||Earlier this month U.S. Hockey Report, which is the primary news outlet for New England prep school ice hockey, stated that The Hill girls’ ice hockey team “might be the most improved girls’ prep hockey team in New England.”
One of several areas in which that statement has proved true is the team’s results at the St. George’s School Howard Invitational on December 14-15.
During the team’s first time competing in the tournament in 2014, Hill struggled to a 1-2 record and scored just three goals. The team showed gradual improvement each year, and in 2017 won the tournament for the first time; Hill needed overtime in two of the three victories.
Entering the 2018 tournament as defending champions, Hill was optimistic of its chances for a repeat. Not only did Hill repeat as tournament champions, they did so in convincing fashion, winning all three games with a plus-18 goal differential for the tournament. The Lady Blues defeated Greenwich Academy 7-0 and Hebron Academy 8-1 on Friday night and concluded the weekend with a 5-1 victory over St. George’s.
The Lady Blues opened the tournament against a Greenwich Academy team with which Hill split a pair of games last year. Led by a four-goal performance from Caroline Goffredo ’20 and a pair of goals from Liz MacMurray ‘20, Hill jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, recording the 7-0 victory.
Just three hours after the first game ended, Hill was back on the ice, taking on a Hebron Academy team that had been a difficult opponent for Hill in the past. Sometimes in tournaments, fatigue is a concern when a team is asked to play two games with short rest in between. Fatigue was no issue in the second game, as Hill scored five goals in the first period. Allie Corser-James ’20 led the team with a hat trick.
While there is no formal championship game in the Howard Invitational, which plays a round robin format, the game between Hill and St. George’s was essentially the tournament championship game. The host Dragons scored first, midway through the opening frame. Hill quickly responded when Corser-James netted her fifth goal of the tournament, and shortly after MacMurray scored on the power play to put the Lady Blues ahead for good. Jordan Hower ’20 scored two goals and Joyce Sun ’20 rounded out the scoring for Hill.
Corser-James was selected as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.