Photo credit: Courtesy of AHS girls' hockey.Photo courtesy of AHS girls' hockey                                       For more photos, click here >>UPDATED March 21: The Arlington girls' hockey team lost to Austin Prep, undefeated in 27 games, 4-1, on Sunday, March 20, at TD Garden.

“It was a great game,” said Arlington coach Jeff Mead told the Boston Globe. 

“The girls played hard, just kind of ran out of gas. To beat a team like that, we have to capitalize on our power play and our penalty kill has to be a little sharper. We battled with them, just a matter of a bounce here or there.”

Also read the game summary with photos from HNIB News by Alexis Demopoulos >>

It was the second time in history that AHS girls' hockey had reached the finals, just short of state divisional titles.

Freshman Libby Corsetti netted the lone goal for the Spy Ponders (22-2-1). Senior captain goaltender Elise Rodd made 23 saves, including several highlight reel stops.

Outscored foes by 145

Top-seeded Austin Prep ended its season 27-0, its final season in MIAA play before the school shifts to the New England Prep School Athletic Council for the 2022-23 school year. The Cougars outscored foes by 145 goals, 156-11.

“Going into the season, we knew that we were going to have a strong team,” ninth-year Austin Prep coach Stephanie Wood told the Globe. “We thought that this was going to be the best team that we’ve ever had, so we knew the potential was there. This group has cemented themselves as the most successful sports team in the history of Austin Prep athletics.”

Bree Anderson kicked off the scoring a minute and 23 seconds in. The freshman from Danvers slotted a slap shot from the point past Arlington senior captain goaltender Elise Rodd. Senior captain Kathryn Karo potted the second goal of the period, roofing a backhand in close off a saucer pass from junior McKenzie Cerrato — her 39th tally of the season.

“McKenzie made a really great pass and the goalie wasn’t really expecting a backhand,” said Karo, a transfer from Hingham High. “Just put it on net, that’s what you have to do in big games.”

Cerrato extended the advantage to 3-1 with 2:14 remaining, curling around the left circle and rifling a blistering wrister through a screen and into the top right corner. Jumping into the glass in front of a raucous student section, the magnitude of the moment set in.

“With the crowd there, it’s a pretty great feeling,” said Cerrato. “[Madison Vittands] put up a great screen, so that’s probably the only way it went in.”

 Reported earlier

The 2-1 win over Shrewsbury in Division 1 semifinal at Gallo Arena in Bourne on March 14 put the Spy Ponders (22-1-1) in special company: It is second time an AHS girls' hockey squad has reached an Mass. Interscholastic Athletic Association final. reported at the time that this was a first. It wasn't. See sidebar below.

Meanwhile, Gary Demopoulos of HNIB News provides a preview, which he says is "shaping up to be a heavyweight fight."

Top-seed Austin Prep is chasing a perfect season. The Spy Ponders have won their last 19 games in a row. Its only loss was to Austin Prep on Jan. 10.

AHS girls had earlier championship test

After YourArlington reported, based on a Boston Globe account, that the Arlington High School girls' hockey team was headed to its first state Division 1 championship game, a reader expressed doubt on Facebook.

The reader was not certain, and so YourArlington asked Bob Bartholomew, who likes to sign some emails "AHS '67." That began a crowd-sourcing effort to try to pin down the claim.

Last Tuesday, he responded: "They played Boston Latin in the finals [and] lost. Russ Burke was the coach. Top players were Kate Remsberg, Heather DeVito, Sarah O'Quinn and Jesse Burke. They were in the GBL [Greater Boston League] at the time!"

Asked when that game took place, Bartholomew, who is known as "Barts," wrote Thursday: "Researching with coach Tony Messuri. He thought that 2003-04 may have been the year. [The game was] not played at the Garden. A reader, noting his daughter played at the time, said the date is 2001-02.

He went on to write that Remsberg played at Holy Cross, DeVito at Colby, Burke at Bowdoin and O'Quinn at Holy Cross.

Further consultation with Joe Fahey led to noting these players from that team on Friday: Michaela Fahey, Emily Cronin, Nicole White and Anne Woodbury, the goalie.

“We need to play simple and try to take away their speed throughout the neutral zone,” said Arlington Coach Jeff Mead told Demopoulos. “We can’t play a run-and-gun game against them.”

Austin Prep has outscored its four tournament opponents (Ursuline, Winthrop, HPNA and Acton-Boxboro) 26-1. Arlington has postseason wins over Marblehead (4-1), Peabody/Lynnfield/North Reading (2-1), Bishop Feehan (5-1) and Shrewsbury.

Veteran St. Mary’s coach Frank Pagliuca’s team played both Austin Prep (three times) and Arlington this year.

AHS logo 3916

“Their game pace is what sets Austin Prep apart,” he told Demopoulos. “I equate it to driving on the side streets, and then taking your car on the highway. It takes their opponents time to adjust to their play speed. By the time you adjust, it is often too late.

AHS called 'talented'

“Arlington is a talented, balanced and well-coached team. They have very good goal-tending, experienced D and some potent forwards. Arlington is playing great hockey as well. That game they lost was played in early January so I am not sure how much bearing it has now. If anything it may help Arlington a little because they now have experienced playing Austin Prep and know what to expect.”

The Spy Ponders will rely on a defense led by senior captains Grace Corsetti (21 points) and Devin Norman (13 points), in front of senior captain Elise Rodd in goal.

Up front, junior Maddie Krepelka has been a force all season, coming into Sunday with 36 goals and 21 assists. Also consider senior captain Gabby Russo (15-30-45); Maddie’s freshman sister, Julia, (12-22-34); and junior Molly Conneely (21 points).

Austin Prep Kathryn Karo (33 goals) and Isabel Hulse (14 goals) are keys in the Cougars' potent offense (152 goals). Keep in mind junior McKenzie Cerrato (31 goals) and sophomore Maddie Vittands (13 goals).

March 5-17, 2022: MIAA hockey: AHS boys come back, lose in OT; girls face Austin Prep in state final

This news summary was published Saturday, March 19, 2022, and updated March 20, to clarify date in sidebar, and Marech 21, to add game summary.