Ideally, the season opener for the Woburn girls’ hockey team Saturday would have been its first game since a state championship matchup against Austin Prep last March at TD Garden.
Of course, almost nothing about the last 10 months has been ideal. Following the cancellation of the state final, the Tanners were finally able to make their return to ice at O’Brien Rink with a Middlesex League matchup against Arlington, skating away with a 2-2 tie.
In a sign of just how much has changed for Woburn in the meantime, the Tanners dressed sixth eighth-graders against the Spy Ponders, the first time they’ve needed to receive a waiver for middle school players in nearly two decades, according to second-year coach Steve Kennedy.
“It feels incredible to be back here,” Kennedy said. “It feels incredible to be out here with a group of girls who really care and really love the game and who are experiencing right now about the closest thing to normalcy that they probably have going on in their lives with this hockey experience.”
One of the eighth-graders, forward Madelyn Soderquist, scored both goals for Woburn just over two minutes apart early in the second half — rather than the traditional three 15-minute periods, the Middlesex League is playing two 22½-minute halves. Soderquist’s first goal tied the game at 1 apiece, as the Tanners trailed despite outshooting the Spy Ponders 9-5 in the first half.
“It was a little different not switching goals after the period, but other than that it felt normal,” Soderquist said.
Arlington knotted the score at 2-2 at 15:41 of the second on a goal from Grace Corsetti, which helped salvage a point despite a Woburn power play in the final minute of regulation that produced a shot on goal from captain Mackenzie Russo in the final 2 seconds.
Junior Elise Rodd made 28 saves for the Spy Ponders. Her counterpart, junior Alyssa Wackrow, stopped 17 shots for the Tanners.
Maddie Krepelka also scored for Arlington, the lone goal of the first half at 15:40.
Arlington Catholic 7, Saint Joseph Prep/Mt. Alvernia 1 — Senior captain Mary Cate Flynn notched a hat trick for the Cougars (3-1) in their Catholic Central League win.
Bishop Fenwick/Essex Tech 4, Bishop Stang 3 — Abigale Bruner scored the winner late for Bishop Fenwick/Essex Tech (1-0) in a season-opening road game.
Burlington 8, Wilmington 4 — Shea McDonald scored five goals, and Caitlyn Tremblay notched her first varsity tally to spark the Red Devils (1-0) in the Middlesex Freedom road matchup.
Hingham 6, Plymouth North/Plymouth South 2 — Kathryn Karo’s two goals and assist sparked the Harborwomen in their season-opening Patriot League road win. Ryan Maguire and Piper Jordan added a goal and two assists apiece.
Norwell 5, Scituate 2 — Freshman Colby Cantor scored all five goals in the season-opening win for the Clippers, who are competing as a guest member of the Patriot League this season.
St. Mary’s 3, Austin Prep 3 — Austin Prep erased a two-goal second period deficit to earn a comeback tie against the Spartans in a Catholic Central League matchup.
Watertown 2, Wakefield 0 — Freshman Molly Driscoll had both goals for the Raiders in their season-opening road win in the Middlesex Freedom.
Arlington Catholic 4, Lowell Catholic 1 — Seniors Adam Haytayan and Carson Priante each tallied a goal in the Cougars’ nonleague victory over the Crusaders.
Belmont 3, Lexington 0 — Cam Fici scored a hat trick for the Marauders (1-0) as they opened their Middlesex League slate at home.
Hanover 5, Duxbury 2 — Senior Nate DelPrete led the way for the Hawks with a hat trick, while Juniors Max DaSilva and Robert Hanna chipped in a goal each in the Patriot League season-opening showdown.
Hingham 4, North Quincy 1 — Sophomore Aidan Brazel and senior Evan Corbett each scored twice in the Harbormen’s victory over the Red Raiders in the Patriot League.
Lynnfield 1, Hamilton-Wenham 1 — Aidan Burke scored for the Pioneers (0-0-1) and James Horgan scored for visiting H-W (0-0-1) in the Cape Ann League opener at the McVann/O’Keefe Memorial Rink.
Marshfield 5, Scituate 2 — Junior Andrew Guilfoyle scored twice and added two assists in the Rams’ victory in their debut Patriot League contest. Freshman Will Doherty tallied his first two varsity goals in the win.
Nantucket 3, Nauset 0 — Junior goaltenders Boden Corbett and James Culkins combined to shut out the Warriors in Cape & Island League action. Junior Marsh Hickman, sophomore Hudson Perry and senior Gavin Pekarcik scored for the Whalers (1-0).
Quincy 1, Silver Lake 0 — Timmy Kelly scored and Daniel Freeman earned the shutout as the Presidents opened their season with the Patriot League road victory.
Weymouth 5, Wellesley 3 — Corey Legere scored twice and the Wildcats (1-1) skated to the Bay State Conference road victory.
Whitman-Hanson 4, Plymouth South 3 — Sophomore Matt Solari’s hat trick provided the offensive spark for the Panthers in Patriot League action.
Winchester 3, Wakefield 0 — Danny Collins, Max Tong and Cole Duncan each scored to support Robert DiVincenzo’s shutout as Winchester opened its Middlesex League season with a crossover victory.
Woburn 4, Arlington 2 — Aiden Robinson and Jonathan Surrette each scored twice for the Tanners (1-0) in the Middlesex League opener at home.
Belmont 55, Lexington 49 — Senior forward Preston Jackson-Stephens dropped in 30 points and Kevin Logan added 10 points for the Marauders (1-0).
Burlington 68, Wilmington 55 — Shane Mahoney led the Red Devils (1-0) with 21 points in a season-opening road Middlesex League win. Cedric Rodriguez added 17 points and eight rebounds in his first varsity game.
Melrose 61, Stoneham 37 — Senior Ryan Maher scored 14 points for the visiting Red Raiders (1-0) in the season-opening Middlesex League win.
Arlington 43, Woburn 34 — Clare Flanagan scored a game-high 18 points for the Spy Ponders (1-0) in a road win to open the Middlesex League season.
Belmont 53, Lexington 51 — Nina Minicozzi scored a team-high 18 points for the host Maurauders (1-0) in the Middlesex League opener. Cate Aggouras scored a game-high 29 points for the Minutemen (0-1).
Burlington 30, Wilmington 28 — Senior Megan Murphy netted the go-ahead basket with seconds remaining for the visiting Red Devils (1-0) in the Middlesex League win.
Melrose 35, Stoneham 30 — Senior Adriana Centrella scored 16 points for the Red Raiders (1-0) in their Middlesex League opener on the road.