April 7, 2013

Telegram All-State Hockey: Girls: Morrison moves Rangers to more postseason success

The blueliner is only a sophomore but already a dominating presence at both ends of the ice.

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

click image to enlarge

With Mary Morrison for the defense, the Greely Rangers seem certain to remain an elite team in Maine schoolgirl hockey.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

ALL-STATE GIRLS' HOCKEY

Olivia Drew, York, senior, goalie

The Wildcats were often outshot but they still won 15 games with the stellar play of Drew and her .947 save percentage and 1.20 goals-against average.

Devan Kane, Scarborough, junior, goalie

A three-time All-State performer, Kane led the Red Storm to the state championship game with a .972 save percentage and 0.52 goals-against average.

Meg Finlay, Greely, senior, forward

The state champion Rangers had the most relentless offensive attack, and Finlay was one of the top scorers, recording 22 goals and 20 assists.

Taylor Landry, Leavitt-Edward Little, junior, forward

Named to the All-State team for a second straight year, Landry was the most dangerous forward with her shots and speed (50 goals, five assists).

Sarah Martens, Scarborough, senior, forward

Martens' statistics were solid (17 goals, 11 assists), but it's her all-around play, leadership and clutch scoring that makes her an All-State choice.

Rachel Moroney, Brunswick, senior, forward

A two-time All-State pick, Moroney had 29 goals and 10 assists, with her best games coming against the best teams (like her hat trick against Greely).

Katie Roy, Cheverus, senior, forward

A four-year starter, Roy capped a stellar career with 56 goals and 10 assists, leading the Stags to a spot in the Western Maine semifinals.

Paige Tuller, Greely, senior, forward

A second-year All-State player, Tuller led the Rangers in goals (24) while adding 18 assists, providing lots of punch for the state champions. 

Drew Barry, Portland-Deering, senior, defenseman

Named All-State for the second straight year, Barry stood out on both ends of the ice, keeping the Bulldogs in games with her defense and 35 goals.

Rachel Litif, Gorham-Bonny Eagle, senior, defenseman

A four-year starter, Litif was a strong all-around player who had 29 goals and 20 assists.

Mary Morrison, Greely, sophomore, defenseman

One of those players who makes you take notice when she has the puck, Morrison recorded 19 goals and 16 assists, and was a stopper on defense as well.

Tori Stocks, York, senior, defenseman

On a low-scoring team, Stocks did a little of everything, erasing opponents' chances, strongly skating the puck up ice and scoring key goals (13 in all, with three assists).

Coach of the Year

Caitlin Cashman, Scarborough

Cashman guided the Red Storm to their best regular-season record (16-1-1) and two playoff wins. Scarborough's only losses came in overtime, including a 1-0 decision in the state championship game.

With a talented girls' hockey team like the Greely High Rangers, individuals don't always stand out. They blend in with the rest of the gifted players.

In Mary Morrison's case, she played the role of air-tight defenseman while occasionally making an offensive charge. She was part of Greely's superb team defense and offensive might.

But Morrison is a special player on the best team in the state, and she is our choice as the Maine Sunday Telegram girls' hockey player of the year.

When you noticed Morrison is when the Rangers really needed her like in the state championship game in overtime.

With a scrum in front of the Scarborough net, Morrison did what she does best -- she read the play. Morrison skated into the crease, waiting for the puck to come her way. It did and she scored, giving Greely a 1-0 win for the Rangers' second straight state title.

"A real smart play," Greely Coach Nate Guerin said. "And it's a play we saw her make all year. She gets from the point to the front of the net and lets the shot go -- nothing fancy; a hard, low shot."

Morrison, a sophomore, was immediately embraced by her teammates.

"I remember the relief and happiness it brought," Morrison said. "We worked very hard the whole season for that one moment."

Morrison, 15, has been playing since she was 8 years old when she joined Casco Bay Youth Hockey, simultaneously playing in the initiation program and on the under-14 girls' travel team.

Morrison was an accomplished player when she enrolled at Greely.

"As a freshman last year, you could tell she was something special," Guerin said. "But she was just a freshman. This year she really matured. Settled down in a way."

Morrison has always had speed and she skates strong with the puck. Defensively she erased any threats. Meanwhile she was learning when to make offensive charges. Morrison credits her veteran teammates.

"We had a lot of older players to look up to," Morrison said. "I got a better feel for the high school pace. I thought I saw the plays better."

Morrison recorded 19 goals and 16 assists. On defense she helped the Rangers break in a new goalie (the fast-learning Maura Perry) as Greely allowed only 22 goals during the season, recording seven shutouts (two in the playoffs). After two early losses, the Rangers went 14-0-1 in their final 15 games.

"I felt very secure with her on the ice," Guerin said. "You never had to worry with her in possession. She's got great poise and control with the puck. It's almost a second nature, more than any player I've seen.

"And she's so fast as a defenseman, no one is getting behind her We like her on (defense) so she can keep the whole play in front of her."

And as evidenced by the state championship game, Morrison knows when to make her move. 

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH

 

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