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Wild Women snag two tourney wins

by Joshua Spaulding
Sports Editor - Granite State News, Carroll County Independent, Meredith News, Gilford Steamer, Winnisquam Echo, Plymouth Record-Enterprise and Baysider

LISA GIBSON controls the puck behind the net in action Sunday in Wolfeboro. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
March 24, 2014
WOLFEBORO — The Wild Women of Conway's Ham Arena turned in a successful showing at the annual Wolfeboro She-Wolves Tournament over the weekend at the Pop Whalen Arena.

The Wild Women tied their first game and lost their second, but bounced back to win the final two to finish at 2-1-1 in their division.

The Wild Women opened the tournament against the host She-Wolves on Friday evening and the two teams enjoyed a back and forth battle. Some members of the She-Wolves skated with the Wild Women throughout the tournament to help even out the rosters.

The She-Wolves had the first couple of chances, but Lisa Gibson was the first Wild Women to get in on the goal. A couple more chances forced the She-Wolf keeper to hold down the fort, but the hosts came back down the ice looking for the first goal. Wild Women keeper Carrie Smith held her own in the net and kept the She-Wolves from getting on the board, while Leanne Boody and Blair Farley had solid chances in the offensive zone. Gibson and Jess Eldridge played well on defense for the Wild Women. Kerry Carbone and Joann Daly got the puck in the offensive zone, but they weren't able to get anything past the goal line. Farley's shot went wide as the period drew to a close and the two teams still had no points on the board.

Smith was strong out of the gate in the second period, making a couple of early saves to keep her team even. Gibson and Boody had good chances in the offensive zone, but they couldn't convert.

However, with 9:21 to go in the period, the Wild Women struck first. Boody fired a shot from the blue line and Farley got her stick on it and tipped it in the net for a 1-0 lead.

The two teams went back and forth up the ice for the remainder of the second period, with Gibson and Boody getting good looks for the Wild Women on offense, while Smith was strong in the net, turning away a number of solid chances in close.

However, with 134 seconds to go in the second period, the She-Wolves were finally able to get on the board, scoring off a scrum in front of the net for the tying goal.

Boody had one last chance in the waning moments, but her shot was stopped and the buzzer sounded, sending the two teams to the third period tied at one.

The She-Wolves took their first lead just 1:10 into the second period and did their best to hold on to that lead. Boody and Farley led the offensive charge up front as the Wild Women looked for the tying goal. Smith held strong in the net, turning back a few She-Wolves chances, allowing her team to get back in the game.

Finally, with 4:19 to go in the contest, the Wild Women tied the game. Boody sent a shot on net and Jenn Moore got a stick on the rebound and put it home for the tying goal.

Daly and Boody continued to lead the charge in the offensive zone as the Wild Women looked for the winning goal. Farley also had a drive stopped, but neither team was able to break the stalemate and the teams settled for the 2-2 tie.

The Wild Women returned to the arena on Saturday and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Maine Cooncats before beating the She-Wolves by a 6-2 score to enter the final day of the tournament at 1-1-1.

The final day of the tournament featured a rematch with the Cooncats and this time, the Wild Women got a little revenge.

Both teams had early chances, with Stephanie Pavao and Farley getting in good looks, along with Boody and Eldridge. Smith did a nice job stopping a couple of Cooncat shots at the other end.

Farley just missed connecting with her mother, Kathy Farley and Patti Cain on a pass through the crease, while Boody also had a shot stopped and the first period drew to a close with the teams scoreless.

Boody and Kathy Farley led the charge on offense in the opening minutes, but the Cooncats came back and forced Smith to hold on tight in the net, as they controlled the puck in the zone for a bit in the second period.

Blair and Kathy Farley had chances in the offensive zone, while Moore was strong on defense for the Wild Women.

With just under four minutes to go in the second period, the Wild Women got on the board, as Boody fired a shot on net and Daly was able to poke it home for a 1-0 lead.

After Pavao just missed a post moments later, the Wild Women struck again, just 23 seconds after the first goal, as Pavao put home a rebound of a Kerin Fiore shot for a 2-0 lead for the Wild Women.

Smith made that lead hold up to the end of the period, making a great save on a breakaway and Gibson was strong on defense as well, sending the Wild Women to the final 12 minutes with a 2-0 lead.

Gibson and Kathy Farley had chances in the zone in the opening minutes of the third period, but the Cooncats continued to pressure at the other end, forcing Smith to make a number of saves. The pressure eventually paid off for the Mainers, as they poked home a rebound with 4:43 to go in the game, cutting the lead to 2-1.

Strong defense from Moore and Gibson helped the Wild Women to hold onto the lead and when the Cooncats pulled their goaltender inside the final two minutes, they put on lots of pressure. However, strong defense from Moore and Gibson and a good showing from Smith allowed the Wild Women to skate off with the 2-1 win to close out the tournament.

The Wild Women roster included Joann Daly, Carrie Smith, Jenn Moore, Lisa Gibson, Betty LeGoff, Stephanie Pavao, Kerin Fiore, Kathy Farley, Blair Farley, Kerry Carbone, Patti Cain, Maryann Murray, Leanne Boody and Jess Eldridge.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or sportsgsn@salmonpress.com

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