Tiger girls’ hockey moves win streak to seven

MIDDLEBURY — Monday was another night at the rink and another victory for the Middlebury Union High School girls’ hockey team, this time by 3-0 over visiting Lake Placid.
The Tigers outshot the Bombers by 44-16 and got two goals and an assist from Andi Boe and 16 saves from goalie Rowan Hendy. They stretched their winning streak to seven games and improved their record to 10-2-1.
Although Boe supplied most of the scoring on Monday, all of her teammates peppered Lake Placid goalie Tanner Stanton (41 saves) with shots. Boe said a balanced attack has actually been one of the Tigers’ strengths, and she pointed to their 5-1 win at Spaulding two days before as a more typical outing.
“At Spaulding the other day we had five different people score, and that’s what makes us really dangerous,” she said. “We’re trying to use everyone instead of just focusing on one line or one person to do it all.”
The Tigers’ improved play really started with two wins in their late-December holiday tournament, at which Coach Matt Brush and co-coaches Tim Howlett and Derek Bartlett made lineup adjustments: They changed the pairs that run up front, and now use five-player platoons as often as possible to enhance on-ice chemistry.
Meanwhile, Brush said, all the Tigers, from the starters to the last players on the bench, have successfully filled their roles.
“We made a couple lineup changes right before the holiday tournament, and it’s continued to work well for us,” Brush said. “The defensive backs are playing well, and we’re trying to spot people in there to give people rest, and they’re playing well, too. So it’s a good team effort, and over this run both goalies have had good games. So overall we’re in a pretty good place.”
Certainly, the Tigers overmatched their New York visitors on Monday, although Stanton frustrated them during a first period in which the Tigers outshot the Bombers by 17-2. Both Bomber shots came in the first 30 seconds, when Hendy had to be alert to deny Taylor Hackett’s rebound bid on Mia Kennedy’s shot from the point.
Then it became the Stanton show: The Bomber goalie did her best work in the period on close-range shots from Helen Anderson (twice), Julia Carone, Lauren Bartlett (twice), Boe and Tulley Hescock.
But Brush said the Tigers weren’t doing enough to create traffic near Stanton’s net and to convert rebounds. 
“She’s a good goalie. She’s square to the puck and moves well side-to-side,” Brush said. “We had 17 shots in the first period, but they weren’t great shots. They were shots on net, but we weren’t crashing the net. We weren’t getting to the rebounds. We tried to make a concerted effort in the second and third periods to get to the net with a little more authority, and I think that paid off in the third period.”
Finally, Boe followed her own rebound to make it 1-0 at 8:19 of the second. Defender Tajah Marsden sent Bartlett down the right side, and she crossed to Boe at the far post. Stanton stopped Boe’s first bid, but Boe stuffed the puck home on the second try.
Shortly afterward, Hendy stopped dangerous Bomber forward Jayde Dukette off the right post. Stanton returned the favor by denying a Boe breakaway, and the score remained at 1-0 after two periods despite the Tigers’ 34-7 advantage in the shot column.
The Tigers then focused on creating traffic in front of Stanton.
“In between the second and third we talked about crashing the net,” Boe said. “And that definitely worked.”
The Tigers scored two goals 1:09 apart in the third, the first by Monroe Cromis at 4:13. Boe picked up a loose puck behind the net on the left side, and fed Cromis off the left post. Cromis lifted the puck off Stanton’s right shoulder and in.
Boe completed the scoring at 5:22. Defender Abby Gleason skated end to end, circled the Lake Placid net from left to right and shot. The rebound bounced to Boe to the left, and she rapped it high inside the post.
Down the stretch, the Bombers showed some life, but Hendy preserved her shutout by making a pair of strong saves on Dukette in the late going.
The biggest result for the Tigers in their seven-game streak was probably their 3-2 overtime victory on Jan. 5 over two-time defending champion Essex, the team that defeated them handily in the 2015 Division I final.
With a tough schedule remaining — including games at Essex; at home vs. BFA-St. Albans, which defeated them, 3-0, on the road; and a home-and-home series with improving Rutland (9-3) — the Tigers said Monday’s result was critical.
“That was definitely a good confidence booster for us,” Boe said. “We beat them once last year, and then the second two times they got the best of us by a lot. So I think for them, we lost a couple good players from last year, that was a good way to show them we’re still a competitive team.”
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].
TIGER SOPHOMORE ANDI Boe charges toward the Lake Placid goal Monday night in Middlebury. Boe had two goals and an assist in Middlebury’s 3-0 win.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell

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