Senior Kaleigh Finigan scored a hat trick as St. Mary’s girls’ hockey team defeated Arlington Catholic, 4-1, Wednesday at Connery Rink in Lynn in a rematch of last year’s Division 1 state championship.
The Spartans, who fell to the Cougars (2-2) in last year’s championship game, improved to 3-1-1.
“This is a new year and there were some other people who weren’t on our team last year, so we came with a fresh mind-set,” said St. Mary’s coach Frank Pagliuca. “We did want to play them hard because they are one of our league opponents and we don’t have a big league, with only four teams and six league games, and we knew that they are a good team.”
The Cougars struck first as Adrianna Rossini netted a goal with assists from Duggan Blanca and Jessica Piracini with three minutes left in the first period.
“Arlington Catholic came out very strong and they beat us to a lot of loose pucks and we weren’t aggressively pursuing the puck in the first 10 minutes of the game,” said Pagliuca.
After the Cougars’ goal, the Spartans tied the score 11 minutes into the first period. Senior center Alison Butler stole the puck and set up Finigan with a forehand from the slot for her first goal of the night.
“I think our team is smart and disciplined and after we evened the game up, we started getting our legs up and being more aggressive and game was back and forth after that,” said Pagliuca.
Finigan scored her second goal seven minutes into the second period. Eighth-grade forward Sarah Ryan poked the puck out of the neutral zone and allowed Finigan to scoop the puck and skate by the weak-side defender to beat the goalie on a partial breakaway and make it 2-1.
St. Mary’s received tremendous play from junior goalie Lauren Skinnion, who finished with 32 saves, including two key stops on a power play in the third period.
Finigan completed her hat trick with an empty-netter in the closing seconds.
Wellesley 7, Weymouth 0 — Molly Connolly recorded three goals and two assists and Cecily Docktor had five assists for the Raiders.
Archbishop Williams 2, Ursuline 1 — Erin Dwyer had one goal and assisted on the winning tally by freshman Erin Crocker with 8:33 left in the third period to lift the Bishops.