NORTH BILLERICA, Mass. -- Acton-Boxborough used a dominating first period to set the tone as the Colonials sped away from Chelmsford (12-3-3) with a 6-0 victory to claim the DCL/MVC Large division title last night at Chelmsford Forum.
Kati Goguen scored two goals as nine Colonials talled a point, while eighth grade goaltender Cali Loblundo made 12 saves to register the shutout and push the teams record to 16-0-2.
The two teams were locked up in a one-goal game earlier in the season, and Colonials head coach Brian Fontas knew a quick start in this contest with league bragging rights on the line would be very important.
His team responded with four goals in a 16-shot flurry during the first 15 minutes of the game.
“If they had beat us then we would have tied for the league, and we didn’t want to tie,” Fontas said. “I think we had a little extra incentive.”
Kaitlin Hoang got things going for the Colonials when she fired a puck into traffic and it ricocheted off someone’s leg and into the goal at 4:47. Before the Lions could shake off the early frustration, Leah Cardarelli took the puck back over the blue line and scored near post above the left shoulder of Torrie Russo from the right circle just 39 seconds later for a 2-0 advantage.
“To go up quick like that is big,” Fontas said. “That set the pace for the rest of the night.”
The Lions were called for a four-minute penalty on a hit along the boards and the Colonials responded before the big-time advantage could be squandered with 34.2 seconds remaining on the penalty. Goguen got to the same spot as Cardarelli and mirrored the result from with a goal just under the crossbar.
With 1:51 remaining in the period, Hoang charged towards the net, left it for Megan Barrett and she slid a pas right to Olivia Keefe in front for the 4-0 advantage.
Goguen and Lauren Roche would pot second-period goals for the final goals of the game.
YOUTH IS SERVED
What makes the Colonials so unique is their ability to play young players in key spots and continue to build upon last year’s success as league champions and a showing in the Boston Garden.
The second line — which actually got the start last night — of Hoang, Keefe and Barrett are all still in eighth grade, but play with a lot more seasoning to their game.
“I thought we were going to be competitive,” Fontas said. “To be honest I didn’t think we were going to not have lost a game at this point in our schedule. It speaks volumes of our kids.”
YOUNG GOALIE SOLID AGAIN
Loblundo didn’t have to make a ton of saves as the Colonials controlled play on the other end of the ice, but she was in position on a several attempts on the doorstep and also stoned Julianne Sheehan on a breakaway in the third period.
The young netminder has only let up 10 goals all season and recorded her seventh shutout with her latest mastery.
“She played last year as a seventh grader, and we were in the Garden last year,” Fontas said. “She has no fear. She welcomes the pressure and she likes it.”