By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Walpole High School girls varsity hockey entered Monday’s senior night contest with Medfield with zero room for error. Sitting at 7-10-0 with three contests left on the schedule, every game is a must-win for the Timbs to reach 10 wins and qualify for the postseason. Meanwhile, Medfield traveled to Rodman Arena having already secured a postseason berth at 12-6-0 (5-5 TVL).
Early on, Walpole played like the more desperate team and dominated the time on attack. Just 4:07 in, senior captain and defenseman Bella Agahigian fired home a wrist shot from the point through a screen to give the Timbs a 1-0 lead. Walpole continued to carry the majority of play throughout the remainder of the period and maintained their one-goal edge at the first intermission.
With Medfield on a five-on-three power play early in the second, Walpole nearly stole all momentum with a short-handed goal. Senior Kate Devlin stole a puck on a breakout and flew in on a mini-breakaway. Devlin fired a wrist shot that beat Medfield goalie Katelyn Cardoso but clanged off the crossbar, keeping the game 1-0. At 5:38, the Warriors evened the game at one when senior captain Grenne Campbell flew in down the left wing and buried a wrist shot up high.
Still knotted at one late in the game, Walpole began to sustain pressure in the Medfield end. With 5:28 to play, sophomore forward Kerin Birch buried a rebound in front after a net-mouth scramble to put Walpole ahead, 2-1.
With a minute to play and still down a goal, Medfield yanked Cardoso for an extra attacker. A hooking call on Walpole set up a six-on-four advantage for the Warriors with a little over 30 seconds to play. Off an offensive zone face-off with 14 seconds to play, Walpole goalie Maddy Clark made the save of the game, robbing Medfield’s Cassie McDonald with the right pad off a loose puck in front just before time expired to save the game — and potentially the season — for Walpole. The Timberwolves came away with the thrilling 2-1 win.
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.