A freshmen-laden DHS girlsâ€™ varsity hockey team opened its season with a 4-1 come-from-behind win over Barnstable on Saturday night at The Bog.
The Red Raiders have been one of the tougher teams on the Lady Dragonsâ€™ schedule since the two teams started playing each other. But since last seasonâ€™s 2-1 opening night loss to Barnstable, the Lady Dragons look to be on the verge of turning the tide on their opponentâ€™s dominance, having split last yearâ€™s series with a 3-2 win in January and opening with a win on Saturday.
Coach Friend Weiler has some seasoned veterans in senior captains Keri Gould and Briana Connolly, who along with junior defenseman Martha Findley and high-scoring forward sophomore Hannah Murphy make up a solid corps of returnees.
Add to that quartet a group of eight talented freshmen who made it through tryouts, and things are looking very optimistic for this yearâ€™s season. The true test at how far Weilerâ€™s squad has come could happen Wednesday night when the Lady Dragons travel to Lynn to take on Division 1 superpower St. Maryâ€™s of Lynn at 8 p.m.
St. Maryâ€™s has won three straight Division 1 titles and has not been beaten since March 7, 2007, winning over 60 straight games during that time span.
While Duxbury fell behind in its home and season opener less than two minutes into the contest on an Alisa Peteroskie goal, this yearâ€™s team seems to have the firepower to never be out of any contest.
Penalties seemed to be the bane for Duxbury throughout the first two periods. But after killing off the first one at the 12:07 mark of the opening period, the high-energy line of Murphy, Connolly and sophomore Lily Connolly pressured netminder Melissa Romiza and let her know she was in for more.
Just minutes later, Lily Connolly was stopped in front by Romiza, who would see the Lady Dragons go on the power play with 5:47 left in the first period.
Rookie forward Carolyn Shaughnessy was manning the point on her teamâ€™s first power play, and it was obvious why she earned the spot, as she blasted a shot from the left point that beat Romiza just 12 seconds after the penalty call and tied the game at 1-1 with assists going to Findley and freshman Zoe Griffin.
Duxbury came out with plenty of intensity in the second period, earning another power-play opportunity five minutes into the period.
With 10:14 showing on the clock, Lily Connolly gave Duxbury a 2-1 lead at the left post with Olivia McCarthy and Ally Hammel registering assists.
Their newfound lead was threatened with 8:22 to go in the period, as the Lady Dragons were hit with three consecutive penalties that left them shorthanded for close to three minutes. No sooner had Duxbury done an excellent job of penalty-killing then they were shorthanded for the final three and a half minutes of the period while clinging to their 2-1 lead.
Having survived the second period, Duxbury had a great chance to add to its lead starting the third when it went on the power play less than two minutes after the face-off. Murphy had the best scoring chance on the man advantage, and the defense pitched in for another scoring bid, only to see Romiza keep her team in the game with some brilliant net work.
Murphy would have another scoring chance in a shorthanded situation with 11:53 left in the game when she broke into the offensive zone with Briana Connolly, but Romiza came up big again.
Two more Duxbury power plays put Barnstable at a disadvantage for most of the final period and Murphy sealed the Red Raidersâ€™ fate with 1:21 left when she stole the puck at the blue line and went in alone on Romiza for an insurance tally and a 3-1 lead.
Briana Connolly would finish off the scoring with an empty-netter, with the assist going to Gould.
After Wednesday nightâ€™s match-up with St. Maryâ€™s, the team returns home for an 8:30 p.m. battle with Whitman-Hanson on Saturday night.