It may only have been game one in the best of three game series in the girls’ Division II hockey finals, but the Barrington co-op team played like champions, taking a 4-2 victory over the Narragansett co-op team on Thursday night.
The Eagles jumped off to an early lead with a goal by Julia Flaherty at just three minutes into the first period, assisted by Portsmouth High School junior, Danielle Makucevich. Barrington kept control of the puck on Narragansett ice until mid-way through the first period when the Storm was finally able to free the puck and work it toward Barrington’s net.
With just under four minutes in the first period, the Storm struck with a shot on goal to even the score at 1-1. But as they did in the opening minutes of the first period, the Eagles struck again in the second, scoring their second goal 1:04 after facing off. That goal, handled by Kelly Kraunelis, was assisted by Allison Kelsey, to put the Barrington team ahead 2-1.
The evenly matched teams, Narragansett with an 8-6-3 regular season record, against Barrington’s 10-4-3 record, mixed it up for control of the puck, applying defensive pressure to break up each other’s passing and scoring opportunities.
Throughout the game, Barrington played short-handed for a total of six minutes, in part due to a tripping call against goalie Sophie Faxon, deferring the 2 minutes in the penalty box to Mia Hallgring, and another two minute penalty against Kraunelis for body checking after she drove a Narragansett player into the boards.
Narragansett, however, was unable to take advantage of the short-handed Eagles on all occasions.
At 6:49 into the second period, the Storm struck for a second time on an unassisted goal after a Storm player weaved through two Eagle defensemen for a 2-2 tie.
Portsmouth’s Lily Hallgring nearly broke the tie on a break-away run, taking the puck from end-to-end across the ice but was unable to muster a solid shot against the Storm’s goalie.
With five minutes left in the second period, and playing short-handed with Jillian Bannon in the penalty box, Makucevich, again, came up with the puck at center ice and drove to the left, through two Storm defensemen, for single-handed goal to give the Barrington girls a 3-2 advantage.
In the final period, Narragansett fought desperately to add a goal to their score. Working the left side of the net, the Storm attacked with shots on goal, but Makucevich, in her defensive position, fought back, keeping potential game tying shots away from the Eagles’ net.
In the final minute of the game, the Storm pulled their goalie for a six-on-five offense in their last attempt to even the game. But as the clock ran down, forward, Meghan Miller made an empty net goal to secure game one with a 4-2 win.
The two teams met during the regular season on four occasions, resulting in two tie games and a win and a loss for each.
They will meet in game two on Friday, March 7 at Brown University for a 6:00 p.m. game where the Barrington co-op team hopes to close the series and win the division championship for their third consecutive year.