Lady Titans edge Thunderbirds in OT
Warwick Lady Titans’ freshman defenseman Meghan McCamish scored 4:08 into overtime to help her team beat the Cranston Thunderbirds, 3-2, on Saturday night at Cranston Veterans Memorial Ice Rink. McCamish had two tallies in the contest.
“It feels great,” McCamish said. “We want to win some more and keep the momentum up.”
With the win, Warwick improves to 2-2 on the young season and Cranston falls to 0-4.
It was a revenge victory for the Titans, who fell to Cranston last year.
“They beat us last season, so they definitely wanted to play tough against us so that they could get another victory, but we were able to redeem ourselves from last season,” Warwick senior defenseman Shannon McCamish said. “It’s great. After a winless season last year, every win feels great. A step in the right direction for our program.”
The Titans controlled most of the game, firing 48 shots on Cranston junior goalkeeper Hannah Slaiby. Warwick’s Mary Greenwell saw just 13.
“We worked as a team,” Titans’ junior forward Rebecca Yaseen said. “We work every day in practice on stuff like that so it just kind of helped us get it together during the game.”
The teams battled in a scoreless first period that saw Warwick outshoot Cranston, 22-1.
Warwick got the first goal of the game 2:46 into the second period. Junior Elise Saccoccia passed to assistant captain Nicole Procaccini, and her shot was stopped by Slaiby, but Meghan McCamish was there to clean up the miss and put Warwick up, 1-0.
Less than three minutes later, the Titans struck again when Yaseen passed across to Saccoccia, who put it past Slaiby and extended the Titans’ lead to 2-0.
Cranston cut the deficit in half with 1:01 remaining in the second period. Cranston junior sniper Abbi Sampson dangled her way through two defenders before ripping it past Greenwell and pulling the Thunderbirds within 2-1.
With 5:33 remaining in the third period, Cranston tied the game at 2 when Sampson rifled in a goal from the right side for her second tally of the contest.
“She could be a starter for any other team in the state,” Cranston head coach P.J. Bessette said of Sampson. “It’s just fun to have her on my side. I can rely on her for penalty kill, power play, 5-on-5. She can take over a single shift at any time. She logs a lot of minutes and she’s the real deal. She’s a special player.”
After three periods, the game was tied, and the teams played a five-minute overtime period to try to determine a winner.
Warwick fired all five shots in the extra period, and Meghan McCamish put the biscuit in the basket with 1:04 remaining in the overtime period to give the Titans the win. The goal came after an assist from Saccoccia.
“They gutted it out and they came up with the win,” Warwick head coach David Tibbetts said of his team. “Cranston played a good game, but I thought we were the better team. We just ran into a really hot goalie, so I’m glad we came out with two points.”
Slaiby, Cranston’s goalkeeper, has already seen a total of 232 shots in her first four games. The junior had 45 saves in this one.
“She’s been our backbone all year,” Bessette said. “She’s been phenomenal from the start. And she’s the reason that game went into overtime. If she didn’t make those saves, we probably wouldn’t have gone into overtime.”
Bessette also commended the other girls on his team for their fight so far in the season.
“I can’t say much more on the effort that our kids put in,” Bessette said. “They played their butts off. But, it is what it is with us. We have a lot of heart, we have a lot of girls that want to play and they’re coming along. They’re all new to hockey, so they’re learning on the fly. They give 100 percent every single game. It’s fun to be the coach because they want to learn and they want to play.”
Cranston plays its next game at Boss Arena on Wednesday night against NK/SK/Narragansett. Warwick plays next on Friday night against Mount St. Charles at Thayer Arena at 6 p.m.