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January 10, 2013

Kick Saves: Quick transition has Beverly off to best start ever

You never know how long it’ll take a team to adapt to a new head coach, but its safe to say the Beverly girls hockey team has hit the ground running this season.

The Panthers (7-0) are off to the best start in the eight-year history of the program in coach Brian Seabury’s first season after last night’s win over Cambridge.

Beverly is doing it at both ends of the ice, with 43 goals for and just seven goals against in 2012-13. It’s a competitive bunch that’s learning to harness their will to win, night in and night out.

“Coach is pushing us to work hard and be flexible,” said senior Livvy Konaxis, who shares the captain’s ‘C’ with classmate Katie Szela. “The competitive nature of all the girls has been huge. We all play to win.”

Beverly is getting exactly what it expected out of its top forwards. Konaxis (18 points) and junior Nicole Woods (20 points) have skated together for three years and are now the most dangerous offensive pair in the area.

It’s the contributions from some new faces that have helped the Panthers go from good to potentially great.

Look no further than in goal, where senior Ami Thompson is excelling in her first campaign as a full-time starter. She’s perfect on the year with a goals against of 1.00 and a stellar save percentage of .938. She’s allowed more than two goals in a game just once and has two shutouts.

“She’s been terrific, and in every game she’s been pretty solid from start to finish,” said Seabury. “We’re expecting the same throughout the season.”

Thompson came to Beverly in the middle of last season and played sparingly behind all-star Jenna LoVasco. Her teammates knew coming in that she’d be ready to carry the load in 2012-13.

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