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TD Garden beckons for Wellesley girls hockey

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By Josh Perry
Hometown Weekly Staff

After an eight-day layoff, the Wellesley High girls’ hockey team got back to work this past weekend with two games in three days at the Gallo Ice Arena in Bourne.

The No. 3 seeded Raiders beat Medway/Ashland 2-0 on Saturday night and followed that with a 3-2 win over Plymouth on Monday to seal their third straight trip to the TD Garden to play for the Div. 2 state championship.

The Herget division champions got goals from senior Kiely Noonan and junior Amy Dore to hold off Medway/Ashland on Saturday night.

“We’re always emphasizing to the kids to have their sticks on the ice and be ready for those rebounds,” said Wellesley coach George Campbell after Saturday’s win. “Noonan was and it made all the difference in the world.”

He added, “It’s a little bit tough tonight, for both teams, because it’s been about eight days since our last game, but you have to be able to deal with those kind of things at this time in the season.”

Noonan was on the score sheet again on Monday against Plymouth, as she received a pass from classmate Sophie Vernon to give the Raiders a 2-1 lead in the second period.

After Plymouth tied it in the third, Vernon became the hero as she scored with just 1:24 remaining to lift the Raiders to victory. The two seniors have combined for 36 goals and 78 points this season.

“It plays a little bit of a role because we have a huge number of players who were not with us last year,” said Campbell about having players with the experience of being in the late stages of the tournament.

“We have a lot of young kids on the team,” he continued. “Our first line kids, our first defense, absolutely, going through this whole thing, conveying it to the younger kids, bringing them up to their level is big.”

The Raiders will head back to the TD Garden with hopes of earning the program’s first state title since 2006. Wellesley was beaten by Westwood in the final in 2014 and lost an overtime heartbreaker against Falmouth in last season’s finale.

Campbell is looking forward to the challenge and hoping third time will be the charm for the Raiders. He said, “It’s great. We’re trying to just keep the kids healthy and keep them skating and just moving in the right direction.”

He added with a smile, “Better than having the season be over.”

Wellesley will face Notre Dame Academy (Hignham) in the final on Sunday, March 20; times have yet to be posted.

Josh Perry is an Editor at Hometown Weekly. He can be reached at news@hometownweekly.net and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

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