A deluxe finish for Duxbury
Murphy’s strike delivers crown
Hannah Murphy scored in the final minute to power Duxbury past Fontbonne, 2-1, in the Division 2 state championship at TD Garden yesterday.
The victory gave Duxbury its first girls’ hockey title, and was even sweeter because Fontbonne had eliminated the Green Dragons in the semifinals the past two seasons.
“They knocked us out the past two years so we had a little extra fire in our bellies,’’ said Duxbury coach Friend Weiler.
“I knew if my girls kept pounding and pounding and getting it to the net that we’d pull through. Third time is the charm, I guess, and I’m glad it’s for all the marbles.’’
With 45 seconds to play, Fontbonne turned it over and Murphy found the back of the net, with assists going to junior defenseman Martha Findley and sophomore forward Briana Connolly.
“Big players play the biggest in big games and [Murphy] saved the best for last,’’ said Weiler of the sophomore, whose winner was her 27th goal of the season.
Duxbury (21-3) outshot Fontbonne, 32-16, and played stifling defense, which led to the key turnover.
With 2:40 left in the third period, Fontbonne junior Erin McLoughlin connected on a long pass to senior Taylor Shepherd, and the Ducks’ leading scorer beat goalie Rachel Myette for her 37th strike of the season and tied the score, 1-1.
“We knew if [Shepherd] got one goal or less we’d be in the ballgame,’’ said Weiler.
“She snuck one in there, as good players always do, and we were able to bounce back and that’s why I’m proud of the girls.’’
Thirty-nine seconds into the second period, Green Dragons freshman Ally Hammel won the draw and sent the puck to Connolly, who blasted a shot past goalie Lan Crofton to take a 1-0 lead. It was Connolly’s 23d of the season.
“At the faceoff, I could just feel it,’’ said Connolly. “I wasn’t going to lose; we weren’t going to lose. They [Fontbonne] know what it feels like to win, but we wanted it.’’
Duxbury exerted pressure from the start, and defenseman Martha Findley just missed scoring at the first-period buzzer.
The win wrapped up a historic season for the Green Dragons, who set a school record for victories and made their seventh appearance in the tournament.
“The girls were on a mission from the start,’’ said Weiler.
“They knew they had the capabilities and we wanted to keep them in shape and we knew if we could use that depth and just throw wave after wave of attack at our opponents eventually we’d wear them down.’’