New England program to qualify multiple girls’ teams for nationals. The Polar Bears won Tier I 19U and Tier II 14U district titles.

The Polar Bears downed Rice 4-0 and Mid Fairfield 4-1 for the Tier I 19U championship. They defeated the Connecticut Ice Cats 4-0 in the title game of the Tier II 14U tournament.

No Repeat

The Vermont Shamrocks will have three girls trying to win a second straight Tier II 16U national title in Amherst, N.Y.

Most of the other players from last year’s championship team were hoping to get a shot at nationals on the 19U level. The Shamrocks reached the district championship game before falling 1-0 to the Portland Junior Pirates.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.


District Champions

Tier I Girls

14U: Mid Fairfield Stars

16U: Mid Fairfield Stars

19U: Connecticut Polar Bears

Tier II Girls

14U: Connecticut Polar Bears

16U: Vermont Shamrocks (champs)

16U: Mid Fairfield Stars

19U: Portland Junior Pirates

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