WESTBOROUGH – Defenseman Maddie Mrva’s second goal of the game, 1:39 into the second overtime, lifted the Shrewsbury High School girls’ hockey team into the Division 1 State Final Four for the second straight season, with a 3-2 win over Hingham High, Wednesday night at NorthStar Ice Sports.
The only time Shrewsbury had the lead against Hingham was when Mrva netted the game-winner.
Playing 3-on-3 in the second eight-minute overtime provided plenty of open ice. Mrva, a senior co-captain, picked up the puck in the neutral zone and headed straight up the middle of the ice. When she crossed the blueline, Mrva drew the puck to her backhand to slip past Hingham freshman defenseman CC Flynn, brought it back to her forehand and beat goalie Izzy McGarr (25 saves) to her glove side, just under the crossbar.
“I think my offensive instincts just kicked in. I’ve been playing defense all season but I kind of went back to my offensive-minded play,” said Mrva, who now has 14 goals and 12 assists on the season. “I don’t really know what came over me. I was just going on a rush of adrenaline.”
Shrewsbury played the final four minutes of regulation and both overtimes without leading scorer Taylor Ryder (12-16-28). The senior co-captain was drilled into the boards by Hingham senior defenseman Erin Packard in the third period. Ryder needed assistance to be helped off the ice and Packard got two minutes for checking, which is illegal in the girls’ high school game.
At the time, No. 6 Hingham (16-6-2) was clinging to a 2-1 lead and that penalty would prove costly.
Shrewsbury swarmed the net on the power play, peppering McGarr with shots. Finally, with just nine seconds remaining on the power play, and 2:12 left in regulation. Mrva knocked home the rebound of a shot by Katherine Vona to tie the game, 2-2.
Shrewsbury had trailed 1-0 after one period and 2-1 after two. But coach Frank Panarelli said he never lost confidence in the outcome.
“All game long I thought we had a lot of chances to bury a lot of opportunities, but we didn’t,” said Panarelli. “We went down 2-1, but the way we were playing, I just said, ‘We’re not outta this game.’ I told them we just gotta keep working and things will go our way.”
Hingham broke on top with 2:11 left to play in the first period, when super sophomore Caroline Doherty scored her 47th goal of the season. But the Shrewsbury defense would tighten up and stay on top of Doherty the rest of the night.
Shrewsbury tied the game 3:18 into the second period when Ryder scored her 12th of the year off a perfect feed from behind the net by sophomore Blaire Fay.
It remained 1-1 until late in the period, when Doherty set up linemate Addy Garrity (20th) for a goal to put the Harborwomen back on top, 2-1.
Shrewsbury goalie Risa Montoya finished with 20 saves, including three that came on a Hingham power play in the first overtime.
The No. 3 seed Colonials, who have never won a state title, will take on No. 2 Notre Dame of Hingham (17-6-1). The date, time and location have yet to be determined.
The other semifinal game will pit the top-seeded St. Mary’s (24-1-0) against the Cinderella team of the tournament, No. 13 Billerica High (11-11-0).