ABBY KELLY moves the puck along the boards against Berlin-Gorham on Saturday. (Photo by Joshua Spaulding) (click for larger version)
March 03, 2021BERLIN — The Kingswood girls' hockey team made the trek north to take on the state's northernmost girls' hockey squad on Saturday, with the Berlin-Gorham Mountaineers coming out with a 9-2 win on their home ice at the Notre Dame Arena in Berlin.
"We did have some opportunities today," said Kingswood coach Peter Kelly. "And we did put the puck in the net a few times."
It didn't take long for the Berlin-Gorham girls long to get on the board, as the hosts put back a rebound of an Alexus Booth save just 12 seconds in to take the 1-0 lead.
Booth did come back with a nice save on another chance from the Mountaineers while the Knights came down with some pressure in the zone but could not get any shots on net. The Mountaineers sent another shot wide of the net and Abby Kelly and Sarah Paraskos were able to make defensive stops for the Knights.
The Mountaineers were able to put a second goal in the net with just more than five minutes gone and after Booth made a save on another chance, the hosts scored on a rebound just more than a minute after the second goal to make it 3-0.
Then, less than 30 seconds later, another rebound got poked into the net for the 4-0 lead with 8:19 to go in the first period. Hailey Kelly had a centering pass for the Knights that missed the mark in front of the net.
Kingswood got a power play chance with 6:38 to go in the first period and Abby Kelly had a couple of good chances, with Erin Meyer also getting in close and just 16 seconds into the power play, Abby Kelly got Kingswood on the board with assists to Meyer and Hailey Kelly.
Booth came back with another save in the Kingswood net and Haley Brooks had a nice clear of a rebound in front of the net. With 3:21 to go in the period, the Mountaineers scored off a nice pass in front of the net to increase the lead to 5-1. Booth made a late save and the first period ended with the Mountaineers finishing with a 5-1 lead.
Paraskos had a nice clear in front of the net for the Knights and Berlin-Gorham sent a shot off the post on another chance. Abby Kelly got a look in the zone but was turned away and Meyer had a nice clear from in front of the net.
With 10:30 to go in the period, the Knights cut the lead to 5-2 as Abby Kelly scored an unassisted goal, her second tally of the game.
The Mountaineers didn't waste too much time adding to their lead, as they scored just more than two minutes later to make it 6-2. Kingswood took a penalty with eight minutes to go and Abby Kelley, Lexi Eldridge and Brooks all had good clears to help Booth kill off the penalty.
The hosts scored three times in the final five minutes of the period to put the game out of reach. Berlin-Gorham scored with 4:37 to go and then added another with 4:11 to go for the 8-2 lead before putting the final goal in with 2:17 to go. Kingswood had a late chance but could not convert and the period ended with the Mountaineers up 9-2.
Hailey Kelly had a couple of early chances in the third period but could not get the puck in the net while Booth was able to make a couple of solid saves for the Knights. Berlin-Gorham sent a few shots wide of the net as well.
Abby Kelley sent a shot over the top of the net and then just missed connecting in front with a nice centering pass. Booth made a late save to close out the game with the Mountaineers taking the 9-2 win.
"Berlin was able to rotate some players that may not see the ice," Kelly said. "So, that allowed us to rotate through and get less experienced players some good ice time.
"We've definitely seen so much improvement over the entire season," the Knight coach added.
The Knights were slated to open the NHIAA tournament after deadline Tuesday at Dover against Oyster River-Portsmouth. If the Knights were able to pull off the upset, they would play either St. Thomas-Winnacunnet-Dover or Exeter on Friday, March 5.
Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or email@example.com.