Third-ranked St. Mary's continued its hot streak on Wednesday night at Nashoba Valley Olympia, shutting out previously undefeated Acton-Boxboro, 2-0, in a potential state championship preview.
Kaleigh Finigan and Brittani Lanzilli each found the back of the net for the Spartans (17-3-1), who handed the second-ranked Colonials (17-1-2) their first loss of the season.
The Spartans recorded their third consecutive shutout and are now unbeaten in their last eight contests.
From the puck-drop both defenses looked on their game, as the first period came to a close without either team finding the back of the net.
The Spartans ratcheted up the intensity in the second period, putting 12 shots on Colonial net-minder, Cali Loblundo. The extra pressure paid off with 2:55 remaining in the quarter, when Hannah Quin found a streaking Finigan, who beat a diving Loblundo to give the Spartans a 1-0 edge.
Early in the third the Spartans struck again. This time Alison Butler made the key pass, finding Lanzilli near the blue line for a break-a-way strike to give St. Mary's a commanding 2-0 advantage.
Holy-Cross bound Kati Goguen did her best to keep the Colonial's chances alive in the third period, just missing the back of the net with a slapper with 3:18 to play.
St. Mary's has played big when it's counted most this season. Since Dec. 21 the Spartans are 7-0-1 against teams in the girls' hockey Top 20.
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- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
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