WOBURN, Mass. -- When speaking of the recent success and state titles (four straight) of the Duxbury girl’s hockey program, many would mention goalie Rachel Myette who concluded a remarkable career last season on TD Garden ice hosting another trophy.
After a thrilling 1-0 victory over Arlington Catholic Wednesday night at the O’Brien Rink in Woburn in the Division I quarter-final round, many including the Cougars won’t forget the name of Kathleen Donato.
Donato stood on her head all night in the Duxbury cage making 32 saves and sending the Dragons to a semi-final date with Acton-Boxborough on Sunday afternoon at the Chelmsford Forum.
“She is a senior and she has emerged and tonight was the best game that I have ever seen her play,” said Duxbury coach Friend Weiler. “She has worked hard and earned the nod as number one goalie. She made save after save and kept us in it in the first period. She is the reason why we won this game.”
A-C (18-3-1) tested Donato from beginning to end including just 30 seconds into the period when she flashed the right pad on a Jess Piracini bid.
Duxbury survived the first period scoreless despite the lopsided 12-3 shots advantage in favor of A-C.
Early in the second period, Duxbury’s Marissa Fichter, who scored the game winning goal against Arlington Catholic in last year’s state final game, came up with another timely strike.
After serving a penalty for checking, Fichter emerged from the box and stormed the offensive end and fired a shot that AC goalie Katherine Crane denied before Fichter drove to the net and swatted her rebound past Crane for the game’s only goal.
“I just kept hitting it and eventually it finally went in,” said Fichter. “It was right between her and the post. I didn’t really see where it was going. I’m not really sure how it went in.”
From there, the game and the moment belonged to Donato who made a huge glove save with just over four minutes left on Margaret Sullivan and a few more over the final two minutes as AC had the extra attacker on.
“I think it was really good that my team worked together,” said Donato. “Arlington Catholic is a great team and I think that by playing them it gave us a good challenge and made us work even harder. Even in the second period when we had kids in the penalty box our team really worked together and helped the defense out.”
Donato briefly joked about the final third period flurry she faced from the Cougars.
“I was a nervous wreck,” she said. “I basically had my eyes closed the whole time.”