The Everett High girls hockey team dropped a heartbreaking 4-3 decision to Framingham in a preliminary round contest of the MIAA Division 1 North Sectional tournament last Monday.
“It was a tough loss for us,” said EHS head coach Joe McLaughlin, whose 9-7-4 Lady Crimson Tide were seeded 25th in the North bracket and played against a 14-3-3 Framingham team that was seeded eighth. “We were unfazed by their record and we came to play, but a couple of breaks in the final minutes went their way and that proved to be the difference.”
Everett led almost the entire game, starting with a first period goal by junior Nicole Flores that left matters at 1-0 at the first horn. Nicole, who surpassed 100 career points this season and will enter her senior year with 112 points in the record books, made it 2-0 early in the second frame on a power play goal.
Although Framingham responded quickly to make it 2-1, sophomore Meghan Price, who finished tied for second place on the Everett scoring list this season with 19 points behind Flores’s 27 points, made it a two goal lead with an end to end rush that McLaughlin described as a “beautiful goal.”
However, Framingham hung tough and closed the gap to a single marker before the end of the second stanza, setting the stage for what would prove to be a dramatic final period.
Both teams skated hard and fast in the final period, but neither was able to dent the opposition goal. Everett’s netminder, senor Kristy Welch, was a bulwark for the Crimson Tide. Kristy, who ended up with 38 saves on the night, made numerous outstanding stops to preserve her team’s one goal margin.
However, with about four minutes to go, Framingham took advantage of a delayed penalty call and notched the equalizer with a 6 on 5 advantage. Then two minutes later, with another power play opportunity, Framingham pulled ahead for the 4-3 finale.
Although the defeat certainly was not the end to the season that McLaughlin and his squad had envisioned, the coach acknowledged that the tourney loss did not detract from an otherwise fine campaign that had been turned in by his Lady Crimson Tide.
“We had a great year and it was a pleasure to coach these girls,” said McLaughlin. “I’ve coached at all levels of hockey and this was the most fun season I’ve ever experienced.”
McLaughlin also noted that this was the last game for a special group of seniors. “Some of these girls have been with the program for five years and have made a tremendous contribution to girls hockey at Everett High,” said the coach. “We had superb leadership from our captains and our seniors both on and off the ice. They will be sorely missed.”
The seniors include Captains Brittany Delling, Alex Arvanaitis, and Sam Rebello, and goalkeeper Welch, Nikki Martinelli (who was tied for second on the scoring chart with 19 points on the season), Krystina Hogan, Barbara Pereira, and Ally Battaglia.
The team will hold its breakup and awards banquet on Tuesday, March 30, at Spinelli’s in Lynnfield.