KINGSTON, Mass. -- The last thing a goaltender wants to see with nothing but a clean sheet of ice between them is a Duxbury skater wearing No. 13 on her sweater and long red hair flying out from underneath the helmet, bearing down on you.
The Hingham girls saw that happen twice, and a third time that same white jersey was parked alone just off the crease. Hannah Murphy buried all three chances and powered the top-ranked Dragons to a 4-2 victory over No. 2 Hingham last night at The Bog.
With 5:35 to go in the first period, Murphy intercepted a clearing attempt just beyond the Harborwomen blue line, split a pair of defenders and out-skated four black shirts in to fire a wrist to the far side for the game's first score.
In the middle frame, defenseman Carly Campbell pushed a loose puck forward to Murphy, who floating solo around the Hingham blue line. Murphy collected the pass, skated in again and ripped a wrist shot to the stick-side corner at 5:03.
Just under five minutes later with the Dragons on the power play, Murphy executed a perfect give-and-go with Marissa Fichter, whose return pass from behind the goal was tailor-made for a one-timer, which Murphy buried to give the Dragons a 3-0 lead.
"I definitely couldn't have scored without their playing," Murphy said of her teammates ability to get her the puck. "There were definitely some good passes and Marisa made an awesome dish to me out front on the power play. I don't want to miss so I'm pretty confident. I just go in positive and say to myself that I'm going to snipe."
Added Duxbury head coach Friend Weiler, "The key is to get [Murphy] free and give her clear shooting lanes and we were able to do that tonight. Whenever she gets the space, she's real dangerous."
THIRD PERIOD DRAMATICS
Most girls programs spent the holidays either playing club hockey or enjoying the vacation time with their families and friends. Call it rust, or perhaps they were simply snake-bit, but the Harborwomen certainly generated chances. They outshot Duxbury, 18-14, in the game. They just weren't able to capitalize on many.
That changed in the closing seconds of the second period when quick passes by Emily Falvey and Catherine Linehan sprung Jane Freda loose for a breakaway, and the talented senior went low and found the five-hole with 1.5 seconds left.
That energized Hingham, and they cashed in on an early, third period power play as Freda and Linehan set up Falvey for a nice shot from the low left circle to make it a 3-2 game with 9:04 to go.
"I thought we had the momentum once we had that second goal," said Hingham head coach Tom Findley. "I honestly believe that we did dominate a lot of parts of that game. We just didn't put the pucks in the net. They have a goalie who is an elite goalie in the state and one of the elite players in Hannah who is just opportunistic. There's one girl you've got to keep an eye on and we didn't. We let her loose and she got loose in the wrong parts of the rink and she put the puck in."
Before the Harborwomen could tie it, however, Duxbury's Julia Nolan was able to sweep a loose puck home and the Dragons had a very important insurance goal with 4:19 remaining. Goalie Rachel Myette held the fort from there as Hingham kept the pressure on, finishing with 16 saves.
"Rachel had a huge game for us," Weiler praised. "There was a couple of big saves that kept us ahead and preserved the lead. They were trying to get traffic in front of the net and she was still able to make the big save when we needed it. Another backbone of the team. Goaltending is so huge and she's been phenomenal all year and the past two years."