KINGSTON — Alexa Graziano had been battling vertigo the past few weeks, but that didn’t stop the junior forward from giving the Duxbury girls’ hockey team headaches Saturday night.
Graziano recorded her first high school hat trick, powering sixth-ranked Notre Dame Academy past No. 4 Duxbury in a 3-2 victory at The Bog.
Graziano missed NDA’s loss to Needham on Thursday, and she sat out some shifts Saturday, but she certainly left her mark on the ice against Duxbury, scoring early in the first period and twice late in the second.
Duxbury (12-2-1) outshot NDA, 34-15, but sophomore goalie Erin Murray made 32 saves for the Cougars (8-4-1), including some timely stops in the final minutes, to halt the Dragons’ 10-game winning streak.
“Those two alone give us a chance to win every night,” NDA head coach Chris Marshall said of Graziano and Murray.
Graziano’s second goal was perhaps the most impressive – or at least the most unusual – as she got her stick on the puck and masterfully deflected it into the corner of the net. Her third came less than two minutes later, and gave the Cougars a 3-1 lead through two periods.
After junior forward Grace Collins scored late in the first for Duxbury, sophomore forward Molly Duvall delivered with 9:10 left in the game to slice the deficit to 3-2. Kiley Erickson, Jackie Hayden and Mairead Kennedy all peppered Murray with shots late, but the Dragons were unable to tally the equalizer.
It was a frustrating setback for the Dragons, but they hope it will pay dividends in the playoffs.
“It shows the younger kids that tournament games are so much different than league games,” Collins said. “This was definitely a playoff-type game.”Trevor Hass can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.