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BY DOUGLAS MCCULLOCH (@doug_mcculloch)
The Walpole High girls ice hockey team emerged from an early-season rout and beat out Norwood to close out 2015 on December 31 4-1.
The Rebels started out strong early in the game, picking up two points by the end of the first period. After scoring a third point early in the second period, Norwood stepped up its game and put its first point of the game on the board with 1:28 remaining in the second period.
But the Rebels were able to step up and prevent any more Norwood goals, and picked up a fourth point to secure the win in the third period.
Coach Joe Verderber was feeling excited after the win.
“We had a good game out there,” Verderber said. “The girls played well for the most part. Our objective is to just get better every time.”
The game was not without one concern, however. While the Rebels opened the game strong, coach Verderber noticed that the team did struggle in the second half of the second period, which helped Norwood pick up its only point of the game.
“We were aggressive, we put the pressure on them, then we got three goals and we got soft and a little bit lazy, and Norwood fed off of that,” Verderber said. “They picked up the pace and it put us on our heels.”
Verderber noted that his team was able to recognize what was going wrong quickly, and pull together in time to secure the win.
The Rebels started out the season strong, with a win to open the season against Natick on December 12 3-2. The team went on to beat Newton North on December 16 6-2, and won against Brookline on December 19 3-0.
But the momentum began to fade, as the Rebels marked its first loss of the season on December 23 against Wellesley 3-1, and went on to lose against Archbishop Williams on December 20 4-3.
Looking ahead, Verderber identified several players that he is looking at to be key players this season, including the team’s six freshmen, senior captain Olivia MacMillan, and junior goalkeeper Francesca Bonanno.