Last second goal lifts Tiger girls’ hockey

WATERBURY — The Middlebury Union High School girls’ hockey team earned a dramatic, 4-3 win at first-place Harwood on Wednesday to finish the regular season at 12-8.
The Tigers won five of their final seven games, including three wins over teams that finished higher than them in the Division II standings.
MUHS finished in a three-way tie in the point standings for fourth place with No. 4 Rice (10-7-2) and No. 5 Northfield (10-8-1), but tie-breaking procedures gave the Tigers the No. 6 seed. The Tigers’ two losses to Northfield probably hurt them in breaking the three-way logjam.
The Tigers will take on No. 3 Rutland (13-7) on Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. The Tigers lost two of three to the Raiders, but outshot them by large margins in all three contests.
A win in that quarterfinal would most likely mean a semifinal date with No. 2 North Country (14-5-1) in a semifinal at a time to be announced. The Falcons defeated the Tigers twice, again in games in which the Tigers earned more shots on net.
Against Harwood (16-3-1) this past Wednesday, Emma Best converted a Lauren Bartlett assist with a second left in the third period to snap a 3-3 tie.
The goal was Best’s third of the game. The first, at 1:25 of the second period was set up by Harper Smith and tied the game at 1-1. Best gave MUHS a 2-1 lead 1:31 later by netting a breakaway, but the Highlanders knotted the score at 2-2 later in the period.
The Highlanders took the lead at 1:36 of the third, but the Tigers answered at 6:24, when Angela Carone rapped home a Sara Boe feed from the corner. Then Best completed the hat trick at 0:01 to give MUHS the win.
Coach Tim Howlett said goalie Baily Ryan (18 saves) made some tough stops. Harwood’s Siena Damon made 22 saves. 

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