Kylie Currier was in the middle of both Masco’s goals, which came in a two-minute stretch in the second and knotted the score 2-2. Less than a minute after AP took a 2-0 lead, Masco had an offensive zone draw to begin a power play. Captain Jensena Moner won it to Currier, whose shot was saved by AP goalie Caty Flagg (13 saves).
Adara Nazarian buried the rebound at the other post to make it 2-1.
Just 2:40 later, Currier scored on a feed from Nell Criscione to even it up.
“We were down and we came out unphased,” said Boepple. “We came out fighting for rebounds and that worked for us. To go down two and tie it shows that fight.”
The Cougars regained control at the end of a long defensive shift for the Chieftains. With a pile of bodies in front of the net, Masco’s clearing bid didn’t get across the blue line. The puck then found Ricci at the post for her second goal, this one proving to be the game-winner.
“We had a couple of long shifts before that one, and Austin Prep was keeping the pressure on us,” said Boepple. “We just couldn’t clear it out.”
Boyle’s goal with 12:14 remaining put Masco in a two goal hole again. The Chieftains had pressure with Currier, Izzy Sarra and Maddy Werner testing Flagg. Austin Prep’s sophomore goalie and her defense held the fort in order to advance.
The Chieftains were without junior captain Dana Valletti due to illness, and Boepple was proud of how his girls adjusted their lines and played cohesively. Masco was also a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Masco graduates one senior, Danielle Teixeira, and Boepple said he believes coach Nicole Twomey will return to the bench next winter. Boepple took over on an interim basis in December when Twomey, who was in her second season on the Chieftain bench, took a leave of absence for personal reasons.