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By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The defending Division II state champion Wellesley High School girls varsity hockey team took to the ice for the first time in 2019-2020 on Saturday night. The Lady-Raiders hosted Weymouth at their new home arena, Wellesley Sports Center, after making the switch from their old home at Babson.
Wellesley christened its new barn with a resounding 7-0 victory, highlighted by a two-goal, two-assist performance by senior captain Emily Rourke.It took just 2:18 into the season for Wellesley to pick up where it left off last March as Rourke fired home a shot after scooping a loose puck in the slot to give the Raiders an early 1-0 lead. With 6:49 to play in the period and Wellesley short-handed, Rourke won the race to a loose puck down in the opposing corner before firing a forehand shot at a tough angle that found its way through the Weymouth net-minder to double Wellesley’s lead to 2-0.
Rourke tallied her third point of the game just 1:21 later, dishing a feed from behind the cage to sophomore Grace Flannery in the slot, who fired home a wrist shot off the post and in to make it a 3-0 lead for the Raiders. Senior captain Bridget Noonan tallied her first of the season moments later to push the lead to 4-0, again coming off of a feed from Rourke. With time ticking down in the period, senior captain and defenseman Erin Fleming scored her first of the season, one-timing home a pass from senior Mackenzie O’Neil on the power play to make it a 5-0 game at the end of one period.
Following a scoreless second, juniors Elizabeth Jackowitz and Michelle Bourdon each buried third period goals to seal the victory for Wellesley.
The Raiders will look to stick to their winning ways when they host rival Framingham on December 21.
For funny and insightful sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.