Tag: Gilmour Academy Prep

16U Girls Sweep Home Showcase, Continuing Surge into Break

by Matt Gajtka

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — After playing six games in three days the previous weekend in Detroit, maybe taking on three in two days at home felt like a breeze for the Bishop Kearney Selects 16U girls team.

OK, maybe not, but getting a chance to host instead of travel seemed to agree with the Selects, who swept a three-game showcase at Bill Gray’s Iceplex in their final action before the midwinter break.

And while there’s no trophy or banner for the accomplishment, the performance was an encouraging development after a championship-game defeat in the grueling Motor City Girls Fest a week prior.

“Last weekend was really difficult,” said 16Us head coach Jake Anderson. “What this showed for our girls was their ability to keep their level up against a couple of top-10 teams. I was really proud of our group effort and team game.”

The seventh-ranked Selects’ grit was on display all weekend, but especially in a 2-1 overtime win over one of those top-10 teams, the North American Hockey Academy. After BK notched twin 4-1 wins against Gilmour Academy Prep and the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers to open the showcase, the battle against NAHA came down to sudden death.

First-year defender Miami Jones (Chevy Chase, Md.) delivered the game-winner during the 3-on-3 session, taking a pass from Finley McCarthy (Whitefish, Mont.) and roofing a shot from in close.

Not only was it a memorable moment for Jones, but also another key contribution for McCarthy, who is the lone third-year player on the squad.

“Everyone’s role on the team is important to achieve our common end goal of winning nationals,” McCarthy said. “I look at myself as the kid to look to when you have a question about our systems, or need support in a slump.”

Goalie Emeline Grennan (Washington, D.C.) showed out in the weekend’s final game, too, keeping BK behind by just one entering the third period, when, according to Anderson, the team’s “depth and conditioning really showed.”

Emeline Grennan helped the 16Us to a pair of wins over the weekend. (JUSTIN BERL/BK SELECTS)

“It wasn’t one person or one line getting it done,” Anderson continued. “Every game it was someone different, making plays and doing the right things and keeping us going in the right direction.”

Expanding on that, Addison Tremel (Newcastle, Wash.) had her own moment in the Friday victory over Gilmour. The first-year forward scored twice, including one short-handed off an assist from defender Alara Murphy (Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia) and another on a rebound in front of the net.

Against Philly, McCarthy opened the scoring and Paige Wallace (Huntington, N.Y.) clinched the game in the third, capping a give-and-go with Payton Palsa (Annapolis, Md.).

In between, Michaela Hesova (Hovorčovice, Czechia) stood tall in her lone action of the weekend, including a couple of saves on odd-man opportunities to hold the Flyers at arm’s length — mirroring Grennan’s effort against NAHA.

“We talk about consistency, fighting through when it’s not going our way,” Anderson said.

By the time Jones’ shot hit the net to topple NAHA, the 16Us improved to 9-1 in their past 10 and 42-12-5 for the season. If all goes according to plan, the team has a possible 11 games remaining, encompassing the upcoming state tournament and nationals.

“I am confident when saying that we on the team are all committed to each other’s success,” McCarthy said. “Our off-ice bond has contributed tremendously to our on-ice performance. The idea of playing for the girl next to you has truly resonated through our team over the past seven months.”

Anderson said the team will focus on skill development in practice this week before the team heads home for a week away from BK.

The state tournament is the next challenge, on March 4-6. It’ll be do-or-die then, with five other teams vying for the title and a trip to nationals.

“With a training-focused break, I’m sure our practices before the state tournament will be high-energy,” McCarthy said. “Seeing each other again, combined with the excitement of playoff hockey, we will surely be ready to perform in these big upcoming moments.

“We have everything it takes to finish the season on top.”

The author can be reached at matt.gajtka@gmail.com for story tips and feedback.

Ahead of Motor City Tourney, Girls Teams Combine for Sweep in Buffalo

by Matt Gajtka

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Peyton Compton (Sanford, Fla.) had an opportunity to change the game. 

Suffice it to say, she took advantage of it.

Compton’s spectacular tying goal gave the BK Selects 19Us a timely lift Friday at Nichols Ice Rink, where they earned a 4-1 victory over Gilmour Academy Prep in the team’s lone game of the weekend.

With the Selects down a goal in the first period, Compton gathered the rebound of her own short-handed breakaway miss and immediately went back to work. Charging out of her strong-side corner on her backhand, the right-handed shooter pulled the puck between her legs for a crafty forehand finish as she approached the crease.

“I asked her, ‘What gave you the idea to do that?’ “ 19U head coach Paul Colontino said. “It’s a shame we couldn’t get that on video.”

After a scoreless second period, the eighth-ranked Selects (35-11-3) pounced for a three-goal third, starting with the eventual game-winner from Caroline Kee (McLean, Va.). 

Defender Kendall Butze (Shaker Heights, Ohio) scored a pair of goals late in regulation to cap off the win, while Chloe Lewis (Easthampton, Mass.) and Eva McNaughton (Seven Fields, Pa.) split the duties in net.

Colontino said he was pleased with the performance, which followed up a four-game gauntlet the previous weekend — three of those against Shattuck St. Mary’s. On top of that, several players were missing from practice during the week due to both illness and midterm exams.

The BK Selects will face Gilmour for the third time this season next weekend in greater Detroit as part of the Motor City Girls Fest. That’ll be the final chance for the 19Us to experience a heavy workload before the district tournament begins in a few weeks.

“We’ve had a nice mix of opponents, playing just about very top team in the country,” Colontino said. “We’ve learned a lot and seen steady improvement throughout the season.”

16U forward Angelina DiGirolamo (Woburn, Mass.) drives the net vs. Nichols School on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (BK SELECTS)

It was a similar story for the 16U girls, who beat Nichols School, 3-1, earlier Friday afternoon. The result was reversed from the previous time the teams met in early December, down to the exact final score.

In their final game action before their own trip to the Motor City Girls Fest, the 16Us (37-11-5) got a goal and an assist from Finley McCarthy (Whitefish, Mont.) and single tallies from Morgan Walton (Geneseo, N.Y.) and defender Ashley Mandeville (Pascoag, R.I.) in building a 3-0 lead through two periods.

The Selects committed multiple penalties in the third as Nichols cut the margin to two, but head coach Jake Anderson was bullish after the win, which boosted his team to 5-2-1 since the holiday break.

“We got a little undisciplined in the third, but we’re really close to where we need to be,” said Anderson, in his second season helming the 16Us. “Things we do most of the time, we have to do every time. I’m proud of how we’ve developed and where we’ve come.”

Michaela Hesova (Hovorčovice, Czechia) earned the win with 15 saves in what Anderson called “the last dress rehearsal” before the Motor City event, which could entail as many as six games in three days.

Detroit Little Caesars, ranked fifth in the nation by MyHockeyRankings, looks to be the stiffest competition for the seventh-ranked 16Us at the tournament, at least on paper.

Regardless, the challenge remains for one of the youngest Tier 1 16U teams in the country to continue to have a growth mindset as the end of the season approaches.

“We have to mature and continue to get better,” Anderson said. “We want to possess the puck and be creative with it. Try to have five players playing offense and play really well in our own end.”