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Salem News 2/22/17: Rosenbaum scores twice as Masco girls hockey qualifies for playoffs

Rosenbaum scores twice as Masco girls hockey qualifies for playoffs
By Dan Harrison Staff writer

BRYAN EATON/Staff photo.




NEWBURYPORT — The Masconomet girls hockey team needed just one point to qualify for the postseason when it the ice for Tuesday’s Newburyport Bank Classic Doyle Division game.

They were up against a Winthrop/Lynn/Saugus squad that had edged the Chieftains by a goal earlier in the winter. So it was a good thing Lexi Rosenbaum was already in playoff mode.

The junior forward scored a pair of goals on the same shift in the first period and Masconomet came through with a huge, four-minute penalty kill in the third period to down the Bulldawgs by a 3-0 score.

“I thought, even at the start of the game, as if I was in the playoffs and I think that’s how the whole team was looking at it. We came out strong as if we were playing in the tournament,” said Rosenbaum, who spoke specifically about her big shift.

“I just had this burst of energy and gave it all I could. I was thinking I have to hustle … I was thinking about getting it to the net, then I saw the corner and picked it.”

The Chieftains (9-7-3) earned a berth in the Division 1 North tournament, but first, will meet Winchester in the Doyle Division final Thursday back at Graf Rink (7 p.m.).

Rosenbaum first used a move to get Dawgs (11-5) goalie Gretchen Howard sliding a little out of position and then ripped a shot into the low right corner of the net. Less than a minute later, Rosenbaum again got the puck in the danger area, but this time went top right corner with a bullet to put the Chieftains ahead 2-0.

Both goals were assisted by senior captain Izzy Sarra, with Rachael Duval and Kate Irons also getting helpers.

“The girls knew what was a stake,” said Masconomet head coach Ryan Sugar. “We knew right off the bat what we needed to do to win, not just tie, but win. We know how strong (Howard) is and the girls worked hard. They came to the rink ready to play.”

Howard really dug in after that, allowing the two goals and turned away a number of strong Masco chances in the second period and early third. That is, until a major penalty against the hosts gave WLS a 4-minute, locked in power play with a little over five minutes to play. But the penalty killing unit, led by junior Sami Kelleher, who blocked three shots and had a pair of clears during a two-and-a-half minute, man down stretch, came up big.

Freshman goalie Molly Elmore (24 saves) made a spectacular blocker save and a few tough pad saves with her team shorthanded. That helped preserve the lead until sophomore Abby Gendron tipped in a Duval shot from the point on the power play to make it 3-0.

“We were terrible,” said Dawgs coach Anthony Martucci. “We didn’t have it.”

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