STONEHAM, Mass. – With a team as skilled as Arlington Catholic, a power play can be a deadly thing.
No. 6 seed Winthrop/Lynn played the game they need to beat the No. 3 Cougars through two periods of their Division 1 state tournament quarterfinal Tuesday at Stoneham Arena. But, in the third, penalties did in the ‘Dawgs, as AC scored two power-play goals en route to a 4-2 win.
The Cougars (18-2-2) advance to play the winner of Wednesday’s quarterfinal between Beverly/Danvers and Austin Prep in Sunday’s state semifinals.
Neither team was able to muster much offensively in the first period, with only a combined eight shots – four aside. AC’s Eileen Flynn broke the stalemate, however, at 4:54, on the Cougars’ first shot on goal.
“She’s like 95 pounds soaking wet,” Cougars head coach Maggie Taverna said of Flynn. “But she knows the game so well, she knows where to be and sometimes when she connects with the puck, it fires off pretty hard.”
The Cougars added to their lead at 4:05 of the second, when Jackie Sindoris put back a rebound of a shot from Adrieana Rossini.
But the Bulldawgs (14-4-2) would draw even by the end of the period.
While penalties started to add up in a highly physical game, Winthrop/Lynn took advantage of the extra space on the ice on a brief 4-on-4, as Emma English scored at 10:01. The Bulldawgs notched the equalizer just a minute, 57 seconds later on Ariana Dembro’s stuff shot from the top of the crease, beating Cougars goaltender Katherine Crane (17 saves).
“I just think we got in on our forecheck, worked hard and battled in the corners, mucked it up in front,” Winthrop/Lynn head coach Anthony Martucci said. “I think they’re skilled and we have to play to our strength, which is battling and doing all the grinding work. We ground it out and got a copule.”
The Cougars then found their closing stride, via a couple of power-play opportunities in the third.
Danielle Kelley scored the eventual game-winner at 2:20, via the man-advantage, with an assist from Sindoris on her second point of the night.
AC added an insurance marker with 2:47 remaining on Jess Piracini’s power-play goal from Duggan Delano.
“I thought it was going to be a little bit different,” Martucci said of the third period. “It’s hard to take penalties against a good, skilled team like that. It’ll burn you, and it did.”