It took a period for things to get going for the Falmouth High School girls’ ice hockey team against visiting Nantucket on Wednesday afternoon, February 5, but once they did the Clippers had their way against the visiting Whalers, Falmouth rallied from an early 1-0 deficit to defeat the Whalers by a 6-1 score as Katie Shanahan scored twice to lead the way.
Falmouth improved to 8-3-3 overall on the season. The team needs three points, with six games left to play, to qualify for the state tournament. The team has a chance to pull within one point of that number Saturday, February 8, at 5 PM when they host Barnstable following the boys’ showdown against the Raiders at 3 PM.
FHS used a three-goal second period to seize control and get on the right side of the scoreboard. The line of Sam McKenize, Megan Azzato and Taytum Cox clicked well from the start of the period and came up with the equalizer just 1:37 into the frame. With FHS buzzing around the zone Cox got to a loose puck after a shot by Azzato to knot the count at 1-1.
Shorthanded, Falmouth took the lead at the 9:00 mark. Facing a four-on-three disadvantage, the forechecking of McKenzie and Azzato kept the Whalers pinned in their own end, refusing to let them break out of the zone. Azzato stole the puck inside the blue line and served it down low where McKenzie dug it out, spun around the net and floated a wrist shot high to the near side to put her team ahead.
Falmouth jumped out to a two-goal lead with just 1:35 to go in the second. Following some in-close attacking, the puck ended up behind the Whalers net where Ryann McDonald attempted to spin in a wraparound shot. The puck shot through the crease, but Katie Shanahan crashed hard to the net and popped in the loose puck on the far side to put the Clippers ahead by a pair.
Shanahan started another three-goal period for the Clippers with her second of the night just 33 seconds into the third period, wheeling out of the corner to snap one in for an unassisted goal.
Lola Russell, who scored her first goal of the year in the team’s previous game, a disappointing 3-2 loss at Nauset, made it two games in a row with a goal at the 7:20 mark. The second career goal for Russell was straight out of the sniper’s handbook as she shimmied to the right to move the goalie and snapped it back to the other side for a 5-1 lead. Ryann McDonald added a late power play goal, from Caitlin O’Malley and Meg Azzato, to account for the final score.
The Whalers took advantage of a turnover by the Clippers midway through the opening period to stake themselves to a 1-0 lead. Falmouth misdirected a pass up the middle of the ice, from its own end, and right onto the stick of NHS forward Margaret Henderson. The Nantucket junior walked in unabated to Lucy Armour and rung a wrist shot under the crossbar to put her team ahead 1-0 at the 7:15 mark of the first.
FHS came painfully close to tying the score with 90 seconds left in the first, but were stopped cold by Siena Monto. The freshman keeper made a great stop on a one-timer in front from Ryann McDonald, who let into a fantastic feed from Katie Shanahan.