Comets use strong third period in win over Rebels

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SOUTH BURLINGTON – It took the BFA girls’ hockey team a little bit to get things going during its game at South Burlington on Wednesday afternoon.

After giving up an early goal in the first period, the Comets seemed to have no answers for the Rebels throughout the rest of the frame, but were still down only one.

They started to build up momentum with a goal in the second period before starting to fire on all cylinders in the third and tacked on three more goals for the 4-1 victory.

“I don’t think we were playing with as much intensity as we could have been playing with in the first period,” said BFA coach Luke Cioffi. “We weren’t winning many races to the puck and were a little lackadaisical out there. That improved as the game went along, and I think using three and four lines throughout the game helped and wore South Burlington down a little.”

With the game tied 1-1 in the third period, Linsey Larrow (two assists) fired a shot on net from the point that was saved, but Georgia Babb was there to put away the rebound for the go-ahead goal.

Just over a minute later with the Comets on the power play, Meghan Connor found a loose puck at the top of the circle and wristed a shot into the back of the net to build a 3-1 cushion.

Three minutes later with the Comets on the power play again, Kait Laroe slipped a pass to Lizzy Hill, who slipped the puck through the five-hole of South Burlington goalie Tess Hanbridge (23 saves) for the three-goal lead.

The key for the Comets (2-3) in the third period was they started getting pucks to the net rather than trying to find the perfect pass.

They outshot the Rebels 15-3 in the final period and came away with three scores with a number of second-chance opportunities.

“We didn’t have many shots in the first because we were trying to do too much,” said Cioffi. “We started throwing the puck at the net in the second period and were getting opportunities, so it becomes a mindset that we just need to put the puck on the net and see what happens. They have a young goaltender that gave up some rebounds and we started to figure that out as the game progressed.”

Things didn’t start out so well for BFA in the first period, as it looked slower than it ended the game.

Less than two minutes into the contest, Emma Havers threw a puck toward the net that was saved by Madeleine Hungerford, but Kate Hall was there to knock the rebound into the back of the net for the early 1-0 lead.

South Burlington outshot the Comets 6-4 in the first period, as the visiting team couldn’t find an answer to get pucks on the net.

“I think the first period was one of our slower first periods we have had,” said Cioffi. “After intermission, I thought our intensity was much better and that reflected with our play.”

In the second, BFA started to get more pressure toward the Rebels’ net and were rewarded when Elizabeth Dukas took a pass from Larrow to the slot and flipped a shot past the toe-save attempt of Hanbridge to make it a 1-1 game.

BFA outshot the Rebels 8-7 in the second period, but it was still a 1-1 game. Hungerford made some good saves, as she faced 13 of the Rebels’ 16 shots in the first two periods.

“I don’t think we did a good job of picking people up in front of Maddy in the first period,” said Cioffi. “We weren’t challenging the shooters and letting them get to her, which we can’t do, but she did a good job in net for us tonight.”

After struggling through the first three games of the season to find consistent scoring (three losses), the Comets have had back-to-back games where they have had four different goal scorers.

They will look to keep it going when they travel to Burlington/Colchester next Wednesday.

“We now have kids starting to realize to get the puck to the net and good things will happen,” said Cioffi. “We just have to keep finding the consistency and find players that want to drive to the net more and we will be fine.”

— Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyLabor for live game stats and updates throughout the season.

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