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ConVal girls hockey drops inaugural game

The ConVal girls hockey team began its first year as a varsity program with a 9-0 loss to Bishop Guertin on Saturday.

In just the program’s second year of existence, the first spent merely at the practice level, the Cougars will play 12 games in Division I, the only girls hockey division in the state.

With an established girls hockey program like Bishop Guertin traveling to the Winchendon School’s Ice Arena, where ConVal plays its home games, Saturday was viewed as a feeling out process for the Cougars.

Most of the game was played in ConVal’s defensive end with the Cardinals scoring nine times against junior Lilly Grisafi.

Grisafi, who had never played hockey before this year, but has played goalie in soccer and lacrosse, made 33 saves in her ConVal hockey debut. Grisafi made 21 saves on 25 shots in the first period alone, as Bishop Guertin took a 4-0 lead at the first intermission and led by five after the second.

“She played phenomenal,” said coach Courtney McKay.

While nine goals is a lot to give up, it could have been much worse if not for ConVal’s defense.

“Our defensive unit, as a whole, was very strong,” said McKay. “The puck was in our defensive zone a lot.”

It took a little time for the Cougars to figure it all out. With only a handful of practices prior to the contest and no real game experience, ConVal was in unfamiliar territory to start the game.

“The first period was rough because they didn’t know what to expect,” said McKay.

The offense will be a work in progress all season long, as the Cougars try to find a balance in their play.

“There were a few breaks, but not a lot,” said McKay.

For McKay, it was nice to see where all the players fit into a real game situation. She had been waiting for the season opener to truly get an idea for how things will work moving forward.

“Some of the girls impressed me more than I expected,” said McKay.

ConVal hosts Berlin/Gorham on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

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