PORTSMOUTH â€” Over the past several years, Portsmouth Abbeyâ€™s rink has been a house of horrors for Cumberland High, a building that has been as cold to the Clippers as the frigid temperatures inside its confines.
On Sunday afternoon, the Clippers endured their latest nightmare at the arena, and it resulted in a swift exit from the Division II playoffs.
The third-seeded Clippers dropped the third and deciding game of their best-of-three semifinal-round series to second-seeded Portsmouth High in the form of a 5-3 defeat that wasnâ€™t nearly as close as the score indicates.
WARWICK -- Talk about deja vu!
For the second straight night, Mount St. Charles Academy found itself trailing by a 2-0 score in the early stages of its Division I semifinal-round game with La Salle Academy on Saturday.
For the second straight night, the Mounties shook off their rivalsâ€™ superb start and came back to knot the contest and force a 7Â˝-minute overtime session.
And for the second straight night, the Mounties prevailed in OT.
SOUTH KINGSTOWN â€“ It's bad enough that Mount St. Charles Academy had to contend with another strong outing from Prout School standout Emily Caswell in Saturday's Division II state finals.
But it also had to deal with its worst offensive showing of the season.
Caswell poured in a team-best 20 points. Along with her effort and a stifling Crusaders' defense, Mount saw its spectacular winter campaign on the hardwoods come to a crashing halt inside the Ryan Center with a overwhelming 40-24 loss.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â€“Mount St. Charles didnâ€™t need any extra time to settle the issue on this particular night.
A dominating first period gave the Mounties all the offense they would need on Friday as they swept North Smithfield in their best-of-3 Division I semifinal series with a 5-2 victory at the R.I. Sports Center. Samantha Smith and Erin Rouleau each scored and had an assist as the defending state champions return to familiar territory.
WOONSOCKET --- When La Salle Academy jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first six minutes of Friday nightâ€™s series-opening game with Mount St. Charles Academy, the Mounties and their fans were feeling a bit uneasy and restless.
It was the Rams who dealt the Mounties their lone loss of the regular season -- a 3-0 defeat back on Feb. 4 -- and it was the fourth-seeded Rams who came out determined to knock off the top-seeded, three-time defending champions.
WOONSOCKET â€” Three periods, each one 15 minutes long, were not enough for Mount St. Charles and North Smithfield. Neither were two overtime periods. It was then off to a shootout, where a victor in this hard-fought playoff contest was finally decided.
Senior tri-captain Samantha Smith delivered the lone tally of the shootout and goalie Sarah Erban stopped all five shots she faced as MSC took Game 1 of the best-of-three semifinals, 3-2, Thursday night at Adelard Arena. The series shifts to the Rhode Island Sports Center for Game 2 tonight.
PROVIDENCE â€” No one ever said the road to postseason glory was easy. Just ask Mount St. Charles, which needed overtime to hold off Rogers, 59-52, Wednesday night in the Division II semifinals at Rhode Island Collegeâ€™s Murray Center. The Mounties dominated the extra session, holding the Vikings to just one field goal while hitting seven free throws.
This might be Stephen Sheaâ€™s first season as a head coach, but the Mount St. Charles Academy mentor has been around Rhode Islandâ€™s girlsâ€™ hockey scene for the past several years as an assistant coach for the Mounties.
That being said, heâ€™s seen plenty of postseason action, but he doesnâ€™t recall seeing a battle for the state championship as balanced and competitive as the one thatâ€™s unfolding this season.
WOONSOCKET -- Wrestling is one high school sport in Rhode Island where the public vs. private school debate holds no water. Public schools have won 29 of the last 30 state team championships in wrestling.
Bishop Hendricken sneaked in to grab a state title back in 2004. Cumberland then ruled the state in 2005. Cranston West won the next four titles before the Clippers returned to the top in 2010. Warwick Vets prevailed in 2011.
Back in 1999, Johnston High won the state title, proving that even smaller public schools can reach the top in wrestling.
Whether itâ€™s at the high school or the collegiate level, it doesnâ€™t matter. Coaches will be the first to admit that when the postseason arrives, anything can happen.
Cinderella has made its way to the Ball on numerous occasions where an underdog that has no business to be on the same court or field as a top-seeded squad somehow pulls off a miracle and produces a victory or at least a legitimate scare to their favored opponent.