Wellesley High School’s girls’ hockey team, showing its experience in playing big games, took a 1-0 lead over Canton High at the end of the first period and made that score hold up to win the D2 state title on Sunday at Boston Garden.
The Raiders controlled the game throughout on offense and defense, with goaltender Liddy Schulz turning away the few shots that the Bulldogs got on net.
Given the 19-2-3 Raiders’ dominance from end to end, it was frustrating that Wellesley couldn’t break through for more than senior Jenna Harrison’s goal with just under 5 seconds left in the first. Harrison, who moved from Toronto to Wellesley this past year, stick handled around a defender in the right face-off circle and flicked her shot over the goaltender’s glove.
Despite the goal and the lead, it sort of felt like something fluky could derail the team, which had fallen short of winning the title in three appearances in the previous four years. It seemed as though Wellesley should have been up more than 1-0 in light of all the shots it was piling up against Canton’s defense.
— Wellesley Raiders (@wellesleysports) March 18, 2018
But Wellesley kept the pressure on until the very end, even forcing a Canton penalty in the final seconds of the game after the Raiders nearly converted on an empty net goal. It’s the second straight year that Canton came up short in the finals.
Wellesley came into the post-season as the No. 1 seed. It eked out a 3-2 win vs. Winchester to start the tournament, then handily beat both Norwell and Algonquin before finished off Canton in this close game.
Here are the closing seconds of the game (video courtesy of Will Reepmeyer).
The team got a great show of support from fans, including lots of fellow student-athletes wearing their respective team gear.