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Birch springs Timbs over Warriors late

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.

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