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She-Wolves do battle in annual tournament


White team comes home with second place in its division



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BARB THOMAS (in blue) and Ami Cloos battle hard in front of the net during action between the She-Wolves Blue and White teams Friday night. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
March 28, 2011
WOLFEBORO — The annual She-Wolves tournament invaded the Pop Whalen Arena this past weekend and the tournament opened with the two She-Wolves teams taking the ice against each other.

On Friday afternoon, the She-Wolves blue and white teams kicked off the tournament with a back-and-forth battle that eventually ended in a 7-7 tie.

The Blue team quickly got in the zone first, with Blair Farley challenging White team goalie Haley Lavarte right out of the gate. Though Lavarte stopped Farley's first shot, the second one found its way to the back of the net and the Blue team had a 1-0 lead 1:15 into the game.

It didn't take long for the White team to come fighting back, as moments after Barb Thomas sent a shot wide, Leah Kenison drilled a shot past Blue team goalie Sandy Babalis to tie the game at one. Patti Cain got the assist on the goal.

The wild first period continued less than a minute later when the White team took its first lead of the game. Cain put the puck on net from the side and it bounced off the post before Kenison drilled it home for a 2-1 lead.

Exactly one minute later, the offensive burst continued, as Sue Trotta sent the puck into the zone for Sarah Geyssel, who fired a shot in wide of the net. The puck bounced off the boards and right back to her and she ripped it home to tie the game at two with 8:43 to go in the first period.

The two teams continued to battle back and forth for the next few minutes, with Kenison getting a few shots for the White team and the Blue team sending a couple of pucks through the crease in front of Lavarte.

With 5:38 to go, Cain picked up her third point of the night, as she sent a great feed to Lisa Tarter, who fired the puck home for a 3-2 lead for the White team. Thomas also picked up an assist on the tally.

The White team pressured some more, with Karin Nelson, Thomas, Cain and Tarter making bids, while Bea Heghman and Trotta had bids for the Blue team in the final few minutes of the first period, which ended with the White team up 3-2.

Trotta wasted no time knotting the score in the second period, as just 51 seconds in she made some great moves and pushed the puck past Lavarte for the tying goal. Maria Found picked up the helper on the goal.

Maureen Boornazian and Erin Hickey had chances for the White team, while Trotta forced Lavarte to make a nice save on another scoring bid. Geyssel also had a shot stopped by Lavarte as the two teams battled back and forth.

With just under eight minutes to play in the period, Thomas went in on net, only to have Babalis make the save. However, the puck came loose and Thomas poked it home for a 4-3 lead for the White team.

Heghman just missed connecting with Liz Bean on a scoring chance for the Blue team, while Found put a nice shot on net for the White team, but Lavarte closed the door.

With 4:41 to go, Trotta again put on some nice moves to beat the White team defense and drilled the puck to the twine to tie the game at four.

Just a bit more than a minute later, the Blue team took the lead back, as Christine Metcalfe slipped a shot past Lavarte from the circle for a 5-4 lead. Farley got the assist on the goal.

After a Karin Lovering shot sailed wide for the Blue team, the White team came roaring back. Kenison poked home a rebound of a Thomas shot to tie the game at five with 2:30 to play and just 26 seconds later, Kenison returned the favor, putting a shot on Babalis and Thomas was able to poke it home for a 6-5 lead for the White team.

The second period ended with the White team up by a 6-5 score and the third period opened with neither team seizing the momentum, though Kenison, Carlene Stewart and Tarter all made bids for the White team but were denied by Babalis.

With 8:28 to play in the game, Trotta found the back of the net again, drilling home the tying goal.

Just 24 seconds later, Kenison put a shot on net that Babalis stopped. Hanna Croteau put the rebound back on net, but again Babalis stopped the puck. However, the third time was the charm, as Kenison got a stick on it and pushed it home to give the White team a 7-6 lead. Croteau got the assist on the tally.

Hickey had a couple of great chances for the White team and Kenison had another bid, but Babalis shut the door. Kathy and Blair Farley broke through for a good scoring bid for the Blue team, but Lavarte stopped the shot.

Michelle Rafalowski just missed connecting with Trotta for the Blue team, while Tarter and Hickey added bids at the other end for the White squad.

Lavarte made a pair of solid saves on bids from Rafalowski and Blair Farley, but with 1:44 to play, the Blue team got through to tie the game.

Geyssel was at the corner of the net and stuffed home a shot off assists from Found and Blair Farley, tying the game at seven.

The Blue team had the best pressure in the final minutes, but Lavarte held on and the game ended in the 7-7 tie.

More Blue

The Blue team returned to action on Saturday morning to take on the Nor'Easters and dropped a 6-5 decision.

On Saturday afternoon they took on the Coon Cats and both teams were solid in the defensive zones in the opening portion of the first period.

Babalis made a couple of solid saves for the She-Wolves, while Found, Trotta and Blair Farley had their scoring bids turned away at the other end.

The two teams battled back and forth, with neither team able to seize any momentum for much of the middle portion of the period.

However, with 2:30 to go in the frame, the She-Wolves jumped on the board, as Trotta drilled the puck home on an assist from Found for a 1-0 lead.

Babalis made a couple of strong saves to keep the lead in tact and Geyssel and Trotta exchanged scoring bids as well, but the first period came to a close with the She-Wolves up by a 1-0 score.

The Coon Cats came on strong in the second period, with a number of quick chances right out of the gate, but Babalis held her own. Kathy and Blair Farley had bids for the She-Wolves, but they were also denied. Liz Bean and Blair Farley had bids a bit later as well, but they were turned aside by the Coon Cats.

Karin Lovering made a nice defensive play on a Coon Cat breakaway, helping Babalis continue the shutout, but with 3:57 to go, the Coon Cats got in on a two-on-one break and tied the game at one.

Just more than two minutes later, they struck again, this time sending in a shot from the side of the net to grab a 2-1 lead with just 1:45 to play in the period.

Trotta did her best in the early part of the third period to get her team back on the board, but she couldn't find the back of the net on a couple of scoring bids.

Babalis made some more big saves, keeping her team in the game. Blair and Kathy Farley had a couple of good scoring opportunities denied and the period wound down without the She-Wolves able to get anything into the net.

Babalis came out of the net in the final 30 seconds and Blair Farley had a couple of scoring bids, but the final whistle sounded and the She-Wolves took a tough 2-1 loss.

The team returned to action early Sunday morning and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Nor'Easters to close out their tournament run.

The She-Wolves Blue team consists of Maria Found, Liz Bean, Sarah Geyssel, Michelle Rafalowski, Kathy Farley, Blair Farley, Ami Cloos, Joanne Balzer, Karen Haeger, Sue Trotta, Bea Heghman, Christine Metcalfe, Karin Lovering and Sandy Babalis.

More White

The She-Wolves White team picked up a 4-3 win over the Coon Cats on Saturday morning before returning Saturday afternoon to take on the Nor'Easters.

Kenison, Tarter, Stewart and Hickey all had nice scoring chances for the She-Wolves in the opening minutes of the period as they controlled the puck early on.

However, the Nor'Easters began to grab the control back, forcing Lavarte to make a couple of solid saves.

With 5:21 to play, the Concord ladies got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead.

Lavarte made another save and a Nor'Easter shot sailed wide, but with 3:07 on the clock, Concord upped the lead to 2-0.

Stewart, Hickey and Tarter teamed up for a great scoring bid for the She-Wolves, but the Concord goalie held tight and with just 57 seconds on the board, the Nor'Easters broke through for their third goal of the period and took a 3-0 lead to the break.

Kenison had the lone She-Wolf scoring chance early in the second, as the Nor'Easters controlled the play with a number of great chances. However, Lavarte was up to the challenge, turning away numerous bids. Another shot drilled off the cross bar and MaryAnn Murray and Boornazian helped out with solid defensive plays in front of the She-Wolf goalie.

Cain, Kenison and Thomas made nice bids to cut the lead to two, but with 6:13 to go, Concord upped the lead to 4-0.

Kenison and Thomas made some good scoring bids, but with 2:23 to go, the She-Wolves found themselves down a player.

That didn't stop Kenison, who broke in shorthanded and put the puck on net. Tarter was there for the rebound and knocked it home to make it 4-1.

The Nor'Easters then added two goals in the final 34 seconds of the period, upping the lead to 6-1 after two.

They scored again just 1:20 into the third period for a 7-1 lead, though Lavarte made some big saves as well, keeping Concord from adding more.

With 4:58 to play, Kenison netted the She-Wolves second goal, cutting the lead to 7-2, but the Nor'Easters added two more goals, including one on the power play, taking a 9-2 lead with 2:28 to go.

Tarter, Stewart, Kenison and Croteau all had bids in the final minutes, but the clock ticked down to the end and a 9-2 loss.

The final game for the White team was Sunday afternoon against the Coon Cats. With a win, the She-Wolves had a chance to take second place in their division

Kenison, Tarter and Croteau got the opening offensive pressure for the local ladies, but the Coon Cats came right back, forcing keeper Val Murray to make a couple of solid saves between the pipes.

Thomas and Stewart teamed up on a great scoring chance, with Stewart pouncing on a rebound of Thomas' shot, but the Coon Cat goalie held tight. Kenison also had a scoring bid denied.

At the other end, the Maine ladies had a couple of good chances. Hickey broke up a breakaway attempt and the Coon Cats were right on the doorstep moments later but couldn't capitalize and the period ended in a scoreless tie.

The She-Wolves needed just 1:04 of second period play to get on the board, as Stewart banged home a goal from the side with Thomas garnering the assist, giving the She-Wolves a 1-0 lead.

The lead didn't last long, as the Coon Cats capitalized on a turnover with 9:19 to play and tied the game at one.

The flurry of offensive action continued less than a minute later, as Croteau punched home the go-ahead goal with 8:32 to play in the period.

The two teams went back and forth after that, with Kenison, Stewart, Emily Seigars and Thomas all crashing the net with scoring bids, while Murray more than held her own in goal, stopping a couple of great Coon Cat bids.

The She-Wolves got a power play with 3:56 to go, but couldn't capitalize on the man advantage. Murray made a couple of big saves in the final moments of the period and the teams headed to the final frame with the She-Wolves up 2-1.

Kenison, Stewart, Thomas and Cain helped get the offense moving in the right direction to start the third period, but they couldn't break through. Fortunately, Murray was solid at the other end, making a couple more big saves to keep the She-Wolves in the lead.

The Coon Cats pulled the goalie with 1:30 to play and had a couple of good chances, taking three face-offs to Murray's left in the final minute, but the She-Wolves held tight and took second place with the 2-1 win. The Nor'Easters won the division.

The She-Wolves White team consists of Lisa Tarter, Emily Seigars, Carlene Stewart, Karin Nelson, Leah Kenison, Haley Lavarte, Mary Ann Murray, Patti Cain, Maureen Boornazian, Val Murray, Barb Thomas, Erin Hickey and Hanna Croteau.

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