BRUNSWICK HIGH SCHOOL goalie Jordan Van Savage (right) prepares to block a shot against Greely during Wednesday’s high school girl’s hockey playoff opener. The Dragons fell 14-1 and were eliminated from the postseason.

BRUNSWICK HIGH SCHOOL goalie Jordan Van Savage (right) prepares to block a shot against Greely during Wednesday’s high school girl’s hockey playoff opener. The Dragons fell 14-1 and were eliminated from the postseason.

FALMOUTH

It was a season based around learning and growing for the Brunswick High School girls hockey team. It was no secret that the Dragons had their work cut out for them in the 2014-15 year, as the roster consisted of a large group of young players, including some that had never skated before or played competitive hockey.

COLLEEN MCKEARNEY watches a puck originally shot by her teammate Tessa Cassidy sneak into the back of the net. The Dragons fell 14-1 to Greely on Wednesday in the East quarterfinals. Brunswick finished 3-16.

COLLEEN MCKEARNEY watches a puck originally shot by her teammate Tessa Cassidy sneak into the back of the net. The Dragons fell 14-1 to Greely on Wednesday in the East quarterfinals. Brunswick finished 3-16.

On Wednesday, the Dragons, who captured the No. 6 spot in the Eastern Class Heal Point Standings, proved that the hard work put into the season was enough to give them a playoff bid, facing off against No. 3 Greely at the Falmouth Family Ice Center.

The reality for Brunswick was already there, as the Dragons fell to the Rangers twice in the regular season, allowing a combined 22 goals, and Wednesday saw much of the same as the Rangers (15-3- 1) went on to a 14-1 victory to advance to the next round.

“We just didn’t match up well with Greely all year and we knew it was going to be a really tough test,” Dragons first-year head coach AJ Kavanaugh said after the game. “I was proud (of them), we got down a few goals early and for a stretch in that second period we scored that goal to make it 4-1 and we swung the momentum in our end for at least a couple of shifts, and I told the girls I was proud of that.”

Though the end result was rather lopsided, the scoring didn’t start right away. It took until 10:35 remaining the first period when Greely captain Danita Storey took advantage of a wrap-around opportunity to open up the scoreboard for a 1-0 lead.

Storey, who ended the night with an astounding eight points, six of which were goals, scored the Rangers next two goals to notch the natural hat trick right out of the gate, paying homage to the street the arena is located on — Hat Trick Drive.

“They passed the puck really well,” Kavanaugh stated about Greely’s offense. “We had no answer for Storey. She was all over the ice tonight, more so than what I saw in the first two games, she’s really stepped her game up, she’s obviously ready to play in the playoffs.”

Brunswick had an opportunity to grab a hold of the scoreboard in the first period when Tessa Cassidy snuck past the last defender at the blue line and had a one-on-one opportunity against Rangers goalie Nica Todd, but two attempts to put the puck in the back of the net were denied.

The Dragons were able to put the puck past the pipes in the second frame when Cassidy accepted a pass from Colleen McKearney and skated the length of the ice, beating the Rangers defense and dumping the puck past Todd on the right side.

It was difficult to stop the Rangers from there on out, as Greely piled on a grand total of 47 shots, including six more goals in the third period.

The Rangers wanted to make sure the gate was closed on the game, finding the back of the net four times in a span of 1:24.

For a team that was rookie driven to start the season, goalie Jordan Van Savage has seen nothing but large strides in the improvement of her team.

“Each of every one of them definitely improved,” she said of her teammates. “We definitely had some challenges as well. We just never gave up, and since I was a rookie (goalie) it was a little hard at first because I had to keep practicing myself, but we just stuck it out and I’m just really happy with everyone.”

With the “never give up” attitude that the Dragons held throughout the season, the young squad has proven that it has a chance to make a difference next season, and both Van Savage and Kavanaugh have the utmost confidence that there is no where else to go but up.

“When I was a freshman I had never played competitive hockey. I started out as forward and I didn’t even know how to stop and now here I am,” Van Savage said. “But, I look forward to seeing the freshmen we have now improve and I look forward to building new relationships with the upcoming players,”

“We have a ton of sophomores and a big freshmen class and they all progressed,” Kavanaugh said. “Even the ones that weren’t getting a lot of playing time, seeing them come out in the third period and take advantage of the playing time they were getting, it’s optimistic knowing that they’ll be able to be contributors next year.”

The Dragons completed their season with an overall record of 3-16. However, Van Savage said that the effort put in by the team all season is what truly mattered.

“All I can say is that the improvement (we had) was huge,” she said. “The first time we played Yarmouth it was 9-0. The next time we played them we totally caught them off guard and that just shows how we are totally able to improve and just keep our heads up. That’s what I love about this team, everyone is wonderful and we just never gave up.”

Greely 14, Brunswick 1

At Falmouth Family Ice Center in Falmouth

Brunswick —0 1 0 1
Greely 4 4 6 14

First period — 1. (G) Danita Storey, 4:30; 2. (G) Danita Storey (Bella Goodwin, Erin Molloy), 5:05; 3. (G) Danita Storey (Natalie Swisher), 8:40; 4. (G) Ellie Schad, 14:12. Penalties — None. Second period — 5. (B) Tessa Cassidy (Colleen McKearney), 2:05; 6. (G) Emilee McGillicuddy (Danita Storey), 6:28; 7. (G) Courtney Sullivan (Erin Molloy), 7:03; 8. (G) Danita Storey (Faith Price), pp, 8:08; 9. (G) Courtney Sullivan (Ellie Schad), 10:33. Penalty — (B) Colleen McKearney, cross-checking, 7:57. Third period — 10. (G) Maura Perry (Bridget Roberts), pp, 0:37; 11. (G) Danita Storey (Faith Price), 1:01; 12. (G) Courtney Sullivan (Maura Verrill, Erin Molloy), 1:12; 13. (G) Erin Molloy (Courtney Sullivan, Victoria Lattanzi), 2:00; 14. (G) Danita Storey, 10:00; 15. (G) Maura Perry (Danita Storey), 11:15. Penalty — (B) Colleen McKearney, roughing, 0:33. Power play — Greely 2-for-2. Shots — Brunswick 8; Greely 47. Saves — (B) Jordan Van Savage 33; (G) Nica Todd 7. Records — Greely 15-3-1; Brunswick 3-16. Note — Brunswick ends season with 14-1 playoff loss to Greely, while the Rangers face second-seeded Edward Little/Leavitt on Saturday in the East semifinals.


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