Masco girls hockey squad pulls off huge upset of No. 2 Beverly
By Nick Weinstein / Correspondent
We could have just seen the game of the year. And this was only the first round.
The No. 18 seed Masconomet defeated No. 2 Beverly by a 5-4 score on the strength of a shootout victory after two full-strength overtime sessions could not break a 4-4 deadlock.
At the Ray Bourque Arena on the campus of Beverly’s Endicott College, Masco put on one of the most entertaining performances of the season, upsetting one of the tournament’s top teams, Beverly, handing the three-school co-op Panthers only their second loss of the year.
“I’m still trying to piece it all together myself right now,” said Masco first-year head coach Ryan Sugar, immediately after the game. “We just came out flying and matched them player for player. My goalie has been asking for [a shootout] all week. She finally got it and played out of her mind.”
That goalie is only a freshman, but Newburyport’s Molly Elmore perhaps played the most impressive game of her young career, stopping 41 shots and saving four penalty shootout efforts.
This game saw Masco come out flying, scoring two quick goals behind Mikayla Vincent Newburyport) and Abby Gendron (Masco).
Beverly was able to answer with McKinley Karpa (Ipswich), one of the state’s top scorers, putting two past Elmore. The game went back and forth for one of the most impressive crowds seen at a first round game.
The Chieftains brought a spirited group of supporters while the Panthers, at their home rink, didn’t disappoint with a great student section.
Rachael Duval was able to break the deadlock for the Chieftains midway through the second period and it wouldn’t last for long. Senior captain and Ipswich senior Izzy Primack, another one of the states’ most prolific scorers tied things up for Beverly with four minutes left in the second period.
Primack didn’t waste any time. Less than a minute into the third period, she fed her teammate Brittany Foster (Danvers) for the go-ahead goal, giving the Panthers a 4-3 lead.
Masconomet captain Madison Brooke then scored the second most important goal of her season with seven minutes to go, tying the game yet again.
The giant crowd deserved OT hockey and that is what they received. It was not one, not two, but a triple-overtime shootout that decided the deadlock. Tired legs and screaming fans aside, both teams put on a show on Endicott’s campus.
The fans were on their feet as the shootout commenced at just about 9:45 p.m. on Friday night. Karpa put one past Elmore in the third round of the shootout, but in the next round, Gendron responded for the Chieftains.
This meant it was down to the final round. Elmore made a fantastic stop, giving Madison Brooke a shot to walk off with a winner and she did just that, scoring the most important goal of her season, giving Masco the upset victory.
The goal did spark a ton of controversy as it appeared to some that Brooke might have jabbed the puck across the line with a second effort past Beverly goaltender Maddy Jalbert. The refs talked it over, but the goal stood and Masco celebrated.
“Now, we try to get ready for a game against one of two teams that we don’t know much about. We are in bonus time right now, so anything can happen at this point,” Sugar said.
Masco moves on to the quarterfinals next week, facing off against Austin Prep, which beat Braintree by a 6-0 score. Check boxford.wickedlocal.com for an update on that game.