CANTON — On the brink of defeat in the IceHouse Invitational Thursday afternoon, the host Canton girls’ hockey team rallied to tie Medfield/Norton, 2-2, on a late goal by captain Maggie Malloy.
The Bulldogs (4-0-1) completed the comeback with a 3-2 double-overtime victory on a breakaway by Lauren Fitzpatrick breakaway to advance to Saturday’s championship game against Westwood (a 4-1 winner over Milton). The game is recorded as a tie by the MIAA.
“We were very fortunate to get by this team,” said Canton coach Dennis Aldrich. “Lauren has been playing really well. Not scoring as much as Maggie, but every bit as instrumental to our team success.”
Leading 1-0 to start the third period, Canton looked generally uncomfortable and struggled to break an aggressive Warrior forecheck. Their inability to find a groove led to a barrage of penalties in that final frame, all coinciding.
Medfield finally took advantage when captain Maddie Coogan tied the game in a 4-on-4 rally. Two minutes later, Laney Ockerbloom added her second point of the game with a go-ahead goal.
“They always play us tough,” said Aldrich. “Their kids are not outworked, they do a lot away from the puck. A bit of the puck-luck went their way.”
The Bulldogs utilized their timeout, regrouped, and Malloy scored the equalizer with an extra attacker in the final minute of regulation.
“I though it was important for us to re-center and re-establish our belief in each other,” said Aldrich.
After a scoreless 4-on-4 overtime, the Bulldogs took advantage of the extra space with the 3-on-3 in the double OT, with Fitzpatrick roofing the winner on her third shot of the period.