KINGSTON — After steamrolling its first two opponents — outscoring them 14-1 — Whitman-Hanson/Silver Lake seemed to have met their match in Cohasset/Hanover as WHSL skated to a 2-2 tie against the Skippers Wednesday evening at the Bog.
“Cohasset/Hanover is a very good team,” WHSL head coach Kevin Marani said. “We had a lot of opportunities but we just didn’t capitalize and that’s hockey.”
WHSL (2-0-1, 1-0-1 SEMGHL NE) dominated possession of the puck in the first period of action — outshooting C-H nearly 2-to-1 — senior forward Mel McAleer almost got the Panthers on the board midway through the frame, but her wrist shot dinged off the post and it remained 0-0 at the end of 15 minutes.
Just 39 ticks into the second, the Skippers (2-0-1, 2-0-1) got on the board via senior captain Alex Martini’s third goal of the winter to make it 1-0. WHSL was in uncharted territory as it found itself trailing for the first time in more than 105 minutes this season.
“The first goal sort of caught us by surprise,” Marani said. “We were outshooting them and they had a nice goal. We had a lapse in defense and then after that they said we have to bear down a little more on defense.”
The Panthers were flying down the ice with urgency midway through the second as freshman Natalie Nemes had a pair of blistering shots on C-H netminder Sarissa Fazio (32 saves) but nothing to show for it.
With 3:00 to go in the frame, McAleer was finally able to break through—beating Fazio through the 5-hole to knot the score at 1-1.
Less than two minutes later, freshman Alyssa Murphy was rewarded for crashing the net as she poked home her fourth goal of the season — beating the sophomore goalie to her blocker side to give WHSL a 2-1 lead.
“Alyssa has been great,” Mariani said. “She’ll have many, many, many goals in her career, for sure.”
However, the Skippers would not go easily and with 8:13 left in regulation Maddie Murphy flicked a shot on WHSL goalie Melissa Crone (18 saves) that found its way past her to tie the score at 2-2.
“Melissa played well,” Marani said. “She had one fluke goal on her. That happens, that’s hockey. She could have hung her head, but she didn’t. She came out and made three really big saves in last four minutes of play in the game.”
C-H had its chances down the stretch to snatch a lead, including a power play with 6:58 remaining, but Crone stood strong in net.
Defenseman Katie Johnson turned in an impressive outing with countless breakups in her own zone.
WHSL recorded 34 shots on net to C-H’s 20 in the draw.
“I think we deserved to win the game,” Marani said. “You can outplay a team, you can outshoot them by 3-to-1 but you come out with a tie. We’re hanging our heads in there but they’re celebrating like they just won a championship.”