ROCKLAND – The Notre Dame Academy of Hingham girls’ hockey team was less than three minutes away from being dealt its first loss of the season.
But freshman Sklay Irving struck for the tying goal with 2:52 remaining in regulation against fellow unbeaten Needham and the Cougars, ranked first in this week’s Globe Top 20 poll, rallied from a three-goal deficit for a 4-4 tie at Rockland Arena on Monday morning.
“I don’t know if I’m more happy or fired up. Definitely proud of the team though,” said coach Jean-Yves Roy said with a smile after his NDA squad improved to 17-0-1.
“That was a big test for us today. We dug a pretty deep hole for ourselves, and to come back from a three-goal deficit against a team like that, I think that shows something about our team.”
Sophomore Elizabeth Phalen scored twice and senior Elizabeth Hernberg struck for two more as the second-ranked Rockets (19-0-1) built 4-1 lead midway through the second period.
“I would say probably the first time we were down by more than one goal,” said Roy. “It was interesting to see the body language on the bench, because we’re not used to this. We’re not used to being down two, three goals.”
Skating on the power play with 11 seconds left in the second period, sophomore Alexa Graziano scored on an assist from freshman Katie Pyne (three assists) to give the Cougars life.
In the locker room between the second and third periods, Roy said he gave his team an ultimatum.
“We can come back, we just have to believe,” said Roy. “If somebody doesn’t believe, just stay in the locker room, and we’ll play with whoever wants to believe.”
With everyone back on the ice, the Cougars got back to their game in the final period.
Graziano potted her second of the game at the 3:19 mark. Thirty seconds later, Pyne pounced for the tying goal.
“We’re always going to play NDA hockey no matter what the score is,” said freshman goalie Erin Murray. “No matter if we’re down by one, if we’re down by five. We’re going to play NDA hockey and come back.”
Notre Dame is back on the ice Tuesday morning, hosting Plymouth in the Cougar Classic.
Lenny Rowe can be reached at email@example.com.