Girls’ hockey stays red-hot with wins vs. KP, FranklinBy Jay Turner
In what could be remembered as the calm before the storm, the Canton High girls’ ice hockey team picked up two more convincing wins last week in advance of highly anticipated showdowns with Walpole (7-2-1) and Falmouth (10-0) this week.
At this point, the Bulldogs have clearly proven themselves to be one of the top teams in the south, as evidenced by their sparkling 11-1 record and their ability to pile up goals against the opposition. Last week was no different as the girls combined for 16 goals in wins against SEMGHL West Division opponents King Philip (9-1) and Franklin (7-4).
The KP game was especially lopsided, with Canton outshooting the Warriors 55-5 even as head coach Dennis Aldrich emptied his bench and found plenty of time for his backups.
Senior captain and team scoring leader Meaghan McKenna finished with a hat trick, while fellow senior captain Meghan Lennon added two goals of her own. Abbey Mitcheroney also had a strong game with one goal and two assists, as did Katie Kelleher and Mary Nee, who both finished with a goal and an assist. Junior defenseman Jill Eckler rounded out the scoring, and Casey Considine and Emily Lanci both finished with two assists.
A few days later the girls traveled to Franklin, and despite trailing in a game for just the second time all season, they stormed back to win by three.
The opening period featured plenty of scoring as both squads netted three goals apiece. Canton trailed 1-0 and 2-1 but came back to tie it within seconds in both instances. In the second period the Bulldogs kicked it up a notch, outshooting the Panthers 18-6 and taking the lead for good.
McKenna finished with her second hat trick in as many games, and Jackie Martin finished with a goal and two assists. Both Lanci and Kelleher added one goal and one assist, while Elise Barry and Julie Nagel chipped in with two assists apiece.
“I thought it was a pretty good effort,” said Aldrich of the Franklin game. “We gave up mostly soft goals, which is something we have to fix, and instead of getting a quantity of shots, I’d like to see more quality.”
But overall, Aldrich said his team has been working “really hard” and has the talent, in his opinion, to rival any team in the state regardless of division.
“We’re just very solid,” he said. “It’s amazing what we’ve accomplished, and we’ve accomplished it because no one really cares who gets the credit.”
This week, the Bulldogs had a chance to test their coach’s claims with back-to-back home games against elite opponents: Monday against Walpole and Wednesday against Falmouth. The latter team is currently No. 2 in the Boston Globe Top 20 while Canton slots in at No. 10 and Walpole at No. 16.
The team will then wrap up the week with an away game against Dover-Sherborn on Saturday, January 26.
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