Acton-Boxboro ends Melrose playoff run, 4-2

Published in the March 11, 2016 edition

THE MELROSE girls' hockey team's playoff run ended on Wednesday, March 2 in a 4-2 loss to Acton-Boxboro. (Donna Larsson photo) 

THE MELROSE girls’ hockey team’s playoff run ended on Wednesday, March 2 in a 4-2 loss to Acton-Boxboro. (Donna Larsson photo)


MELROSE — Entering their third straight Div. 1 playoff run, the Melrose Lady Raider hockey team faced an Acton-Boxboro team who skated all the way to the TD Garden last season. While they were not as ferocious a team as last year, A-B proved a bit too much for a young Melrose squad, who allowed several penalties to translate into scoring opportunities for their opponents. On Wednesday, March 2 the Lady Raiders (12-9, 15th seed) opened tournament play against the 18th seeded Colonials (10-7-4) at Stoneham Arena, and fell 4-2, ending their playoff run in preliminary round play.

After the game Melrose coach Sam Tetreau acknowledged the effect of the power plays. “It killed our momentum. Without the 5-6 of them it would have been a different game. When we played 5 on 5 we held them scoreless. We outshot them 30-18, almost 2-1. It was definitely a competitive game.”

The Colonials scored all their goals on power plays; the first a minute in the game when a Melrose penalty led to a Colonial goal by Megan Barrett. Melrose fought back aggressively, with Jill Mercer just missing a shot two minutes later. Senior captain Alyssa Gorman fended off Colonial forwards while Melrose goalie Courtney O’Connor made a strong save at 8:02. Melrose was awarded a power play at 5:37 but failed to take advantage, committing a few turnovers that led to a blitz of shots by the Colonials. Melrose’s O’Connor made an impressive save at 3:34, while Lady Raider Katy Perry just missed the net at 1:12. The two teams ended the first period 1-0.

Melrose put on an offensive front in the second, taking multiple shots against Acton-Boxboro goalie Cari Loblundo before Katy Perry found the net, tying it 1-1 on assists by Rachel DiFraia and Jill Mercer. However the Colonials took a decisive lead at 11:39 in the second after a roughing penalty called against Melrose. That led to Megan Barrett scoring her second goal of the game on a power play . The Colonials increased that lead 10 seconds later when Corlene Guenard hit a shot that made it 3-1. Melrose fought back at the buzzer, scoring to make it a 3-2 game thanks to another goal by DiFraia.

In the third period, Melrose ramped up the offense but battled a tough Colonial goalie in Cali Loblundo (25 saves). Melrose pulled their goalie with less than a minute left, which led to an empty net goal by the Colonial’s Lily Zavolas and a final 4-2 Melrose loss.

Melrose ends their season at 12-9 and say goodbye to longtime Lady Raiders Katy Perry, Michelle Henry, Alyssa Gorman and Kellianne Kendall, all of whom were instrumental to putting the independent Melrose team on the map. Coach Tetreau salutes her seniors, a few of whom have been playing since 8th grade. “They’ve been leaders on this team since sophomore and junior years. We wouldn’t have gotten this far this year without them, for certain.”

Melrose, being a young team, once again will return with a lot of promise, though some off-season adjustments in defense is required. “We are optimistic. Courtney did a great job as goalie this season and will only get better. We have a very big freshman and sophomore class. We’re excited for the future.”

On Saturday, March 5, Acton-Boxboro went on to lose to Austin Prep 2-1.