Girls’ hockey: Concord tops Brady-Trinity-West, 2-1, to reach semifinals

  • Concord forward Joanna Dustin topples over Brady-Trinity-West defenseman Haley Hildreth during the second period at Everett Arena on Friday, March 1, 2019. Dustin scored the second goal for Concord. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Trinity West freshman Evelynn Irizarry wraps up Concord forward Kaitlyn McKinnon during the first period at Everett Arena on Friday, March 1, 2019. McKinnon scored the first Concord goal. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Joanna Dustin of Concord raises her arms after scoring the go-aheand and winning goal on Friday, March 1, 2019 at Everett Arena. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • It was a scrum against the boards as Joanna Dustin (4) leads the Concord players in a fight for the puck during the second quarter at Everett Arena on Friday, March 1, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord players celebrate with Kaitlyn McKinnon (second from left) after she scored the first Crimson Tide goal in the first period at Everett Arena on Friday during a Division I quarterfinal matchup against Bishop Brady-Trinity-West. Concord prevailed for a 2-1 win. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 3/2/2019 12:13:33 AM

The night didn’t start well for Abby Corbett, who gave up a goal just 28 seconds into Friday’s Division I girls’ ice hockey quarterfinal. But that was all Corbett gave up, so the night ended well for the senior goalie and her Concord teammates as they claimed a 2-1 win against No. 6 Bishop Brady-Trinity-West.

“That first goal was bad, I wasn’t lined up right at all,” Corbett said. “But I just had to shake that one off and I knew my team would come back and be behind me.”

She was right. The No. 3 Crimson Tide (14-5-0) tied things up midway through the first period and then found the game-winner on the power play early in the second when Joanna Dustin scored off a pretty pass from Jaelyn Kelleher.

“I’m just proud of how the girls stuck with it, especially after letting in one on the first shift, that’s kind of a dampener to start,” Concord coach Patrick McDonough said. “But I thought from there on out we were doing everything we needed to do to be successful and it was just a matter of time before pucks started going in.”

Lauren Trippiedi scored that first-minute goal for BBTW (12-8-0). The senior captain just floated down the left wing toward the crease and flipped a casual backhand off Corbett that bounced into the net for the 1-0 lead.

“When we got that first goal I thought we would get the momentum, but it only helped for a little while,” Brady coach Dan Earley said.

Concord’s Kaitlyn McKinnon made sure the lead only last a little while, too. The freshman center kept the puck on her stick for a long time while circling around the BBTW zone before finally taking a wrist shot that went through the glove of Giant Pioneer goalie Emily Senko (26 saves) to tie things at 1-1 at 6:24 of the first.

Brady-Trinity-West went on a two-minute power play about a minute after McKinnon scored, but the Tide penalty kill dominated the special-teams situation. That trend that continued all game long as Concord killed all four BBTW power-play opportunities.

“We’ve got to be better going forward about not taking as many penalties, but it’s nice knowing that if we do get in those situations, we can shut teams down,” McDonough said.

The Tide killed another penalty to end the first and start the second. But when the tables turned and Concord had the man advantage early in the second, it only took nine seconds for a puck to find the net. Concord senior captain Emily Forward sent a pass in deep that Kelleher controlled behind the net before sending it out back out front to Dustin, who buried the one-timer to make it 2-1 at 4:30 of the second.

The Tide was hunting for a third goal right after its second, but Senko came up with some big saves to keep her team close. The Giants Pioneers had a golden opportunity to tie things late in the second when Courtney Ingham got loose for a breakaway before Concord defenseman Maria Armaganian, who was excellent all game, dove from behind to knock the puck away from Ingham. The officials awarded Ingham a penalty shot on the play, but Corbett stood tall and turned it aside.

“There were a lot of things going through my mind before the penalty shot, but I knew it was what my team needed, so I knew I needed to do it for the team,” Corbett said.

“We live and die with Abby,” McDonough said. “When she’s riding, there’s no other goalie I’d rather have in the state. The calmness that she showed in the net staring down a potential game-tying penalty shot was fantastic. For her to just stay in there, ride with it, make the save and just push it to the left like business as usual, that was fantastic. There’s nobody with more quiet confidence than Abby Corbett.”

The Giant Pioneers kept coming in the third. They generated some scoring chances on a power play in the middle of the period, but Concord’s Amy Cohen blocked a shot that looked like trouble and BBTW’s Evelyn Irizarry couldn’t connect on a bouncing rebound with an empty net in front of her. Brady had another man advantage in the final minute, but Corbett and the Tide defense wasn’t about to allow a late equalizer.

“They gave everything they absolutely had,” Earley said of his team. “I’m just sad it’s over because they’ve been getting better every game. But I feel like it’s a good season to finish sixth and make the second round. I didn’t even know if we’d make the playoffs when the season began.”

For Concord, the season will continue into Tuesday’s 5:30 p.m. semifinal against No. 2 Exeter (14-4-1) at Everett Arena.

“It’s nice to be able to play again, that’s all we really wanted to do coming in to tonight,” McDonough said “With the playoffs all you’re really trying to do is give yourself a shot at another day, and that was our mantra going into it. We had a nice practice Thursday here at the Everett and we said we didn’t want that to be our last practice, so we gave ourselves another opportunity to continue to play.”

(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at 369-3341, or on Twitter @timosullivan20)

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