WESTBOROUGH – Shrewsbury High School girls hockey team netted goals from eight different players, en route to a 9-0 romp over No. seed 30 Old Rochester, in the first round of the Division 1 Girls State Hockey Tournament, Wednesday night at North Star Arena.
Sophomore Yasmine McKenzie led the way for the Colonials with two goals and an assist. In all, 12 different players registered points for Shrewsbury, including sophomore defenseman Riley Manchester, who notched her first career goal.
Shrewsbury Coach Frank Panarelli realized the tournament path will get tougher, but he feels his team’s tough regular season schedule has them prepared.
“The MVC/DCL league that we moved into [last year], is tough. We play 12 league games and they are like 12 playoff games,” he said. “Obviously, the competition is going to get tougher, as we keep going deeper, but we’ve got a strong team this year, really deep. Our goaltenders and our defensemen, I’d put up against anyone in the state. Our forwards just have to put the puck in the net like they did tonight.”
Old Rochester (7-13-1), a team whose roster included eight players in Grade 9 or younger, was simply outclassed by a more experienced and very hungry Shrewsbury squad. The Colonials outshot the Bulldogs, 44-7, including 22-2 in the first period.
Still, the Shrewsbury hockey team had some trouble finding the back of the net early on, thanks to some spectacular play from Old Rochester goalie Ryann Tripp, who notched 35 saves. But once the Colonials figured out a way to solve Tripp, the floodgates opened.
Leading 1-0 late in the first, Shrewsbury scored three times in a span of 40 seconds. Goals by sophomore Blaire Fay, junior Paige Umile and sophomore Mia Ryder gave the Colonials a 4-0 lead going into the first intermission.
“We had opportunities but their goalie played fantastic,” said Panarelli. “It’s nice to see the team respond like that, to get three quick goals, really put the game away, a little bit. That was huge. We didn’t want to go into the locker room up just 1-0.”
Shrewsbury pushed its lead to 5-0 midway through the second, when Maddie Mrva scored off a feed from Taylor Ryder (two assists).
With Old Rochester skaters visibly fatigued, Shrewsbury ramped up its attack and turned the game into a rout in the third period. Goals by freshman Lauren Albertson, Manchester, McKenzie and junior Natalie MacCausland accounted for the final score.
While not being forced to make many saves, juniors Marisa Montoya and Maggie McManus combined to record the shutout in net for the Colonials.
Shrewsbury (17-2-2), who is No. 3 seed, advances to the Sweet 16, Saturday, 5 p.m., at North Star, against the winner of Friday’s first-round game between No. 14 Pope Francis and No. 19 Stoneham.
Local teams face competition as state tournaments begin this week