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She-Wolves fall short in tourney action

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

CARLENE STEWART chases the puck into the corner against the Wild Women on Sunday afternoon. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
March 26, 2012
WOLFEBORO — For the 14th year in a row, the Wolfeboro She-Wolves welcomed women's hockey teams from around New England and New York to the Pop Whalen Arena for a weekend of tournament action.

The She-Wolves put two teams in the tournament and the "D" team played in a division with Wild Women of Conway, the Great Bay Riptides and the Maine Breakaways.

The She-Wolves opened the tournament on Friday afternoon against the Riptides and had a solid start, but couldn't hang on in the second and third periods, dropping a 5-1 decision.

Sue Trotta, Liz Bean and Leah Kenison got the offense moving in the zone early in the game, but they couldn't solve the keeper. She-Wolves goalie Val Murray made a couple of solid saves at the other end and the She-Wolves battled back, looking for offense with Michelle Rafalowski, Kenison, Lisa Tarter and Bean all getting good looks.

Murray made a couple of nice saves down the stretch and the first period closed out with no score on the board.

Carlene Stewart got in close on the goal early in the second, but she was denied. Murray came back with a couple more saves at the other end before Kenison got a good look. Murray continued to keep the game scoreless until 7:11 remained in the second, when the Riptides pushed one by for a 1-0 lead.

Bean and Kenison had scoring chances after the Great Bay goal, but the Riptides doubled their lead with 4:44 to play, finishing off a nice feed for a 2-0 lead.

Murray made a nice save on a breakaway, clearing the puck away, but the rebound was fired home from out near the blue line for a 3-0 lad with 55 seconds to go in the period.

The Riptides upped the lead to 4-0 just 42 seconds into the third period, but the She-Wolves came back, with Kenison, Trotta and Bean all getting in the offensive zone.

With 7:52 to go, Tarter made a great feed from behind the net to Stewart, who drilled the puck home to cut the lead to 4-1.

The She-Wolves kept on pressuring, with Stewart, Tarter and Karin Lovering all getting in on the offensive attack, but the Riptides added a goal with 6:13 to go for the 5-1 lead, which held up to the final whistle.

The She-Wolves met up with the Wild Women on Saturday morning and dropped a 5-1 decision and returned to action later in the day to take on the Breakaways.

The ladies from Maine didn't waste much time getting on the board, as they scored 25 seconds into the game on a rebound to take a 1-0 lead.

Trotta, Kenison and Rafalowski did their best to tie the game, getting multiple looks into the offensive zone, but they couldn't get the puck in the net. The Breakaways did get a few more chances in the offensive zone as well, but Murray turned away their bids and the defense helped her out, stopping another pressure situation.

However, with 1:50 to go in the period, the Breakaways got behind the net and put home a wraparound for a 2-0 lead.

Bean and Tarter had scoring chances in the final few minutes, but the first period closed with the Breakaways up by a 2-0 score.

The two teams went back and forth quite a bit to open the second period, with neither team getting an extreme advantage. Murray did make a couple big saves as the Breakaways started to take control. Maine also put one off the crossbar and Murray made a few more saves as the clock ticked down in the final minutes.

The Breakaways then controlled the final minute, scoring with 51 seconds left on a slap shot that was tipped past Murray for a 3-0 lead. They then scored with seven seconds on the clock to take a 4-0 lead to the final period.

Tarter and Stewart had good chances early in the third period, but they couldn't get the puck into the net and the Breakaways came back with a slap shot that found its way through for a 5-0 lead with 9:49 to play.

The She-Wolves got a power play chance with 7:18 to go in the game, but the Breakaways did a nice job on the penalty kill, keeping the hosts from getting on the board.

Kenison and Trotta continued to pressure the net in the final minutes, but the She-Wolves couldn't get on the board and dropped the 5-0 decision.

The final game of the tournament for the She-Wolves came on Sunday afternoon, as they faced off with the Wild Women for a second time.

The two teams went back and forth early, but it was the Wild Women who got on the board first, scoring with just 2:16 gone in the game for a 1-0 lead.

Kenison, Rafalowski, Tarter, Lovering and Trotta got the pressure going for the She-Wolves, as they made a bid to tie the game, but the Wild Women defense was strong, keeping most everything from going through to the net.

Stewart had a breakaway bid that was stoned by Wild Women goalie Carrie Smith and Trotta found Kenison for a great bid that was also denied.

With 16 seconds to go, the Wild Women added a second score for a 2-0 lead after one period of play.

The two teams again went back and forth in the early minutes of the second period, with Murray and the She-Wolves defense holding fort at one end and Smith and the Wild Women doing the same at the other end.

The Wild Women came out with the first goal of the period, as they put one past Murray with 9:52 to go for a 3-0 lead.

The Wild Women had a power play with 8:43 to go, but Murray made a couple of saves and the She-Wolves did a nice job killing off the penalty.

However, with 6:26 to go, the Wild Women scored on a rebound for a 4-0 lead. They added another with 5:03 to go and then put in a sixth goal with 4:09 to go in the period for a 6-0 lead.

The She-Wolves got on the board with 2:43 to go in the period, as Kenison fired a shot past Smith to cut the lead to 6-1.

Lovering and Tarter had shots in the final minutes, but the score stood at 6-1 after two periods.

The Wild Women had a lot of solid offensive pressure in the opening minutes of the final period, but Murray and the She-Wolves defense held strong. At the other end, Ami Cloos, Found, Kenison and Trotta had chances in the offensive zone, but they were denied by a stout Wild Women defense.

Stewart, Bean and Kenison had bids in the final minutes, but they couldn't score and the Wild Women took the 6-1 win.

The She-Wolves roster includes Laura Cooper, Maria Found, Lisa Tarter, Carlene Stewart, Karin Nelson, Liz Bean, Leah Kenison, Michelle Rafalowski, Amy Mahoney, Ami Cloos, Sue Trotta, Val Murray and Karin Lovering.

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

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