After Braintree scored a late second-period power-play goal to seemingly shift momentum, the top-seeded and undefeated Cougars (22-0) answered with goals from eighth-grader Sam Taber and seventh-grader Monique Lyons for a 5-3 victory in the Division 1 quarterfinal matchup at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton.
“I thought the second period was our best offensively,” said AP coach Stephanie Wood, whose team will face fourth-seeded Andover (19-2-1) in the state semifinals Monday at 5:30 p.m. at O’Brien Arena in Woburn.
Braintree (17-5-1) limited most of Austin Prep’s early chances, blocking four shots in the opening period and getting a 16-save performance from junior Ellie Foley.
Taber got Austin Prep on the board midway through the first before special teams took over in the second period. Ella Saracco roofed a shorthanded goal and freshman Aylah Cioffi’s power-play marker resulted in a 3-0 lead.
“I think as we go deeper, special teams is usually a factor in winning or losing games,” said Wood. “We’ve done a good job, our PK has done excellent all year and our power play has really come into its own.”
Braintree provided a late push, with Delia Lee and Abby Holland each adding third-period goals to make it close down the stretch.
“They just never gained their confidence until about 10 minutes to go,” said Braintree coach Kevin Burchill. “End of the day, not a senior on the team, next year we’ll be better prepared.”
Westwood 5, Algonquin/Hudson 2 — The third-seeded Wolverines utilized a pair of power-play strikes to topple No. 11 Algonquin/Hudson in a quarterfinal at Warrior Ice Arena.
Westwood (15-2-5) fired 17 of its 38 shots on its four power play opportunities.
“Our power play generates a lot of opportunities and tonight it paid off,” said Westwood coach Ed Amico, whose team will face seventh-seeded Notre Dame (15-5-2) in the state semifinals Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton. “Generating opportunities on the power play is good because it gives us momentum even strength.”
At even strength, Westwood dictated possession by controlling faceoffs.
The Tomahawks struck just over two minutes into the game, when Ella Kea’s dump-in bounced off the end boards, off Westwood goaltender Caroline McDonough, and into the net.
“We blew it off” said Amico. “These girls are way too resilient, they just shook off that goal.”
Aside from the early hiccup, the Wolverines dominated the contest and equalized on their second power-play chance, a double-deflection off Robin MacAusland.
Another power play goal from Olivia Jordan and even-strength strikes from Leah Piscatelli and two by Kat Keith capped off the scoring for Westwood.
Algonquin (14-7-2) made it a one goal game early in the third period after Ava Domolky snuck a shot through traffic, then hit the post moments later. But generating offense was difficult without leading scorer Kerryn O’Connell, who played limited minutes with flu-like symptoms.
Dan Shulman reported from Warrior Ice Arena