MARLBOROUGH, Mass. -- Emmy Cooper capped her first season as the starting goalie for the Shattuck-St. Mary’s 16-and-Under girls’ team on Sunday by collecting her fourth shutout at the Toyota-USA Hockey Tier I Girls National Championships.
Cooper, who also finished the tournament as the top 16U goalie by not letting up a single goal, played behind starter Megan DuBois last year.
Her final shutout of the tournament, a 3-0 donut against Mid-Fairfield, gave Shattuck its second straight 16U national championship.
“I just kept on playing, it’s just really exciting, I have no words,” the 16-year-old said outside the locker room moments before being handed the game puck. “I was just trying to play my best.
“Back to back [titles], I don’t know, it’s just adding to the collection now. I’m just happy to be on the team. We were much better than last year, so I had full confidence in my team.”
While Cooper paced the defense for Shattuck, Brette Pettet led the offence with goals at the 19:11 and 16:49 marks of the final period on Sunday.
“It means a lot to me a lot to me that I can help my team out and get the win,” Pettet said. “It just means a lot. I’m happy that we pulled through.”
Alexis Mauermann assisted on the first goal.
“She saw me coming, so she put it there in a position where I could get the rebound,” Pettet said. “It definitely made me feel more secure, but I still knew it wasn’t over, but it was definitely a better position to be in.”
If her fist goal didn’t put her at ease, her second one with about 10 seconds left in the game certainly did.
“It made me feel like I sealed the deal there,” she said with a laugh. “That was good. It means a lot. It was a great experience this year. And I’m pretty thankful that we could win again, and hopefully we’ll do it again next year as well.
“It just shows if you work hard and play hard as a team it will pay off in the end.”
Shattuck also got on the board at 3:11 of the opening period when Katherine Hughes scored off an assist from Maddie Mills.
“Getting that first goal really changed the pace of the game,” Hughes said. “They had control for most of the time until then, so it was a great momentum shift. After that I think everyone started flying. Everyone was super nervous leading up to it. After that everyone kind of relaxed a little bit and played how we normally do. I think it just helped us out. It was a great team effort.
“It’s amazing: My first year we didn’t make semis, so last year was surreal and this year is amazing. I can’t even explain it.”
Shattuck coach Pete Johnson said it’s especially tough to win at the 16U level because so many girls on the team end up getting called up to the Minnesota boarding school’s 19U squad.
“And we get all new players coming in,” he said. “You can see how young we are. We are a young U16 team, so that’s kind of tough. Especially against a team like that; they were good.”
Mid-Fairfield coach Kevin Tarrant said he’s won two of the five national championship games he’s coached over the years.
“They put the puck in the net and we didn’t,” he said as his players came up to hug him one-by-one. “The first two periods we outshot them and we outplayed them, but we didn’t put the puck in the net. And that’s the way it’s measured. They found a way to put the puck in the net.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Four USA Hockey National Championships finales took place at the Amherst Pepsi Center on Sunday. They saved the best championship game for the end of the day.
A late third-period goal broke a tie in an end-to-end, action-filled game as the Mid-Fairfield Blues added an empty-netter to defeat the LA Hockey Club, 5-3, to win USA Hockey's Tier I 14 & Under National Championship.
"It was a hell of a game by both teams," Mid-Fairfield coach Chris Kiene said. "They were the team to beat. We were behind a little bit with some injuries. They are strong and move the puck around very well. We stayed stride-for-stride with them. We had our system all year, trying to get five goals usually wins us hockey games."
It wasn't easy getting those five goals. Neither team held more than a one-goal lead until the empty netter. The lead traded hands three times.
The key goal came with 5:55 left in the contest. An LA defenseman tried to pass the puck to the top of the circle on the left side, but Quinn Smith beat the receiving player to it. Peter Michialidis then one-timed a pass home.
Afterward, LA threw everything at the Mid-Fairfield net. With the exception of a few clears, the puck was in the Blues' zone for virtually the rest of the game. Willie Love, who had already made some spectacular saves, especially with his glove, had to elevate his game to save his team. He was up to the task.
"Willie really came together in this tournament," Kiene said. "I gave him the net and I asked if he wanted to win a National Championship. He was willing to do it. He played great to get us in this position. He made the saves today when we needed it."
Love's teammates finally helped him out when they scored an empty-net goal, thanks to a fortuitous bounce and roll. LA pulled its goalie with a minute to go. With almost half a minute left, Brandon Russo cleared the puck from deep in his own zone off the glass. The puck took the right bounces, flipped up on its edge, and rolled all the way into the unguarded net to clinch the championship for the Connecticut squad.
"All season we've been a third-period hockey team," Kiene said. "We knew our best hockey was going to come in the third period. So we knew to keep it close in the first two periods and that our best was going to happen. We are a very well-conditioned team and we work very hard to prep, and our kids are committed. It showed in the third period. They stayed focused on what they were doing, and they kept on accelerating."
The Blues scored the first goal of the game at 5:56 of the opening period while the teams were skating four per side. With a faceoff to the right of the LA goalie, Russo won it cleanly back to Smith, who shot it straight into the net.
While both teams were still skating a man down, LA answered when Andrew White's shot from the right point beat Love. LA took the lead late in the period on a two-man advantage power play. LA had a shooting gallery going, and finally Love was unable to stop the barrage. Matthew Nieto found the open Shane McColgan, who blasted it past the sprawled goalie.
Two quick goals in the first three minutes of the second period gave Mid-Fairfield the lead back, the first on the power play, the second while shorthanded. Once again a clean faceoff win, this time by Michialidis, produced the goal. Tyler Bouchard shot a bullet past Kyle Laslo.
Smith scored his second of the night, thanks to never giving up on the play. Kevin Tiefenwerth had a shorthanded breakaway, but was stopped by Laslo. However, Laslo dropped his stick in the process, and Tiefenwerth hustled after the rebound and found Smith on the opposite side. Smith easily put it through the five-hole of a stickless Laslo.
During that same penalty, LA got it back 12 seconds later when Nieto put the rebound in from a Shane Sooth shot.
That tied the game and set the scene for the nail-biting third period.
Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc.