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High Schools: Late shorthanded goal gives Concord girls a 4-4 tie

In a span of six minutes, Concord went from looking like it was going to win, to looking like it was going to lose, to looking like it might win again.

And at the end of the emotional roller coaster that was the third period, the Crimson Tide girls’ hockey team came away with a 4-4 tie with St. Thomas-Dover yesterday.

“We definitely want to win, but I’m so proud of them, as a coach, to see them not giving up,” said Concord Coach Stacy Boudrias, whose team moved to 2-7-1 and ended a three-game losing streak.

It would have been easy to let down, considering Concord saw a 3-2 lead turn into a 4-3 deficit in a span of about two minutes late in the final period. And the uphill battle of pulling back even was made even harder when the Tide took a penalty in the game’s final minutes.

No problem.

Skating a player down, Annie Mullen sent the puck ahead to Meg Ficarra, who worked in low behind the net. Ficarra looked for a teammate to come to net, but when she tossed the puck out from behind the goal line, it hit the St. Thomas-Dover goalie and bounced back over the line and into the cage for a 4-4 tie with just 65 seconds to play.

“I ask her to hit the net every time she shoots,” Boudrias said of Ficarra. “I don’t care how it happened, but she hit the net.”

St. Thomas-Dover (5-5-1) had beaten Concord, 8-3, to start the new year, but the Tide was missing its starting goalie in that game and knew the rematch would be different. Concord outshot the visitors, 41-29, yesterday, with goalie Arielle Berger making 25 saves.

St. Thomas-Dover got on the board first, 11:07 in, but Concord wasted little time responding when Mullen scored the first of her two goals with assists from Ficarra and Isabel Stoddard. Then, just 3:51 into the second period, Stoddard put the Tide up, converting an assist from Emily Scheer. St. Thomas-Dover pulled back even late in the period, but Mullen’s second goal, just 21 seconds into the third period, gave Concord a 3-2 lead and set up the frenetic finish.

“You’ve got to be offensive if you’re down late in the game,” Boudrias said, recalling what she told the team during a timeout. “I’m super proud that they took it into their own hands and took control.”

BOYS’ HOCKEY

Londonderry 3, Concord 1

Concord (3-4-2) played third-ranked Londonderry (7-2-1) shot for shot throughout the game, but a power outage stopped the Tide’s upset chances.

“The power play killed us,” said Concord Coach Dunc Walsh, whose team was 0-for-6 with the man advantage. “A good power play takes skill, patience and poise, and we’re lacking in a lot of that.”

Londonderry snagged the lead just 51 seconds into the game, but Harrison Murphy pulled the Tide back even late in the period. Alex Orcutt took the initial shot, and with the rebound sitting in the crease, Murphy swooped in and buried it for a 1-1 tie after one period.

Concord had three power plays in the middle frame, but came up empty. And to make matters worse, Londonderry scored just three seconds after killing off one of those Tide advantages and came away with a 3-1 lead after two. Concord put 12 more shots on goal in the third, and had two more power plays, but couldn’t cut into the deficit.

Goalie Ben Nelson made several stunning saves, finishing with 30 as the teams each had 33 shots on net.

“Power plays were the difference in the game,” Walsh said. “It was a pretty even game. … We played hard, but the power play is frustrating.”

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Hopkinton 52, Kearsarge 33

Kearsarge hung tough with the Hawks in the beginning, down by only two points after the first quarter. But Hopkinton pulled away in the second and third quarters to build a lead that the Cougars (1-9) weren’t able to overcome.

Sabrey Montore led the way for Hopkinton (7-4) with 15 points, while Sloane White added 10 points. Christine Spaulding chipped in five points and dominated the boards.

Anna Cahill scored 12 points and played an all-around great game for Kearsarge. Katie Lindh contributed to the Cougars’ offensive effort with six points.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Hopkinton 57, Kearsarge 44

The Hopkinton (6-3) bench provided the spark needed to overcome a 42-36 Kearsarge (2-7) lead at halftime and seal the Hawks victory.

Off the bench, Harry Legier (six rebounds) provided a huge second-quarter effort with eight points, his total for the game, while Luke Luneau supplied great defensive pressure.

Gabe Nichols netted a career-high 20 points on 10-for-11 shooting from the floor and added 11 rebounds and two blocks. Liam McNicholas (14 points, four rebounds, two assists) and Steve Auger (five points, five rebounds, five steals) also played well offensively, while Collin Paraskeva was solid defensively.

For Kearsarge, Peter Allen (12 points, five rebounds), Carter Noordsj (11 points, four points and Ollie Gallo (nine points, five assists) paced the offense. Dan Orlando ( four points, six rebounds, two charges) and Sam Van Etten (two points) played exceptionally well for the Cougars.

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