Etheridge, McCutcheon key BPBV win over Mounties
By Branden Mello - Woonsocket Call
BURRILLVILLE – The Burrillville/Ponaganset/Bay View co-op hockey team is back to playing strong defense, and the Broncos are back to winning games.
After allowing 12 goals during a three-game losing streak at the end of 2018 into January, the Broncos entered Friday night’s showdown with one-loss Mount St. Charles/Cumberland/Lincoln School having allowed just three goals during a three-game winning streak.
Burrillville senior goalie Emily Etheridge made 21 saves – including a number of key saves in the final three minutes – while junior forward Madison McCutcheon scored a pair of goals in BPBV’s 2-0 Division I victory.
“At the beginning of the season we were trying to figure some things out,” Etheridge said. “We have a lot of freshmen, so it took time for us to gel. We started focusing like we should be.”
“The three defensemen [Diana Poland, Lizzy Ng and Cora Gaucher] have stepped up huge,” BPBV Cortney Lacey said. “We’ve spent a lot of time in practice on defensive zone coverage because we have to do that. The kids are doing well with it. Also, Emily has played well all year, especially with the shutout tonight.”
Mount St. Charles/Cumberland/Lincoln School (8-2 Division I) had won three straight
games, but Friday’s game started a stretch of four contests against the top teams in the division. The Mounties are home tonight at 7:30 against La Salle. Next weekend, the Mounties face defending state champion East Bay and the Rams.
MCL coach Tony DiLorenzo, whose side scored two goals in the opening minute to beat the Broncos 4-0 in December, would like to see his team get back to playing fundamental hockey.
“Every time we don’t get the puck deep in the zone, it makes it difficult on ourselves,” DiLorenzo said. “That gives them momentum in the zone and they took advantage of it. We have to be a smart team because we’re not going to be a pretty team. If we had won this game 2-1, I would’ve been more upset that we didn’t play the fundamentals.”
BPBV (8-3 Division I) plays struggling Smithfield/Coventry/Rogers co-op next week before finishing up the regular season with rematches with the Eagles and Rams. Based on what she’s seen in the last four games, Lacey is back to believing her squad can contend for a state title next month.
“We told the girls in the locker room that if we play the way we played tonight and like we did against La Salle we can compete with anybody,” Lacey said. “Barrington is 8-1 and La Salle is 8-1. When we play smart hockey we can beat anybody.”
It took the Broncos just 2:40 to score the winning goal, as McCutcheon skated into the Mount zone and ripped a shot that went wide of Lincoln School goalie Amelia Lambert’s net. McCutcheon reacted to the rebound before a pair of Mountie defenders and stuffed a shot inside Lambert’s post.
“That was kind of a fluky rebound,” McCutcheon said. “I knew I had some advantage because I knew where the puck was going to pop out to, but I didn’t think it was going to come to the other side.”
The Broncos continued to control play through the rest of the first period and into the second period, but Lambert made 26 saves to keep her team in the game. The Broncos doubled their lead 4:08 into the third period when Bay View’s Poland connected with McCutcheon, who ripped a shot from the right circle past Lambert.
After putting just 13 shots on Etheridge through the first two periods, the Mounties produced 13 shots in the final period. Cumberland freshman Sara DeSousa and Mount senior Katielynn Mastroianni both had good scoring chances pushed aside by Etheridge, who secured her third shutout of the season and her second in the last four games.
“I was going to have a heart attack out there, getting [the shutout] just means so much,” Etheridge said. “I try to yell at my defensemen to get people out of the way when they’re in front of me. Sometimes they’re in the crease and they’re right on top of me. I just yell at them to get out.”
MSC/Cumberland/Lincoln School 0 0 0 - 0
Burrillville/Ponganset/Bay View 1 0 1 - 2
First period – BPBV, Madison McCutcheon (unassisted), 2:40.
Second period – No scoring.
Third period – BPBV, McCutcheon (Diana Poland), 4:08.
Saves – MCL, Amelia Lambert (26 saves); BPBV, Emily Etheridge (21 saves).
Skating into a stretch run
By Eric Benevides - Valley Breeze
WOONSOCKET – After completing the first half of its schedule with its best record in seven seasons, and welcoming a rare bye weekend in its schedule, the Mount Saint Charles/Cumberland/Lincoln School co-op girls' hockey team used the break to face off against two tough out-of-state opponents.
Unfortunately for the co-op team, it wasn't able to win either game. Last Wednesday, Jan. 16, the locals suffered a 3-0 loss on the road to Archbishop Williams of Braintree, Mass., and on Monday afternoon at Adelard Arena, they were dealt a 5-1 defeat to East Catholic High of Manchester, Conn.
But while it would have been a feather in the cap to defeat either team – Archbishop Williams (7-2) is the 15th-ranked Division II team in Eastern Mass., and East Catholic (11-4) is the ninth-ranked team in its state – head coach Tony DiLorenzo got exactly what he wanted from those challenging tests. Not only did those games keep his players sharp, especially with the tough part of its schedule coming in a couple of weeks, but they also exposed some of the areas they need to work on down the stretch.
"These non-league games are good," he said on Monday after his team's loss to Randolph. "We have to generate more offense. We have inexperience on our wings, but we get over the red line and we dump it in and generate more down their zone, instead of trying to generate offense from our zone. And we can't take penalties. We had like three or four them in the second period."
The co-op team, which has one more non-league test on its schedule, a rematch with Archbishop Williams in its regular-season finale on Monday, Feb. 18, at Adelard, took a 1-0 lead late in the first period of Monday's game on a goal by Cumberland freshman Sara DeSousa. But East Catholic responded with two goals in the second period and three more in the third.
"Our effort was great, to come out and take the lead," added DiLorenzo. "(East Catholic) beat La Salle, 3-1, three weeks ago, and they're a very good team."
Speaking of La Salle, the Rams, MSC/Cumberland, and the defending state champion East Bay co-op squad, which is made up of players from Barrington, Mount Hope, and Portsmouth, will enter this weekend with just one loss. East Bay (8-1) edged MSC/Cumberland (7-1) by a 2-0 score on Dec. 22, but suffered a 4-0 defeat to La Salle (6-1) on Jan. 12, and La Salle's defeat was a season-opening 3-2 loss to East Bay.
While those three teams sit atop the standings, "you have to add Burrillville in there," DiLorenzo said of the Burrillville/Ponaganset/Bay View co-op team, which is 5-3 and suffered a 4-1 loss to MSC/Cumberland on Dec. 21. "In that game, we scored two quick goals against them and then it was a back and forth game. And I wouldn't even knock (the) Cranston (co-op team) out of there. They're a good group with a good goalie."
DiLorenzo and his team will get to see all the leaders next month during a challenging four-game stretch that will shape the standings and decide who will be the top seeds in the state playoffs.
On Saturday at 7:30 p.m., MSC/Cumberland will host the winless Smithfield/Coventry co-op team, but then the schedule gets testy. The locals will kick off February with a game against the Burrillville/Ponaganset/Bay View co-op team at Levy Arena and its first matchup of the season with La Salle the following night at Adelard.
The second weekend of the month will see MSC/Cumberland hosting the East Bay co-op team and then renewing acquaintances with La Salle at the Rhode Island Sports Center.
"If you look at the top three teams, you have La Salle, which has the numbers, and East Bay, which probably has the top two players (in the state in Katherine Barker and Maddie Cox), and we're maybe sneaking under the radar," added DiLorenzo. "We're going to play La Salle twice and East Bay again, so we'll see how we come out of it."
DiLorenzo hopes his team can come out of its regular season finishing in the top three, with an eye toward grabbing one of the top two places and a bye in the postseason's quarterfinal round – the top six teams make the playoffs. "If you come in third place, Cranston may have that last seed," DiLorenzo said of Cranston, which is 4-5 and having its best season in seven years. "And that (quartefinal-round series) wouldn't be a gimme either."
As for his 15-player roster, several players are enjoying solid seasons this winter, especially two of the newcomers to the program, DeSousa, a center who leads the team in scoring with eight goals and five assists, and goaltender Amelia Lambert, a junior from the Lincoln School who leads the state in goals-against-average (1.06) and save percentage (.952).
"Amelia is a really good goalie," offered DiLorenzo. "Some goals probably went in on her tonight that she'd want back, but she's solid. And Sara is also having a very good year. I think the top teams will start to key on her, so we have to work something where we can generate offense by using the players around her."
The team's seniors have also stepped up this year, especially the tri-captains: MSC defenseman Katie Mastroianni, who has four goals and a state-leading nine assists, Mount forward Maddie Cataldo, and Cumberland defenseman Elise Curren, who has also netted four goals.
Two more Cumberland seniors, forward Leah Gallagher and defenseman Holly Pashnik, are also playing well this season, as are two juniors, Mount forward Macee Salley and Cumberland forward Brooke Normandin.