Greenwich Academy’s ice hockey team traveled to Middletown, Rhode Island to compete in the St. George’s School Tournament and GA returned home a happy squad, after registering two impressive victories at the competitive event.
The Gators finished with a 2-1 record at the two-day tournament in which they played three games, winning their first and third matchups of the tourney. The tournament began with Greenwich Academy cruising past Hebron Academy in the opener, 6-0. GA was edged by North Yarmouth in the second game, 2-1, but rebounded by topping St. George’s in the final game of the tournament on Saturday – winning 2-1 in a shootout.
Their superb showing in the tournament gave the Gators their first two wins of the season and a significant momentum-boost heading into the New Year.
“This was big, it was a big tournament for us,” Greenwich Academy coach Erin Brawley said. “We came off some tough losses, some really close games. For the girls to bounce back on Friday night and battle the whole weekend was great. They played their best hockey so far this season, all weekend long.”
Indeed, GA lost one-goal games against New Canaan and Millbrook School and was edged by two goals by Choate Rosemary Hall and Canterbury School to start the season, so gaining a pair of well-earned victories this weekend should bolster the squad going forward.
“We have some good vibes going and we can see that all the hard work is paying off,” Brawley said. “Right when we come back from the Holiday, we start up again with some games, so it’s a good feeling for our team to get a couple of wins under their belt.”
In the final game of the tournament held on Saturday, St. George’s took a 1-0 first-period lead, but that’s all they would manage against Gators junior goalie Liana Seeley, who registered 23 saves for the game.
“Liana had 23 saves, she stood tall in net for us,” Brawley said. “We kept battling our way back.”
Junior tri-captain Ellie Volpe tied the score at 1-1 for GA, tallying with the team on a power play in the second period. The third period ended with the team’s tied at 1-1, then overtime began.
“We had a five-minute overtime and the girls grinded through it, then we had a three-player shootout,” Brawley said. “On Ellie’s goal off the power play, she went to the net and buried it. It was awesome.”
Volpe took the first shot for GA in the shootout and scored. Her shootout goal stood up and the Gators earned the 2-1 shootout triumph against St. George’s, as Seeley saved all three shots she faced.
“It was an exciting finish going into the break,” Brawley said.
Seeley sparked the Gators with a stellar effort in goal, while senior captains Cameron Brower and Ava Butz ignited the squad, along with Volpe.
“Cameron Brower and Ava Butz – they were solid defensively,” Brawley said. “Ava is a steady defensive and offensive player and Cameron Brower had one of the best games she’s played all year.”
In Greenwich Academy’s decisive 6-0 triumph against Hebron Academy, Volpe recorded a hat trick, Williams (a sophomore) tallied twice and Ella Zea (a sophomore) had a goal. The trio scored their first NEPSAC goals in the victory.
“The girls got off to a quick start and they had a lot of energy coming off the bus,” Brawley said. “They had a lot of energy in the entire tournament. Our team came out of the gates flying and never looked back. Everyone played well the entire game.”
Senior Emily Greenhaw got the start in goal for GA against Hebron and registered the shutout victory.
Against North Yarmouth Academy, junior Lucy Burdett scored her first career varsity goal for Greenwich Academy, which plays Portledge School on Jan. 4 at the Beaver Dam Winter Sports Club.
Categories: Greenwich Academy, Winter sports
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