WOONSOCKET --- Outshooting a team by a overwhelming 57-7 margin is usually an ingredient to a blowout victory, but that wasnâ€™t the case on Friday night in Mount St. Charles Academyâ€™s big showdown for first place with La Salle Academy.
The Mounties fell victim to a 53-save performance by one of the stateâ€™s best netminders, junior Holly Scott, but were still able to skate away with a hard-fought 4-2 victory at Adelard Arena that kept them unbeaten at 8-0.
Sophomore defenseman Meredith Peppes had the first multiple-goal contest of her varsity career to lead the Mounties, who were facing a La Salle team that also entered the duel with seven straight wins, the highest-scoring team (40 goals) and scorer Lauren Abbenante (18) in the state, and Scott.
â€śThis was a big win against a very good team,â€ť said MSC coach Steve Shea, whose teamâ€™s win dropped the Rams to 7-2. â€śWe really played well tonight and weâ€™re now in first place by ourselves. Weâ€™re just going to set our sights on our next game and see if we can stay there.â€ť
In order to come away with this victory, the defending Division I champion Mounties had to find a way to get their offense clicking against Scott, who was superb last year in helping the Rams repeat as Division II champions.
Scott was especially solid early, as she turned away 22 shots in each of the first two periods and did a stellar job stopping the Mountiesâ€™ rebounds they tried to flip past her.
â€śA lot of our girls know her,â€ť said Shea. â€śSheâ€™s a very, very good goalie, but we skated hard and we kept the pressure on (her). Our goal was to get a lot of traffic in front of the net and we were able to do that. We got at least one goal from each of our three lines and we hit the pipe a couple of times.â€ť
The Mounties, who were 1-0 winners over the Rams in their season opener on Dec. 4 in Warwick, got on the board first with 1:32 left in the first period when Peppes flipped a wrist shot that went over Scottâ€™s left shoulder, hit the bottom of the crossbar, and dropped over the goal line.
But the Rams quickly tied the game 1:19 into the second period on a 2-on-1 break that saw Abigail Sorensen take a pass from Abbenante and slip a shot between Beauregardâ€™s right pad and the post.
La Salle then took the lead with 1:56 left in the period on a goal by Lindsey Given that was assisted by Abbenante, but less than a minute later, the hosts found themselves back on top.
Twenty-six seconds after Givenâ€™s goal, Cassandra Czarn tied the score with her first varsity goal by dumping a rebound past Scott, and 22 seconds after that score, Caitlin Shea scored her team-high seventh goal of the season off a pass from Lauren Levesque.
Peppes eventually gave MSC its two-goal cushion 5:47 into the final period with a long shot that breezed through a heavy traffic that screened Scott and zipped between the goalieâ€™s pads.
La Salle Academy 0 - 2 - 0 -- 2
Mount St. Charles 1 - 2 - 1 -- 4
First period: MSC -- Meredith Peppes (Samantha Smith, Erin Rouleau), 10:28; Penalties: LS -- 1-1.5; MSC -- 1-1.5.
Second period: LS -- Abigail Sorensen (Lindsey Given, Lauren Abbenante), 1:19; LS -- Lindsey Given (Lauren Abbenante), 10:04; MSC -- Cassandra Czarn (unassisted), 10:30; MSC -- Caitlin Shea (Lauren Levesque), 10:52. Penalties: LS -- 1-1.5; MSC -- 1-1.5.
Third period: MSC -- Meredith Peppes (Lauren Deguire, Alisha Sleboda), 5:47. Penalties: MSC -- 2-3.
Shots on goal: La Salle 7, Mount St. Charles 57. Goalie saves: LS -- Holly Scott (53 saves): MSC -- Ariana Beauregard (5 saves).