Spitfires cruise to 2-0 start in 16U Tournament
But the one-day turnaround didn't provide any trouble for the Spitfires. Thanks to an outpouring of goals, Massachusetts rolled to a 6-0 victory against North Dakota.
Spitfire forward Lillian Feeney helped ease the minds of the Spitfire players and fans with two first period goals. Throughout Friday’s game, Feeney was at the net, ready to pounce on any loose puck. Her netfront presence was key to Massachusetts getting on the board early.
Feeney topped off her performance by once again attacking the net and picking up the hat trick. After a goal in the Spitfires’ first win on Thursday, Feeney now has four goals on the weekend.
“(Feeney)’s got a real good hockey sense,” said Spitfires head coach Ed Ronan, a Massachusetts native who spent time with the Montreal Canadiens, Winnipeg Jets and Buffalo Sabres. “It always seems like the puck follows her."
"Today, she seemed to be at the right place at the right time. With her, that’s something we’ve definitely seen before.”
Feeney’s teammates also chipped in during the victory. Three other Spitfires – Marlee Paterson, Catherine Luciano and Maya Mangiafico – each tallied goals in the victory. Rachel Gittings held up strong in goal and picked up the shutout for Massachusetts.
Thus far, it has been tough sledding for Team North Dakota. The team opened the 2017 tournament with an 18-1 loss to defending 16U champion Shattuck-St. Mary’s and was beat again Friday. They will wrap up preliminary round play with a game against Detroit Honeybaked.
As for Massachusetts, they have the daunting task of going up against Shattuck-St. Mary’s. Ronan said he expects the Minnesota-based powerhouse to play a similar style to the Boston Jr Eagles, a team that the Spitfires matched up against earlier this season.
“We have some things we’ll try to do to slow them down offensively,” Ronan said. “Hopefully we can play well and also get a few bounces to go our way.”
With both teams heading into Saturday’s game undefeated and a spot in Sunday's semifinals on the line, the stakes are at an all-time high.
East Coast Wizards 3, Buffalo Regals 2: Trailing 2-1 late in the second period, Anna Bargman saved the day for the 14U East Coast Wizards.
Bargman scored late in the second to tie the game and added the game-winning goal in the third to help the Wizards get past the Buffalo Regals. Emma Roland led the way for the Regals with each of the team's goals.
Assabet Valley 2, Detroit Honeybaked 1: In this tightly-contested 14U matchup, the score was decided in a span of fewer than four minutes.
After both teams were scoreless through two periods, Brooke Hammer opened for Detroit Honeybaked the scoring with a goal 1:21 into the third. Seconds later, Kiley Briand tied the game up for Assabet Valley.
Shortly after, Alexandra Joseph scored the go-ahead goal that helped Assabet Valley get off to a 2-0 start at this year's tournament.
Boston Jr Eagles 2, New Jersey Colonials 0: After surrendering a two-goal lead in their first game of this year's tournament, the 14U Boston Jr Eagles rebounded with a 2-0 victory against the New Jersey Colonials.
Kaley McDonald got the Eagles on the board with a penalty shot goal in the second period, and Josie Mendeszoon added some insurance with a goal in the third.
Taylor Hyland will be honored with an STX Skill Award with her shutout performance for Boston. She stopped all 19 shots she faced Friday.
Pittsburgh Pen Elite 1, Team Wisconsin 0 (OT): After opening overtime with a two-man advantage and failing to convert, the 16U Pittsburgh Pen Elite triumphed over Team Wisconsin 1-0. Kaitlyn O'Donohoe broke through for the Pens, pouncing on a loose puck in front of the net.
Gilmour Academy 3, Madison Capitals 1: After losing in its first appearance at the USA Hockey National Championships, 19U Gilmour Academy picked up its first-ever nationals win Friday, defeating the Madison Capitals.
Abigail Zenone, Annmarie FitzGerald and Morgan Miller each scored in the winning effort, while Gilmour goalie Gabrielle Venne stopped 34 of 35 shots. McKenna Butcher was the lone scorer for the Capitals.
Kendra Nealey and Tess Dettling each tallied goals in the opening frame. Madison Tregenza of the Spitfires attempted to get Massachusetts back in the game with a third-period goal, but Mission goalie Alexandra Rodman shut down any possible comeback with a 17-save performance.
Detroit Little Caesars 4, Colorado Selects 0: In the final game of day two of the USA Hockey Tier I Girls National Championship, Kate Froling led the way for the 19U Detroit Little Caesars in a shutout victory against the Colorado Selects.
On the offensive side of things, Elle Hartje opened up the scoring for Little Caesars. After Odisoula Argyris made it 2-0, Grace Markey added a pair of goals to seal the victory.