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Marauders Strike Back: Late Goal Sends Hanover Past Lebanon in Girls Hockey 

  • Hanover’s Kelly Brigham shoots over the stick of Lebanon’s Aubrie Mazurek during the Marauders’ win over Lebanon at Campion Rink last night. (Valley News - James M. Patterson)

    Hanover’s Kelly Brigham shoots over the stick of Lebanon’s Aubrie Mazurek during the Marauders’ win over Lebanon at Campion Rink last night. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Lebanon's Sabrina Huett shoots against Hanover at Campion Rink. (Valley News - James M. Patterson)

    Lebanon's Sabrina Huett shoots against Hanover at Campion Rink. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Hanover’s Kelly Brigham shoots over the stick of Lebanon’s Aubrie Mazurek during the Marauders’ win over Lebanon at Campion Rink last night. (Valley News - James M. Patterson)
  • Lebanon's Sabrina Huett shoots against Hanover at Campion Rink. (Valley News - James M. Patterson)

West Lebanon — Any hockey coach worth his clipboard understands how important the moments after any goal can be. The scoring team can let down its guard. The scored-upon team can grab momentum back in the blink of an eye.

A double dose of the latter made the difference at Campion Rink last night as Hanover nipped Lebanon, 3-2, in a matchup of the NHIAA’s top two girls hockey teams. Twice, the first-place Marauders (10-0 league, 11-1 overall) answered a strike from the second-place Raiders (8-2 league and overall) within a minute.

Junior Caroline Howell provided the winner for Hanover, snaking a power-play wrist shot from inside the blue line past Lebanon goaltender Erika Moffitt with 3:34 to play.

“They know that any time after a goal, whether you score one, whether you give one up, it’s a critical shift,” Hanover coach John Dodds said. “We try and work with them on that. I think they know, and they just bear down a little bit extra hard. It made a difference, I think.”

The deciding sequence began when Lebanon’s Sabrina Huett drew a bodychecking penalty at 10:51 of the third period, the only minor of the night against the Raiders.

An attempted Raider clearance off the bench-side boards went right to Howell at the left point. The junior slid to her right to find an open shooting lane and snapped a dart over the right shoulder of Moffitt (23 saves), who had already dropped to her knees anticipating something lower.

Lebanon never led but never trailed by more than a goal. Raider scoring ace Chrissy Drake equalized Margeaux Baker’s opening score for Hanover, and Lauren McEwen tied the game at 2-2 in the third after Julie Montgomery’s rapid response to Drake.

“This game is a whole series of events, and you never know when you’re going to have your event,” Lebanon coach Brad Shaw said. “We feel pretty good about it. I told everybody to make sure they came out of the locker room with their heads held high. They skated a great game.”

Hanover committed to clogging up the neutral zone early in an effort to limit opportunities for McEwen, Drake and linemate Amelia Gage. For their part, the Raiders approached the forecheck cautiously in the opening 15 minutes, resulting in few good scoring chances.

Lebanon gained the first serious opportunity midway through the first stanza. Penalties to Hanover’s Eliza Laycock and Grace Tecca gave the Raiders a two-skater edge for 67 seconds; Aubrie Mazurek put a point drive on the net and Emma Forman tested Hanover goalie Kelly Gaudet (14 saves) from the slot, but the Marauders held firm.

Baker’s opening gambit came out of nothing. Pinching along the left-side boards, the sophomore blueliner threw a shot to the net that Moffitt appeared to have in her sights. Her paddle down, the Lebanon netminder caught a piece of the puck with her stick, but not enough to prevent it sneaking in the short side at 6:56 of the second period.

“We know how good this team is,” Shaw said of the Marauders. “They run a lot of different looks, and they can catch you off-balance quickly. I thought we did a really good job countering.”

Leave it to Lebanon’s experienced top line to answer.

Gage set up shop in the corner to Gaudet’s right and sent a pass to Drake in the slot. The senior’s shot caught a Hanover defender’s stick and floated over Gaudet’s head and into the net at 10:23.

The Marauders answered with stunning speed from their all-freshman top trio.

Laycock’s right-wing chip pass found Matti Hartman in stride for a two-on-two at the Lebanon blue line. Hartman skated around a falling Raider defenseman, and Montgomery buried the center’s feed in the low slot to retake the lead at 10:41.

“We put them together early in the year, and they had a few good games together,” Dodds said. “We haven’t experimented much after our three scrimmages. … The other (defenders) pay a lot of attention to Matti and Eliza, and sometimes that leaves Julie open. She’s got speed, and she can finish. Pretty good for a freshman.”

McEwen leveled for Lebanon at 10:34 of the third. Gage forced a Gaudet save from the right dot. The rebound went to Drake, whose return shot caught a piece of McEwen’s stick at the left post.

But, for a second time, the Marauders used less than a minute post-goal to retake the lead, this time for good. The edge held this time with help — Drake cleanly beat Gaudet from the left hash with 2:00 to go, hitting the left goalpost, the puck escaping out the right side of the Hanover netminder’s crease.

“I thought we did have the tying goal,” Shaw said. “When I heard the ‘chink,’ it sounded like a little pipe and net. You get used to that sound after so many years.”

The same doesn’t always apply to the moments after the goal light goes on.

“It’s a power play, there was some space, she moved, she worked hard to get in between the dots there,” Dodds said of Howell’s game-winning goal. “She got the puck on net, and that’s all we ask.

“It was a good and quick shot. It was a good time for a goal, obviously.”

Ice Chips: The result, determined before a near full house at Campion, didn’t change the standings. Lebanon left the rink still a full game up on third-place Bishop Guertin and Oyster River (both 7-3) in the NHIAA Division I standings. … Hanover athletic director and noted baseball hat accumulator Mike Jackson donned a Baltimore Orioles cap last night in memory of Earl Weaver, the Hall of Fame manager who died yesterday at the age of 82. Lebanon High girls hockey players Aubrie Mazurek, Elle Brine and Samantha Roberts sang the national anthem.

Greg Fennell can be reached at gfennell@vnews.com or 603-727-3226.

CLARIFICATION

This article has been amended to correct an earlier error. The following clarification ran in the Monday, Jan. 21 edition of the Valley News:

Lebanon High girls hockey players Aubrie Mazurek, Elle Brine and Samantha Roberts sang the national anthem before Saturday's Campion Rink game with Hanover. Through reporting and editing errors, the trio was not properly identified in the Sunday Valley News.