Academy pg 9 1-3-19

The Woodstock Academy Centaurs girls’ ice hockey team had plenty to smile about on Christmas Eve.
The Centaurs picked up their first win of the season in the only game played in Eastern Connecticut on the quasi-holiday, 4-2, over Auburn, Mass., at the Jahn Ice Rink at Pomfret School.
“It’s so big. It’s our first win of the season so it’s really going to help us move forward,” said Woodstock Academy senior Emma Ciquera.
Centaurs co-head coach Jeff Boshka was a little concerned about playing on Christmas Eve.
He wasn’t sure what the response would be or if his team would be distracted by the upcoming family celebrations and gatherings.
“It went well,” Boshka said. “I think we were excited. We had a good-sized crowd. In reality, we were just looking forward to playing. Auburn is a great opponent. We got started with them last year. We love the coaches and they have been helpful to us. It’s a great game for us.”
The Centaurs (1-1) also played pretty well.
Woodstock Academy got on the board first when Eliza Dutson took a pass from Irene Askitis and pushed the puck past Rockets’ goalie Samantha Perry with 4 minutes, 46 seconds left in the first period.
Auburn answered that goal with 57 seconds left in the period when Bella Direda was able to get by the Centaurs defense and pushed one past keeper Marie Gravier on the break.
Woodstock Academy went ahead just 49 seconds into the second period when defenseman Ashleigh Angle took a pass from Dutson and scored.
But the Centaurs’ defense again left their keeper hanging 4 ½ minutes later.
Gravier faced a three-person break and could do little when Julia Siemen lined up the shot and scored.
It was the last time the junior goalie let one get past as she finished with 28 saves.
“Marie had a fantastic game and that’s what we were hoping for,” Boshka said. “We talked to her about being focused before the game and she clearly was. That was huge. She carried us.”
The Centaurs broke the 2-all tie with 7:53 left in the second period when Ciquera got a pass from Emma Strandson.
“I saw the open lane and I took the shot,” Ciquera said. “It really gave us the upper hand and some confidence. It was nice to get the game winner.”
The Centaurs did add a little insurance with 5:48 left in the second period when Ellie Jellison scored her fourth goal of the season off an assist from Ciquera.
“We didn’t back off. We were telling them we have to keep the pressure on and keep going and (the Ciquera goal) ignited that,” Boshka said.
The Centaurs adopted a defensive stance in the third period.
“They were really crashing down on us and we wanted to stay defensive and didn’t have to worry about the offense since we were already up two goals. We just wanted to focus more on getting it out of our zone,” Ciquera said.
The Rockets outshot the Centaurs 10-1 in the period, but Gravier was up to the task, turning aside all 10 shots.
“She had an amazing game. I’m so happy for her. She was stopping everything that came at her,” Ciquera said.
Ciquera had a pretty good game herself.
“Emma is an all-around great player,” Boshka said. “She has such composure and is very skilled. I call her smooth. She’s just smooth in the way she skates and handles the puck. She understands the game. Her decision-making is fantastic and having her on the ice defensively, makes you feel very confident.”
Boshka was just happy to see improvement from the first game of the season when the Centaurs fell to the East Catholic cooperative, 9-3.
“It was clearly a step up from that,” Boshka said.
The Centaurs are next in action at 4:15 p.m. Sunday against the Connecticut Northern Lights at the Pomfret School.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy


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