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Brady boys, Concord girls win battle of hockey rivals

  • Bishop Brady's Carter Lee keeps his eye on the puck while tending goal during the game against Concord on February 23, 2013 at Everett Arena. Brady defeated Concord. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Bishop Brady's Carter Lee keeps his eye on the puck while tending goal during the game against Concord on February 23, 2013 at Everett Arena. Brady defeated Concord.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Concord's Jessica Carroll (21) celebrates with teammates during the game  against Bishop Brady on February 23, 2013 at Everett Arena. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Concord's Jessica Carroll (21) celebrates with teammates during the game against Bishop Brady on February 23, 2013 at Everett Arena.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Bishop Brady's Carter Lee keeps his eye on the puck while tending goal during the game against Concord on February 23, 2013 at Everett Arena. Brady defeated Concord. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Concord's Jessica Carroll (21) celebrates with teammates during the game  against Bishop Brady on February 23, 2013 at Everett Arena. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

The games meant so little in the grand scheme of things, but so very much to anyone who laced up the skates.

Both the Concord High and Bishop Brady-Trinity girls’ hockey teams were already eliminated from playoff contention. Same for the Brady boys’ team. And the Concord boys were locked into the No. 10 seed for the upcoming Division I tournament.

But despite having no playoff implications, this was Concord-Brady hockey, when bragging rights make even meaningless games meaningful.

The schools split last night’s doubleheader, with each team reversing its fortunes from when they met earlier this season. Concord’s girls won, 5-1, to finish at 6-11-1 and in seventh place, with six teams making the playoffs. In the nightcap, Brady’s boys won, 3-2, to pick up their second victory of the season.

“We did it mostly for ourselves, for each other and for the seniors on the team,” said Brady goalie Carter Lee, a senior who made 36 saves in just his second start of the season between the pipes.

“This is big for us and big going into next season,” Brady Coach Randy Manni said. “It’s a lot different than going into next season with that last sour taste in your mouth.”

Concord (6-10-2) dominated long stretches of the game, outshooting the Giants, 38-20, and carried a 2-1 lead into the final period. But Brady (2-16-0) ramped up its intensity in the final frame, scoring twice to snatch the win.

“We had them 2-1 and were putting a lot of pressure on them, but that’s the way the season’s been,” said Concord Coach Dunc Walsh, whose team has struggled to find the back of the net throughout year, averaging just 2.1 goals per game. “We had a ton of chances, we just can’t finish. Two goals is not going to win many games.”

Brady scored the lone goal of the first period when Casey Anderson ripped a shot that snuck inside the near post for a power-play goal 5:46 in. Alex Von Svoboda and Craig Hering assisted.

Concord got two back in the second and could have led by more if not for Lee’s quick reactions. Just a minute or two after Lee robbed Adam Godbout one-on-one, Ethan Cole pulled the Tide even, deflecting a shot from Michael Shea through Lee’s pads. Colin Stevens also assisted. Then, just two minutes later, Mitchell Hayes connected on the power play, tipping in Stevens’s shot from the left half boards. Godbout also assisted.

Concord went on the power play again late in the period, but Brady killed it to take some momentum into the final period. That momentum grew at 4:12, when a Concord defender inadvertently kicked the puck into his own net, allowing Brady to tie the game with Shelby Herrington getting credit for the goal.

“Toward the end of the second, when they went on the power play, a third goal would have killed us,” Manni said. “Killing that power play was our big momentum turn. And then the goal ... it’s a game of bounces.”

A final fortuitous bounce for Brady started off not so lucky. Zach Frament clanged a shot off the upright and the crossbar, but the puck bounced right out to Hering, who knocked it back in for the game-winner with 5:09 left. And Lee did the rest, keeping the Tide out of the net for the final five minutes.

“This is the best game of my life,” Lee said. “It’s the best way to end the year.”

For Concord, however, there’s at least one more game left.

“It’s not a good way to go into the tournament,” Walsh said. “But everybody starts fresh now.”

GIRLS

Annie Mullen took matters into her own hands in the girls’ game, scoring a natural hat trick in the middle frame to turn a 1-1 game into a commanding 4-1 Tide lead.

“We really wanted to win this one; it’s what we’ve been working for most of the season,” Mullen said. “The first time when we lost to them we were (missing the goalie). They’re a new team, a new rival, and we wanted to show them that we’ve been around longer and we’re better than that.”

“Annie’s a true leader,” Concord Coach Stacy Boudrias said. “When she steps up, all the team follows.”

Shortly after Concord’s Emily Scheer pinged the post, Mullen flipped the puck over goalie Sarah Plourde’s blocker on the rebound of a shot from Elizabeth Donlon. It stayed a one-goal game until the final 41∕2 minutes, when Mullen received a pass from Aelin Shea and tossed the puck toward the net, where it eluded the goalie for a 3-1 advantage. Then, just 21∕2 minutes later with Concord on the power play, Mullen carried the puck through the offensive zone, deked left and deposited the puck into the right corner of the cage.

Brady (6-12) had a chance to pull even at 2-2, but couldn’t connect on a 3-on-1 break with just more than five minutes left in the frame.

“One of the things we discovered is that Division I girls’ hockey is a very competitive league,” Brady Coach Dan Earley said. “Anyone who thinks D-I girls is second rate has got another thing coming.

“We knew they’d be tough. I give a lot of credit to Stacy and Steph (Ala). I think they’re the best coaches in the league.”

Brady, which won the first meeting 9-5, jumped on the board early in this one when a shot ricocheted off the back dasher and squirted into the crease for Melissa Houde to score with an assist from Kerry Twomey just 3:20 into the game.

Concord answered about five minutes later. Defenseman Meg Ficarra controlled the puck at the blue line, waiting for her teammates to touch up onsides, then carried the puck into the zone. She sent in a shot from the left half boards and Jess Carroll deflected it past Plourde (24 saves) to even things up.

Meanwhile, Ficarra, Donlon and Sarah Ek solidified Concord’s defense and goalie Arielle Berger (23 saves) didn’t allow anything past for the game’s final 41 minutes. Isabel Stoddard put on the finishing touches in the third period, taking a pass from Charly Hoadley, rushing the puck into the zone, ripping off a shot and batting her own rebound into the net.

“We wanted this one,” Mullen said. “The effort’s been there all season, even if the scores haven’t reflected it.”

(Sandy Smith can be reached at 369-3339 or at ssmith@cmonitor.com.)

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