By Matt Williams
---- — BYFIELD — In a matter of minutes, the Masconomet girls hockey team’s emotions dipped from elation to disappointment at the sharp angle of a roller coaster.
Freshman Kylie Currier’s extra attacker goal with 37 seconds left in regulation gave the Chieftains new life in the Division 1 state tournament against Austin Prep at Governor’s Academy’s Whiston-Bragdon Arena Saturday.
Neither team scored in a single 5:00 overtime, however, and AP’s Maddy Ricci had the only goal of the four-round shootout as the Cougars outlasted the Chieftains, 2-1.
MIAA rules call for a 12:00 overtime and a five-round shootout. Though the officials did not correctly implement the overtime, Masco won’t protest the result of what was a well played, exciting contest.
Masco (14-5-2) pulled goalie Alex Jones with 2:17 to go trailing 1-0. AP goalie Shannon O’Neill (31 saves) denied both Kendra Dow and Jensena Moner as the Chieftains threw everything, including the kitchen sink, at the net.
“We realized that we were coming up on the end of our season, and not the end we wanted. We started playing with cautious desperation,” said Masconomet coach Nicole Twomey.
In the final minute, Dow’s shot was sticked aside by O’Neil and Katie Terban won a battle behind the net to free it. She popped it out to Currier in the the slot, and the ninth-grader from Middleton fired it top shelf to end O’Neil’s 89:23 postseason shutout streak on Masco’s 30th shot.
“I wanted to throw it at the net,” said Currier. “Katie got it to me and I saw some space there and just got it to the net.”
After a cautious overtime, the teams went to the shootout. AP’s first shooter hit the post before Ricci scored and Jones made saves on the final two Cougars. For Masco, Terban’s backhander went wide and O’Neil stopped Dow, Currier and Moner to win the shootout, 1-0.
“We’re a team that needs the dirty goals, the ugly goals, and going into the shootout you’re just hoping,” said Twomey. “It doesn’t come clean or easy for us, but the intensity this team brought today to stay in a 1-0 game and get to the shootout was incredible.”
Austin Prep (12-7-4) moves on to face Catholic Central rival St. Mary’s in the quarterfinals and played a defensive game with the Chieftains. Both teams controlled the neutral zone at times and after a scoreless first, the Cougars on an offensive zone draw awarded by icing. Ricci won it cleanly back to Molly Sullivan, who scored.
“You kick yourself a little bit because we covered those and we knew how important we were,” said Twomey. “But Austin Prep is a good team and they’re going to take advantage of any little breakdown like that.”
O’Neil stopped Moner on two partial breakaways, and Dow was twice denied shots by backchecking Cougars on partial breaks of her own.
Masco, which was 5-for-5 on the penalty kill, had to kill a 54 second 5-on-3 early in the third. Dow, Currier and Meg Hubbard did the job and Jones (21 saves) made some timely saves to keep the Chieftains within one goal.
agateHed:Austin Prep 2, Masconomet 1 (SO)
agate_boldCentered:Division 1 first round
agate_lineQuarters:Austin Prep@SportsLocalAgate:agate_lineQuarters:: 0 1 0 0 — 1
agate_lineQuarters:Masconomet@SportsLocalAgate:agate_lineQuarters:: 0 0 1 0 — 1
agate_lineQuarters:First period@SportsLocalAgate:agate_lineQuarters:: No scoring.
agate_lineQuarters:Second Period@SportsLocalAgate:agate_lineQuarters:: AP, Molly Sullivan (Maddy Ricci), 8:45.
agate_lineQuarters:Third Period@SportsLocalAgate:agate_lineQuarters:: M, Kylie Currier (Katie Terban), eag, 14:23.
agate_lineQuarters:Overtime@SportsLocalAgate:agate_lineQuarters:: No scoring.
agate_lineQuarters:Shootout@SportsLocalAgate:agate_lineQuarters:: AP, Ricci.
agate_lineQuarters:Saves@SportsLocalAgate:agate_lineQuarters:: AP, Shannon O’Neil 31; M, Alex Jones 21
agate_lineQuarters:Records@SportsLocalAgate:agate_lineQuarters:: AP, 12-7-4; M, 14-5-2.