As Duxbury head coach Dan Najarian put it, Canton had develop into his Dragons’ “kryptonite” after a three-game dry spell in opposition to the Bulldogs, together with being eradicated in final yr’s Div. 2 semifinals.
The winless streak got here to an excellent finish for the second-ranked Dragons Sunday as they rolled to a 5-2 win over No. 4 Canton within the Div. 2 finals at TD Garden.
Duxbury bought a pair of tallies from Madeleine Greenwood and a aim and help from McKenna Colella because the Green Dragons completed a stellar 24-1-2 report. Canton, which misplaced to Algonquin within the 2022 ultimate, had tallies from three completely different gamers to complete at 19-3-4.
“It’s like that four-title team from the 2010s was a thing of yesteryear,” mentioned Najarian. “It’s been nine years and I couldn’t be prouder of the girls. We had five goals and had four of them by freshmen and sophomores. It’s encouraging for the future too.”
Duxbury was aggressive from the primary faceoff and put the Bulldogs in a seemingly deep gap within the opening quarter-hour. The Dragons outshot Canton 6-1 and stored the strain up in Canton’s finish with relentless forechecking for nearly your complete interval.
The effort within the Bulldogs’ finish lastly paid off when Greenwood took a Colella feed and blasted a shot previous Carolyn Durand for the 1-0 lead on an influence play at 7:57. Duxbury went up 2-0 with 1:43 left within the interval, this time on a nifty backhander by Colella.
Canton, which outshot Duxbury 6-2 within the second stanza, was extra tenacious and bought a aim again on a low slap shot outdoors the precise faceoff circle by Tori Carr to make it 2-1.
Despite outplaying the Dragons within the second, the Bulldogs nonetheless discovered themselves down two objectives when Greenwood, who was arrange in entrance of the Canton web, redirected a Colella slapshot for the 3-1 benefit and her second tally with 1:06 left.
Canton took benefit of an early energy play within the third to chop it to 3-2. Audrey Koen was left unchecked subsequent to the precise submit and Duxbury goaltender Anna McGinty had no shot when Koen fired a shot in after corralling a cross from Maya Battista.
But that might be as shut because the Bulldogs would get as Duxbury added tallies from Addyson Harrington and Parker Metzler to safe the crown.
“We were able to run three and four lines over and over again. It just wears teams down,” mentioned Najarian. “If you win a lot of third periods you’re going to win a lot of hockey games. Canton had a great push and obviously their coach had them fired up. We were able to take over the game with our late third period push.”
Greenwood knew the significance of an all-out effort in opposition to the robust Canton membership. “We knew we had to give everything we got,” she mentioned. “This was our last game of the season and there’s no practice tomorrow. We put everything on the ice and everyone played their role. We’re very close and when they got a goal we realized the next one was real important and we fought back.”
At their final apply on Saturday, Canton coach Nikki Petrich pressured to her squad it had a powerful system going into the sport with a sturdy veteran presence on protection and up entrance, and stable goaltending.
“You couldn’t write a better ending (getting to the Garden), but I guess you could,” mentioned Petrich. “It’s why hockey is so awesome. We get to play here.”