During pool play at the USA Hockey Tier II National Championships, the Cape Cod Storm’s U14 team looked downright unbeatable. Led by forward McKenzie Haberl, who scored a hat trick in each of the team’s first three games, the Storm blew out each opponent it faced before the elimination round began.
The draw for the tournament was unkind to the Storm, though. The second-ranked team in the nation before the start of the tournament earned the No. 1 seed heading into elimination play, but as fate would have it, the Storm’s foe in the first round of elimination play was the team’s biggest nemesis, Assabet Valley, the team that was ranked No. 1 in the country prior to the tournament and had edged Cape Cod for the Massachusetts state championship a few weeks back.
Once again Assabet Valley had Cape Cod’s number, as they went on to win the game by a 5-1 score. The day got off to a horrid start, with Haberl’s equipment having been stolen from the hallway outside of her hotel room prior to the game, forcing the team’s sniper to borrow her older sister Maddi’s stuff for the big game.
Assabet Valley came out in the quarterfinal game and grabbed the early lead, getting an even strength goal from Erin Kelley 3:34 into the first period. Kelley then made it 2-0 early in the second period with a power play goal and Lily Delaney scored at 7:02 of the second to give Assabet Valley a 3-0 lead.
Cape Cod’s Ericka Meissner of Falmouth scored at 13:30 of the second to close the gap for her team. That was all that the Cape Cod offense produced in the game, though. Assabet Valley went on to add two more in the third.
The game seemed very one-sided in terms of officiating. Cape Cod was cited for six penalties in the game, including a misconduct, and had 20 penalty minutes in all. Assabet Valley had just a single minor called against them in the game.
McKenzie Haberl finished the tournament as the leading scorer for the Cape, finishing with nine goals and five assists. Caroline Peterson had four goals and seven assists and Emma Callahan had two goals and four assists. Meissner had three goals for the team and Shannon Upton and Brooke Bowman each scored two. Single goals were netted by Rachael Curtis, Danielle Peterson, Olivia Pearsall, Alexis Thomas and Shannon Roycroft. The team also got solid efforts from Morgan Rainville, Amanda Crowley and Tannah O’Brien.
Goalies Olivia Sollows and Michaela O’Brien both appeared in all four games. Sollows saw the majority of the action, stopping 49 of 55 shots on net. O’Brien faced 17 shots, stopping 15.