Sunday, March 9, 2014
By Kevin Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org
BRUNSWICK - The upstart combined girls' hockey team from Yarmouth and Freeport high schools made it a game for two periods.
Gillian Ford of Brunswick attempts to slip the puck past defender Meredith McLoon and goalie Hannah Williams of Yarmouth-Freeport as Gage Thurston of Yarmouth-Freeport skates in. Brunswick won the East semifinal, 6-1.
Photos by Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer
Michelle Robichaud of Yarmouth-Freeport attempts to slow Ann Kelly of Brunswick and knock the puck away at Brunswick.
But top-seeded Brunswick took over in the third, breaking a 1-1 tie with five goals to win 6-1 in an East semifinal Friday at Bowdoin College.
Rachel Moroney and Eliza Brooks both recorded two goals and two assists. Sarah Thibeault and Gillian Ford also scored, and Suzannah Smith added three assists. Claire Mendes made 10 saves.
Ariel Potter scored and Hannah Williams made 23 saves for fifth-seeded Yarmouth-Freeport (8-12).
The Dragons (15-3-1) will play in Wednesday's regional final against the winner of today's game between No. 2 Greely and No. 3 Leavitt-Edward Little.
Yarmouth-Freeport had lost twice to Brunswick during the season, but also had lost twice to Lewiston, then beat the Blue Devils in Wednesday's quarterfinal game.
Then Yarmouth-Freeport put a brief scare into the Dragons.
"I have a lot of respect for that team," Brunswick Coach Bill Bodwell said. "They're real good at getting in your way. They gave us a great game."
Brunswick dominated the first period, outshooting Yarmouth-Freeport, 12-1. Williams, the goalie, was holding off the Dragons until they finally got numbers in front of her.
Moroney's shot was blocked but Brooks stuffed in the rebound at 10:52. Caroline Wild also had an assist.
Yarmouth-Freeport generated chances in the first period but never maintained possession long in the Brunswick zone.
That changed in the second period as Yarmouth-Freeport kept coming at the Brunswick goal.
It finally tied the game when Suzanne Driscoll got her rebound and passed out front. Emily Johnson got a stick on it and then Potter swatted it in at 13:27.
Yarmouth-Freeport, with the help of three power plays, outshot Brunswick 6-3 in the second period.
"That's our game," Yarmouth-Freeport Coach David Neujahr said of his system that starts with defense. "You saw what we could do for the first two periods.
"But Brunswick is a great team. I think our girls were a little anxious in the third and they started to chase."
Brunswick players got open and they began scoring. Moroney got the winner at 4:39 on assists from Brooks and Grace Rabinowitz.
"We kind of lost our game in the second (period)," Moroney said. "It was motivational for us in the third period."
Thibeault scored on a perfect centering pass from Smith at 5:42 for a 3-1 lead. Ford skated through several defenders and scored at 7:36.
And the goals kept coming.
"Once we got back to how we played in the first period, we started getting chances again and they started going in," Bodwell said. "Once we got a couple, the girls gained a lot of confidence."
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: