When this year’s schedule was released, there was certainly one opponent that each girl on the Falmouth High School girls’ ice hockey team was scanning the list for, to see when they’d be playing. The slate had Falmouth and Duxbury scheduled for games on January 22 in Falmouth, and tomorrow afternoon in Duxbury. Like a bunch of games since January 22, that contest was postponed due to rain, making tomorrow’s match-up the first of the year between the two clubs that have met at the TD Garden each of the last two years for the Division II state championship.
Duxbury won both of those games, each time in a tight contest. They won’t be claiming a third D2 title in a row this year, because they’ve moved up to Division 1. Falmouth hopes it will be their turn to skate around the Garden ice with the trophy, but there’s a lot of hockey between then and now, and tomorrow brings a match-up between two of the best girls’ teams in the state.
“We think that we have a good shot, but it’s such a great rivalry,” FHS head coach Erin Hunt said. “I think it is kind of personal (for the players). They know each other, they play against each other in other sports. Both teams want to win this one.”
Duxbury, ranked No. 1 in the state, enters the contest undefeated, having gone 10-0-3 for the season. The last team to take a regular season game from DHS was Falmouth, last year at The Bog in Kingston, the site of tomorrow’s contest. FHS got an early goal from Maggie MacDonald in the first period and then Maddie Scavotto whitewashed the Dragons the rest of the way, picking up the shutout in the goal. Duxbury had its revenge by returning the favor later in Falmouth last year, and then had the ultimate last laugh in the championship game.
Fifth-ranked FHS has been playing pretty well of late. They haven’t lost since opening night, when Arlington Catholic hung a 5-0 defeat on them. Since that time they’ve gone 9-0-2 and have already qualified for the MIAA state tournament, guaranteeing that they’ll have an opportunity to attempt to make their third straight trip to the Garden. Maddie Haberl has been scoring plenty of goals, leading the team with 16 of them. Kelly Ferreira has been setting up plenty of goals, with 16 assists. The team’s top two scorers each have 25 points overall.
MacDonald and Alexa Scribner have both been offensive standouts as well. MacDonald is second on the team in total goals, with 11. Scribner has eight goals and nine assists.
Defensively FHS will be without top blue liner Kendall Stouffer, who has missed the last few games with an illness. She hopes to return before the season ends. In her place, Hannah Callahan has been playing very well and co-captain Callan Small has been steady.
Between the pipes, Scavotto has been her usual dependable self. She’s stopped better than 92 percent of the shots that have come her way and has a goals against average of 1.76.
Scavotto’s counterpart from Duxbury is one of the few netminders in the state who, along with her, is in the conversation as to who is the best goalie in Massachusetts. Rachel Myette has allowed only seven goals this year, playing all but one period in the team’s 13 games. She has a .963 save percentage and a goals against average of 0.55. Myette is quite good, but her defense has been strong as well, as they’ve allowed only 14.9 shots per game to get through to the goalie.
The one thing that Duxbury has not done as well as they did in years past is to score goals. The Dragons have netted just 38 in their 13 games, which is less than three per game. The Clippers are scoring at a clip of 4.75 per contest.
“It’s Duxbury. They still have some strong players,” Hunt said. “Goaltending is going to be big for both teams. We’re both kind of similar.”
Of course, the entire weekend becomes one filled with rivalries, thanks to the snow this week. Wednesday night’s snowed-out game against Barnstable is now to be held in Hyannis on Sunday at 4:10 PM.