MIDDLETON - When Horton’s Ryan Jones slapped the puck past Middleton’s Ryean Emmett 27 seconds into the first period, it didn’t look good for the MRHS crew. And when Morghan Zwicker made it 2-0 halfway through the frame, girls’ high school hockey fans might have been predicting a Horton win Dec. 13 in Middleton.
But it wasn’t to be.
The Middleton Regional High School Monarchs made it through the end of the period without further damage and owned the rest of the game with four straight goals in a 4-2 victory.
Emmett stopped all Horton shots on goal, the Middleton defense tightened up in front of her, and the Monarchs’ forwards took it to the Horton Griffins, bottling the Kings County players up in their own end for most of the next two periods.
Forward and team captain Trinity Chesley turned the game around for Middleton, making numerous stick-handling forays down the ice with a pair of markers in the second period that tied the game.
Her first goal came just 36 seconds into the period with Kinzie Veinott and Kyra Wheaton in on that play to make it 2-1. Veinott, along with Jill Oldreive set Chesley up again about four minutes later to tie the game.
Horton netminder Riana Jodrey proved to be Middleton’s biggest problem as she stopped numerous Monarchs’ shots and clamped down on the puck in scrimmages in front of the Griffins’ net for the rest of the period, leaving it at 2-2 going into the third.
The final period also belonged to the Monarchs as Veinott singlehandedly dumped one in just 3:14 into the last 15 minutes for the winner. Lauren Burns, who was stellar throughout the contest, got the insurance goal with just 3:20 left in the game. She was set up by Anna Hazelwood and Carly Dunford on that play.
It was a clean game with Horton assessed with a pair of minor penalties and Middleton with four.
Monarchs manager Tammy Belanger said Chesley gives 100 per cent every game with the Wednesday night contest being no exception.
“She rallied her team during the 30-second break between second and third and said ‘come on girls we can do this!’”
Coach Jenna Reid told her troops Middleton was the faster, stronger team and that they needed to get out there and skate like that.
“The coaching staff was most impressed but the efforts given by defenceman Paige Banks and forward Jill Oldrieve,” Belanger said. “They may not have scored but their efforts helped thwart Horton.”
She also had high praise for Emmett.
“We have one of the best goaltenders in the league who gives it her all each game,” Belanger said, also giving credit to one of the younger players Grade 7 Kaylee Ross who she described as a workhorse. “She sees the ice clearly and knows just where to be all of the time.”
The come-from-behind win puts the Monarchs at 2-4-1 going into the Christmas break, about midway in the standings among the 10 teams in the Valley High School Girls Hockey League, just above Horton.
In the new year, the Middleton team will be in for a tough contest against undefeated league-leader Avon View Avalanche Jan. 6 at 6 p.m. in Middleton.