Woburn girls winning in all kinds of ways
By Ed Flaherty
The Woburn (Mass.) High School girls hockey team has staked its claim as the No. 1 club in the Bay State.
The Tanners have opened their 2011-12 slate with a perfect 7-0 record while proving they can win by any manner necessary.
Woburn started its season with four straight shutout wins, outscoring the opposition by a combined 27-0. During that stretch, the Tanners won by 8-0 (twice), 5-0 and 6-0 margins.
In its last three games, however, Woburn has been forced to grind out victories and the Tanners have managed to do just that.
After giving up a goal for the first time all season, Woburn held off Lexington for a 4-2 victory.
Next was an even closer contest against Arlington, a 2-1 win, followed by a 1-0 nail-biter against Winchester on Wednesday night.
Still, Woburn has allowed just three goals all season long while tallying 34 times.
Woburn advanced to the Division 1 semifinals a year ago before suffering a 2-1 loss against Acton-Boxboro, but appears ready to improve on that finish this season.
The Tanners have a statement victory among their seven wins, a 5-0 win over perennial contender St. Mary’s of Lynn.
The Tanners have skill players from the freshman through senior classes, led by senior captain Bryana Harron. Juniors Kayla Smith, Kylee Maher and Cassandra Connolly; sophomores Ashley Moran and goalie Courtney Davis; and freshman Erica Lissner have also made major contributions to Woburn’s success.
New Cannan junior Olivia Hompe set a state record with seven goals in one game in a 9-4 win over Springfield (Mass.) Cathedral on Dec. 22.
Hompe broke the record of six goals, which she shared with former New Canaan standout Maggie Westfal.
The Rams are 9-0 this season, led by Hompe’s 31 goals and 14 assists.
Following her seven-goal outburst, Hompe had five-goal and six-goal outings in her next two games.
Hompe has 210 career points as she continues to challenge the Connecticut state record of 261 career points.
The Messalonskee High School boys perennially field competitive teams in Eastern Class A, but the Eagles have felt the ice tilting the other way in recent years when facing Waterville.
Messalonskee hadn’t beaten Waterville since February of 2005 until the Eagles picked up an impressive 7-1 win over the Purple Panthers on Jan. 3.
Messalonskee, now 6-2, was led by Chase Cunningham, who recorded a hat trick in the win.
Nate DelGiudice made 26 saves for Messalonskee to record the victory.
On Jan. 6, the 10th annual Mark Bavis Challenge Cup was held at Bajko Memorial Ice Rink in Hyde Park, featuring Catholic Memorial and Xaverian.
Prior to the game Bavis – who was among the victims of United Airlines Flight 175 that struck the South Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 – had his number retired by Hyde Park youth hockey.
A Hyde Park standout as a youth hockey player, Bavis went on to lead Catholic Memorial to three state titles before playing at Boston University and later becoming a scout for the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.
In addition to the Challenge Cup, the Mark Bavis Leadership Foundation was established following his death. The foundation provides scholarships for Massachusetts students who excel in the classroom and on the ice.
In the Challenge Cup contest, Catholic Memorial defeated Xaverian, 4-0.
Last season’s Division 2 championship game combatants squared off in a rematch on Jan. 7 and once again Dover had the edge over Merrimack, winning 3-2 in overtime.
The Green Wave had to work for the win, however, rallying from a 2-0 deficit to force overtime, where Eli Cobb tallied the game-winner for Dover.
Dover managed to send the game into OT when Riley Leavitt scored with just 22.3 seconds remaining in regulation.
Tyler Briand made 32 saves for Dover, while Brett Glendye had 19 stops for Merrimack.
Both teams are 4-2 in Division 2.
Back-to-back wins last weekend moved the Bishop Hendricken boys hockey team to 7-0-1 in Division I action and 9-1-1 overall on the season.
The Hawks knocked off Mount St. Charles on Jan. 6, 6-3, and followed that with a 4-1 victory over Cranston West on Jan. 7.
Bishop Hendricken is the only remaining unbeaten club in Division I.
The Hawks have displayed a balanced scoring attack this season, led by freshman Matt Creamer, who has 10 goals and six assists for 16 points. Creamer had a hat trick against Mount St. Charles on Jan. 6 and followed that effort with a two-goal night against West Cranston.
Other Hawks who have hit double digits in points this season are Robert Buehrer (seven goals, seven assists), Andrew Fera (five goals, eight assists), Paul Fillipone (two goals, 10 assists) and David Mitchell (five goals, six assists).
William Palmer has a .928 goals-against average for Bishop Hendricken and made 50 saves in the win over Mount St. Charles.
The Northfield boys earned an important Division 2 victory over Burr and Burton Academy when Jackson Tucker scored in the last minute of regulation to secure a 5-4 win.
The victory improved Northfield’s record to 8-2 while handing Burr and Burton (6-2-1) its second loss in the last three games.
Daegan Goodman had a pair of goals for Northfield while Grayson Lavigne made 27 saves in goal.
Over its last four games – all wins – Northfield has outscored its opponents 25-6.
Game of the Week
Cumberland (7-0) will face Coventry (5-1) in a matchup of the top two teams in Rhode Island’s Division 2 North on Saturday (7:30 p.m.) at Adelard Arena.
The game is the first of three scheduled regular-season matchups between the schools.
Michael Kinch leads Cumberland with 11 goals and 13 assists, while three Coventry players – Corey Rogers, Michael Pesola and Conner DiPietro – have 13 points each.
New England High School power rankings
1. Fairfield Prep (7-1)
2. Notre Dame West Haven (7-2)
3. East Haven (6-1-1)
4. South Windsor (7-2)
5. Ridgefield (5-1)
6. Trumbull (5-1)
7. Guilford (4-1)
8. Staples-Weston-Shelton (4-0)
9. West Haven (5-1)
10. Joel Barlow (4-0)
1. Marshwood/Traip (8-0)
2. Scarborough (7-0-1)
3. Bangor (5-1)
4. Thornton Academy (5-1)
5. Brewer (7-1)
6. Greely (5-0-1)
7. Messalonskee (6-1)
8. Hall Dale/Winthrop/Maranacook (6-2)
9. Kennebunk (5-2)
10. Old Town (6-2)
1. Malden Catholic (5-1-1)
2. BC High (5-1)
3. Woburn (6-1-1)
4. St. Mary’s Lynn (8-1-1)
5. Hingham (7-2)
6. Needham (5-1)
7. Franklin (8-0)
8. Catholic Memorial (4-2)
9. Burlington (4-1-2)
10. Westford Academy (5-2-1)
1. Pinkerton (6-1)
2. Oyster River (4-1)
3. Memorial (7-1)
4. Bedford (3-1)
5. Dover (4-2)
6. Merrimack (4-2)
7. Alvirne (5-0)
8. Souhegan (4-0)
9. Salem (3-1)
10. Kennett (5-0)
1. Bishop Hendricken (7-0-1)
2. La Salle (6-2-1)
3. Cumberland (7-0)
4. Johnston/North Providence (7-0)
5. Prout (7-2-2)
6. Portsmouth (6-2-1)
7. Coventry (5-1)
8. Middletown (5-1-2)
9. Pilgrim (5-2-1)
10. Mount Hope (6-1)
1. Essex (9-0)
2. U-32 (7-0-1)
3. BFA St. Albans (7-1)
4. South Burlington (8-1)
5. Burr and Burton (6-2-1)
6. Middlebury (6-3)
7. Northfield (8-2)
8. St. Johnsbury (7-2)
9. Colchester (5-3-1)
10. Stowe (4-2-1)
Ed Flaherty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.