Girls’ Hockey Advances to Semifinals in State Tournament

Bil O'Brien PhotoThe Branford-East Haven-North Branford co-op hockey team is on a roll. Since Dec. 27, the club won 15 of 17 games, including several CIAC tournament playoff games. The most recent victory was Tuesday’s 6-3 win over the Mercy/Northwest Catholic co-op team and again this past Saturday, 4-1 over the top-seeded Greenwich Cardinals.

Bil O'Brien PhotoThey now stand at 17-4 and are headed to the semifinals of the state tournament this Wednesday.

Bil O'Brien PhotoIn the Mercy/NWC game, covered by the Eagle, they jumped out fast, scoring three unanswered goals in the first period. The first goal, at 13:13, was scored by Emma Sheehan from 30 feet out, past goalie Brianna McDermott. Alycia Ferretti assisted on the goal. Here Ferretti collides with two Mercy/NWC players.

Bil O'Brien PhotoThe Wings scored again at 6:33 to up the lead to 2-0 after senior Emilie Wilkinson scored her first of three goals of the night on an assist from Emmy Norton. Here Emilie Wilkinson fires a shot past a defender for the Wings’ first goal.

Bil O'Brien PhotoThey scored a third goal in the period a minute later when sophomore Sophia Caturano hit the back of the net on assists by Norton and Wlkinson.  Here Emmy Norton (17) comes over to celebrate Caturano’s goal

Bil O'Brien Photo“That early lead helped a lot,” said Coach Jack Norton (pictured) who got the team pumped up during the first period.

Bil O'Brien Photo“They played us tough last month (a 5-3 win), and we knew they were looking to even the series.” Norton added, “Our offense was firing on all cylinders from the start, and Julia stopped everything they threw at us.” Julia is Julia SanGiovanni, the Wings’ senior all-conference goalie who was impenetrable early on. Here SanGiovanni deflects a shot on goal. 

Bil O'Brien PhotoHere team members line up for the introductions and the National Anthem.

Bil O'Brien PhotoThe Mercy/NWC co-op club came out strong in the second period scoring their first goal at 12:10 to make it 3-1, but the Wings answered with a goal by freshman Julianna Constantinople on an assist by Morgan Odice and an unassisted goal by Wilkinson, her second of the night, to increase the Wings lead to 5-1. Here Wilkinson celebrates one of her three goals with Emmy Norton and Sophia Caturano.

It looked liked the Wings played most of the third period “not to lose” and slowed down their offense to run out the clock. Mercy/NW took advantage of the opportunity and scored two goals to edge closer 5-3 before Wilkinson iced the win with her “hat trick” goal with 2:14 remaining to give the Wings the 6-3 victory.

Bil O'Brien PhotoHere Co-captain Emmy Norton clears the puck from in front of the net.

Bil O'Brien PhotoAnd here Julia SanGiovanni sprawls out on the ice to grab a shot by Margaret Sadak (32).

In the Greenwich game held at the Darien Ice Rink the Wings played the no. 1 ranked Cardinals, who had a 17-2-1 record. The score was 1-1 after the first period with the Wings scoring twice in the second and once in the third to earn the upset victory.

Next up is their first trip to the semifinals against 18-2-1 Suffield at The Rinks at Shelton at 7:30 p.m tomorrow. 

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