Shannon O’Neil had 36 saves as Austin Prep knocked ninth-ranked Hingham out of MIAA Tournament with a 4-0 win in preliminary round play on Wednesday. The win advances the Cougars (11-7-4) to the first round of the Division 1 girls tournament, the farthest the team has advanced in six years.
Although Austin Prep came into the game as the 21st seed in the tournament, they were a confident bunch having defeated Hingham (13-7-3) 2-0 on Jan. 19.
In the first period the Cougars converted on a five-on-three advantage when the puck was won on a faceoff and defenseman Jaimee Cooke fired a wrist shot that found the back of the net.
The score would remain 1-0 until late in the third period when Austin Prep scored again on the power play. On a two-on-one breakaway, Kiely Annese scored on a top shelf goal that got over the goalie's glove.
O’Neil would fend off 23 shots in the third period to preserve the shutout, her ninth of the year.
“They really turned the pressure on and Shannon was clutch,” said Austin Prep head coach Stephanie Wood. “They did everything they could but Shannon was unstoppable.”
Maddy Ricci would add a pair of empty net goals late to seal the victory.
Austin Prep will face Masconomet in the first round 5 p.m. Saturday at Governor's Academy.
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