It took a while but the Walpole girls varsity hockey team won in thrilling fashion over Medfield Wednesday night in the Preliminary Round of the MIAA DII South Sectional Tournament.
The Rebels took the 2-1 victory in a shootout after being stoned most of the game by Medfield's senior goalie Mimi Borkan.
“It was a heart attack,” said Rebels head coach Joe Verberder. “When you run into a goalie, in playoff time goalies can steal the show and she almost did. She was phenomenal. She was lights out.”
The Rebels attacked the net throughout the game only to be turned away time and again.
Verberder said they tallied over 50 saves made by Borkan during the game.
The only two to trickle past were by junior defensemen Jennafer Donahue, including the game winner.
“We threw all kinds of shots at her, all different opportunities and we couldn’t find the back of the net,” Verberder said.
The Warriors struck first with a goal by junior Jesse O'Loughlin with 2:08 to play in the second period.
Donahue tied the game with her first goal with 12:53 to go in the third period.
The two teams played another 27:53 hard fought minutes through overtime before heading into the shootout.
Fans from both sides were on their feet cheering as both goalies made five stops apeice in the shootout before Donahue capped off the win for the Lady Rebels with her second goal of the game stick-side past Borkan.
“If we skate hard and the way we’re capable of, at the very least we’re going to be in the game with everybody,” Verberder said.
For the Rebels, the game was a flashback to last year's playoff shootout loss to Falmouth.
“The ironic thing is that last year in the second round we were in the same scenario. We out shot Falmouth 38-10. We lost in a shootout. Falmouth went to the Garden. We went home,” he said. “So it was nice to see that we could actually persevere in that scenario.”
Up next for Walpole will be top seeded Duxbury, one of the best teams in the state.
The Rebels lost to Duxbury, 6-3, just two weeks ago. Walpole was up 3-1 in the game before giving up five straight goals, including an empty netter.
The game will be in Duxbury, Friday March 1 at 3:40 p.m.