FRAMINGHAM – Down two scores after a tough opening body, junior goalie Risa Montoya and the remainder of the Shrewsbury women hockey staff knew they wanted to play their finest interval of the season as a way to get again of their Div. 1 state semifinal matchup Saturday night time at Loring Arena.
They acquired two of these intervals to spark a livid comeback as a substitute, and now the Colonials are headed to TD Garden for the primary time in program historical past.
With 4 straight objectives amid a whole reversal of power and composure, third-seeded Shrewsbury stormed again to beat No. 2 Notre Dame Academy of Hingham, 4-3, and avenge its loss within the state semifinal spherical final season. All 4 scores got here from totally different gamers over the second and third intervals, whereas Montoya (22 saves) dialed up her recreation a number of notches to carry off a vicious Cougars assault within the remaining body.
That included a pair of clutch stops proper in entrance of the online lower than a minute earlier than Rachel Bunsick buried the go-ahead purpose for a 3-2 lead with 10:22 to go, in addition to a few stops within the waning minutes whereas particular groups killed off a penalty. Freshman Lauren Albertson netted the eventual recreation winner with 6:15 to play.
Shrewsbury now awaits the winner of No. 1 St. Mary’s (L) vs. No. 13 Billerica/Chelmsford within the remaining.
“I’m going to be replaying this game in my head for a long time,” Montoya stated. “Our coaches told us that we weren’t down yet, we still had a lot of hockey left and I think that was really important going into the second period. … My D does a lot for me, they’re unreal. I love being able to have their back because a lot of the time they have mine. Those two goals that went in, I was a little frustrated. But coming into the second, I knew I couldn’t do it again.”
Shrewsbury had a troublesome time cleanly advancing previous the impartial zone early, after which struggled to search out many clear lanes for photographs on web when it did. Montoya performed nicely with 11 saves as NDA peppered her within the first interval, however two acquired by. Caroline Hartnett completed off a rebound saved from the left circle, and Lauren White’s purpose off a 2-on-1 cross from Maggie Donahue gave the Cougars all of the momentum with a 2-0 lead.
But as soon as the primary interval ended, so did the Colonials’ offensive struggles.
After the Shrewsbury protection blocked most photographs to offer Montoya a protracted breather, Mia Ryder took benefit of an influence play to chop the deficit in half by scoring on a knocked down puck in entrance. Sadie Cusson’s purpose on a rebound lower than a minute later tied the rating at 2-2 with 5:51 left within the second, pumping life right into a subdued crowd to solely gasoline the Colonials extra.
“I told the girls, ‘Settle down,’” stated Shrewsbury coach Frank Panarelli. “We moved the puck well and were just fortunate to score.”
The momentum regarded like it could swing again in NDA’s favor within the opening minutes of the third when it fired off a wide-open shot and rebound try in entrance, however Montoya stopped each to protect the tie. A lucky bounce off an preliminary Ava Larkin save then discovered its approach into the online 40 seconds later for Bunsick, erupting the Shrewsbury crowd even louder. Once Albertson completed off a rebound with 6:15 to go for an insurance coverage purpose, it was the Colonials’ recreation to lose.
White scored her second purpose of the sport not too lengthy after to problem Shrewsbury, and a late flurry regarded like it could tie the rating. Montoya held sturdy, although, and a penalty kill throughout the final three minutes of motion punched the Colonials’ ticket to the ultimate.
“It was a great game, a great hockey game,” stated Panarelli. “Last year was a big thing to get (here), but I (said), ‘Getting here is not enough this year, I want to go to the Garden.’ Again, no quit in this team.”