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Week 4: Morgis helps deliver a 3-1 win over Guilford

Woodstock Academy coach Eric Roy was expecting it to be one of his team’s tougher weeks with three games, two of them involving long-distance rides, over the holiday break.

The Centaurs girls hockey team passed the test as they captured wins in two of the three games.

The Centaurs improved to 3-4-1 with a come-from-behind, 5-4, win over the Wilton Co-Op team on Friday at the Winter Garden Ice Rink in Ridgefield.

Earlier in the week, the Centaurs skated past the Guilford Co-op team at the Jahn Ice Rink at Pomfret School, relying on a solid effort by goalie Elizabeth Morgis, to post a 3-1 win over the Grizzlies.

The only setback came in the middle of the week when the Hamden Co-Op shutout Woodstock Academy, 3-0.

“When you draw it up on paper, that’s how you envision it, we wanted to sneak out with two wins,”Roy said. “We came out with our goal accomplished which made it a great week for us. Tough week and they worked their butts off and accomplished it.”

It was a little difficult early in the season for Morgis.

After starting just one game in her junior season due to the presence of Mia Dang, Morgis inherited the starting spot this season.

While it has been a work in progress, Morgis has been a quick learner.

She delivered a 20-save effort, 10 coming under fire in the third period, to stave off a comeback attempt by the Guilford Cooperative.

She put together a 26-save effort against Hamden which kept the Centaurs in the game.

And on Friday, despite being hit on a play early, stood on her head and delivered a 35-save effort against Wilton.

"I really am becoming more comfortable," Morgis said. "I really have to thank my coaches. especially Coach Neal (Robinson), he's the goalies' coach for us this year. The first 20 minutes (of practice) is all about  stamina and that really builds up being able to be in a game and then we go into drills which makes me even more confident. Plus, it helps that I have a great team to back me up."

Roy puts it simply, "She's coming into her own."

Woodstock Academy needed that to happen.

The Centaurs do not have a backup right now.

"She's all we have and she has played out of her mind. It's been fantastic to see," Roy added.

Part of her success, according to Roy, is Morgis' desire to succeed, shown by her willingness to work.

Roy grew up playing hockey with Robinson and knew he needed someone to work with Morgis so he called on his old friend.

"He helps, in general, with the team but his focus is Elizabeth. They seem to get along well. She always asks if he is coming (to practice) and things are going pretty well," Roy said.

Things went pretty well against Guilford at the Jahn Ice Rink at Pomfret School.

The two teams tussled in a scoreless tie through most of the first period.

But freshman defender Paige Hinckley finally broke through as the puck came loose in a scrum in front of the net and she poked it home with just 21 seconds left in the period.

The Centaurs then made it 2-0 in the second period when senior Caitlyn Flynn scored her second goal of the season with 4:19 to play.

It was the first lead for the team in a game since Woodstock Academy downed Masuk, 6-1, in its season opener.

"Coach (Jeff) Boshka and I looked at each other and said 'What do we do with this?'" Roy said with a laugh about the 2-0 lead.

The answer was simple.

Try and hold on to it.

The Grizzlies (2-4) did not make it easy.

They came out in the third period determined to make a comeback and started peppering Morgis with shots.

"That was intense. We had to dig deep, but my team pulled us out of it. We did great. That's what made the win even more sweet," the Woodstock Academy goalie said.

Guilford did eventually break through with Julia Crisci getting a power-play goal 6:52 into the period.

The Grizzlies had a couple of other chances, including a point-blank shot from senior Jordan King that Morgis stopped.

"We were in trouble for a little while. We were running around and Guilford came out hungry," Roy said.

But with just a little over five minutes to play, East Lyme junior Mia Williamson, who had five assists coming into the game, got her first goal for the Woodstock Academy cooperative off an assist from Maci Corradi.

"That was huge," Roy said with a smile. "It took the pressure off. You could see the exhale. All the tenseness was relieved and we were able to play again."

The Centaurs finished up the week on Friday with the trip to Ridgefield to play the Wilton Co-Op.

Maci Corradi put Woodstock Academy up early when she scored off the first of two assists in the game by Juliette Hammer with 6:13 remaining in the first period.

That lead held until early in the second when Wilton scored just 2:19 into the period.

It would add two more goals to take a 3-1 lead in the third.

Halfway through the final period, the Centaurs began to fight back as Hammer scored with 7:41 to play.

The Centaurs tied it on a goal by Mia Williamson and Corradi put the Centaurs up, 4-3, with her eighth goal of the season.

“The staple of this team is its tenacity, it never quits. We had some adversity, three unanswered goals, but we buckled down and turned our game around,” Roy said.

Corradi was a key to that as a discussion between her and Roy in the second period led to her strong play in the third.

Senior captain Keynila Hochard added what appeared to be an insurance goal with 2:28 to play.

It turned out to be the game winner as Wilton scored with 55 seconds left.


The Centaurs are next on the ice on Monday as they travel to Burrillville, R.I. for a 4:15 p.m. game.