Masconomet girls upset Beverly in thrilling overtime shootout
By Matt Williams Staff writer Hadley Green Photographer
BEVERLY — Masconomet senior defenseman Madi Brooke had been waiting four years for a moment like this.
Netting the winning goal in a shootout to upset rival Beverly in front of a packed Bourque Arena in a state playoff game? It’s the stuff dreams are made of, and some 10 minutes afterwards Brooke was still searching for the words to capture her feelings about what has to be the greatest win in the history of the school’s girls hockey program.
“I’m at a loss,” said Brooke, who scored on the final attempt of the five-round shootout to send the Chieftains to a 5-4 Division 1 first round win.
What’s more, it was Masconomet’s first win over Beverly in 17 meetings going all the way back to 2009.
“It’s surreal. I haven’t a breakaway shootout since I was 10 years old, probably at some tournament in New Hampshire,” said Brooke. “To have my coach trust me in that spot … I can’t even say what that means.”
What it means immediately for No. 18 seed Masconomet (11-8-3) is that it’s on to next week’s Division 1 quarters against either Austin Prep or Braintree.
To get there, it took a ridiculous 41-save effort from freshman goalie Molly Elmore. Not to mention a take-nothing-for-granted mentality that left the skaters on both sides completely exhausted after 45 minutes of regulation and two 6-minute overtimes, which came with more ups-and-downs than the best roller coaster at the old Riverside Park.
“We really did empty the tank,” said Chieftain senior captain Izzy Sarra. “You get in a game like this, as an 18th seed against one of the best teams in state, and you feel like you might only have 45 minutes left. You can’t take anything for granted.”
Beverly ends the season 17-2-3, having gone unbeaten in its first 20 games before dropping its final two.
After falling behind 2-0 Friday night, the Panthers staged a furious comeback led by their captains McKinley Karpa (2 goals) and Izzy Primack (goal, assist) to get it tied, 3-3, going into the third.
Sophomore Brittany Foster gave Beverly its first lead just 23 seconds into the final frame. Brooke tied it for Masconomet with 7:30 to play with a floater from the blue line on the power play, and it remained 4-4 for the last half of the third despite the Panthers’ best efforts to get the lead back. Elmore held her pads on Foster’s bid with 59 seconds to go, and Karpa shot wide with an open net on more than one occasion.
Both sides had chances that brought fans out of their seats in the first 6-minute overtime, contested 4-on-4. Beverly had a power play late in the first overtime, but could not convert as the advantage carried over into the second. The last 4:23 of that frame was contested 3-on-3 and again neither team could get one by goalies Elmore or Beverly’s Maddy Jalbert (23 saves).
“We had so many chances, and with the power play in overtime I thought we’d get one there,” said Beverly coach Brian Seabury. “I’m proud of the way these kids fought after getting down by two. It’s a tough way to lose.”
In the shootout, Elmore and Jalbert both stopped the first two shooters. Karpa scored to give the Panthers the lead after three rounds, but Elmore made a stop and Masconomet’s Abby Gendron knotted it up after four. Following another Elmore save, Brooke finished by slipping the puck under the goalie’s leg to win it for the Chieftains.
“I think we’re in shock more than anything. It’s still sinking in,” said Masco’s Ryan Sugar, the first coach to lead the Chieftains to two playoff wins in a season in his very first season on the bench.
“I think about Molly — that’s the best game I’ve seen her play. To hold that offense to one goal in the shootout? Wow.”
Having already pounded Quincy in a preliminary round game earlier this week, Masconomet began the game on fire. Goals by Lexi Rosenbaum and Gendron had it 2-0 just 4:00 into the game.
“We’d been eyeballing this game ever since the (playoff) brackets came out. The intensity we came out with was a big part of that,” Sugar said.
Beverly, led by Karpa’s determination, steadied itself. She scored with just 36 seconds left in the first and again on her first shift of the second to tie it up. She also assisted on Primack’s tying goal in the second, finishing the year with a record 72 points.
“McKinley was tremendous,” said Seabury. “All our seniors were. They’re great players, great leaders. They’re irreplaceable.”
Masco senior Rachael Duval scored unassisted to put the Chieftains back on top, 3-2, before Beverly’s Primack sniped on the power play to make it 3-3.
Time and again in the third period and overtime, Beverly bore down on Elmore and the young goaltender stood tall. Sydney Foster and Marlee Hamor each had multiple scoring bids, as did the high-powered Primack and Karpa.
“I’ve never seen a goalie with as much talent as Molly on any of my hockey teams,” said Sarra. “And she’s so composed and so competitive. We love her.”
Jalbert made some eye-popping stops as well, coming 10 feet out of her crease to poke check away a breakaway in the first overtime. She was especially strong in the first half of the first period, making two great stops to prevent the Chieftains from taking a three-goal lead.
Masconomet 5, Beverly 4 (Shootout)
Division 1 first round
at Bourque Arena, Beverly
Masconomet 2 1 1 0 0 — 4
Beverly 1 2 1 0 0 — 4
First period: M, Lexi Rosenbaum (un), 3:19; M, Abby Gendron (Kate Irons), 4:00; B, McKinley Karpa (Brittany Foster), 14:24.
Second period: B, Karpa (un), :09; M, Rachael Duval (un), 3:49; B, Izzy Primack (Karpa, Brittany Foster), ppg, 10:19.
Third period: B, Brittany Foster (Karpa), :23; M, Madi Brooke (un), ppg, 7:30.
Overtime: No scoring.
Shootout: M, Gendron, Brooke; B, Karpa.
Saves: M, Molly Elmore 41; B, Maddy Jalbert 23.
Records: M, 11-8-3; B, 17-2-3.