Ice Time Shortened for Norwood Girls HockeyFeb 01, 2021 05:12PM ● By Christopher Tremblay
Last winter, the Norwood girls ice hockey team qualified for a spot in the Division 2 Tournament where they took part in a double overtime win over Wakefield before they fell to Canton in the next round. This winter, the Mustangs will not have the opportunity to play in the tournament, and not because of their record, but because the MIAA decided to put together a shortened season with no post-season play due Covid-19.
Norwood will play 10 games on Wednesdays and Saturdays as a home and away series each week against Medfield, Dove-Sherborn, Dedham, Westwood, and Medway-Ashland. The season was slated to begin on January 6 at Medfield.
As the Mustangs settled in to prepare for the season, the squad knew that they had lost some talented individuals from last year’s team, including leading scorer Allie McDonough, defensive standout Erin Wagner, and goalie Jenn Mazzola.
“We may have lost five seniors, but we gained seven freshmen,” Mustang Assistant Coach Mike Maloof said. “Some of the freshmen are pretty good, but I’m a little nervous about the transition for the top-notch individual talent that we lost. I’m hoping the newcomers can step up; they won’t be able to fill in the vacancies, at least not right away.”
Center Kate Rogers and left-winger Maeve Glavin will most likely play on the same line while also captaining this year’s squad. Rogers began to play consistent minutes last year and can put the puck in the back of the net if needed. Glavin has been a consistent force basically since her freshman campaign. Last season as a junior, she posted 17 points for the Mustangs (7 goals and 10 assists).
“I’d love to see more scoring from both of these girls,” Maloof said. “But they’re more into the team effort than the individualism.”
Possibilities of joining the duo on the top line include junior Ceali Reed and sophomore Morgan Roach. Reed had played for the Mustangs her freshman season before leaving last year to play for the Walpole Express, but decided to return to Norwood for her junior year. Roach was a contributor as a freshman and has a knack for scoring.
“It’s good to have Ceali back, but it’s going to be a learning curve for her getting back into high school hockey, as well as moving from defense to forward,” the Assistant Coach said. “Morgan has great hands and could help us in the scoring department; she knows where to be and I’m hoping that she takes that next step forward.”
Junior Marissa Cataldo was the Mustangs second leading scorer behind McDonough last year notching 24 points (10 goals and 14 assists). She will center the second line for Norwood.
“Marissa has great talent and can put the puck in the net,” Maloof said. “So, I am expecting that she takes the next step and continues to do what she has for us in the past with more regularity.”
On the defensive side of the puck, senior Vivian Sharkey is the team’s most consistent defender. Not only is she the team’s smoothest skater, she can hold down the defense. Junior Ally Parkinson, who was a forward for the Mustangs her freshman year, moved to defense last winter where she found her grove. Although she may be a little undersized when she steps onto the ice, she plays big and aggressive and will not back down to anyone; she leaves everything on the ice.
Losing Mazzola between the pipes was huge but sophomore Lilly Newman is ready to step into the role for the Mustangs this year. As a freshman last year, Newman started a few games here and there and found her way into 14 periods of action where she allowed only 15 goals.
“Last year’s performance was strong for a freshman,” Maloof said. “She showed a lot of promise, is ready to take control of the position, and has looked really good in the scrimmages this year. She is also a girl who loves the sport.”
According to the Assistant Coach, Newman’s first varsity game came against Milton, where she allowed only one goal and got the win.
Although there will be no tournament appearances this year, the girls are looking forward to getting on the ice and competing.
“They’re just glad to be having a season,” Maloof said. “There was a little bit of nervousness at first when they didn’t know if they were going to have a season or not, but 10 games are better than nothing. The seniors are a little disappointed that there will be no tournament as they wanted to show that they could compete outside of our league.”
Despite the fact that there will be no post-season play this year, Maloof is rather confident in his team’s ability to play strong hockey in their 10 league contests.
“It’s a different season, but I’ve told the girls just to come to practice and the games as though it was a normal season,” Maloof concluded. “There may not be any post-season, but that doesn’t mean we are not going to take the season serious. I want them to put in the work and win as many games as possible, If they do that, then we will be successful.”