Republished with permission from the WA GhostWriter.
The Westford Academy Girls’ Varsity Hockey team beat Acton-Boxborough 3-2, Jan. 9, during their Frozen Fenway game. The victory triggered an electric excitement among students and faculty who commuted to Boston’s Fenway Park in order to cheer on the team.
Fenway’s 37,949 seats remained nearly vacant in the minutes before the game while slowly-paced rock music blared through the stadium’s speakers. Shortly after the game’s commencement, however, two crowds covered in blankets and carrying white coffee cups began to fill two small portions of the colossal arena.
For WA Varsity Girls’ Ice Hockey coach Scott Brown, optimism was in the air, and hopes were high.
“I feel great. I feel excited for the girls [and] I think we’re in a good position to play. We haven’t played a game in a while, but they’re ready. It should be a great game,” Brown said in his pre-game hours.
“I see a lot of improvement[…] the intensity is great, and I see the girls’ skills improving collectively, so as a whole, I think we’ve come together really well, so I’m not too worried,” he said.
WA’s optimism, despite such hopeful beginnings waned temporarily within the first period of the game. The AB Colonials had scored their first goal within the period’s first five minutes, while the Grey Ghosts took a defensive position. One-third of the way into the game, WA had not yet reclaimed AB’s 1-point lead, and the buzzer rang in a score of 1-0.
It was in the second period; however, that excitement on WA’s side of the stadium began to resurface. Colleen Ellis had come close to scoring, before being called off. Shortly after, junior Hannah Keefe scored with a goal assisted by sophomore Kayleigh Butler.
Shortly after, she scored once again with an assist from senior Catherine Mahanna and Lexi Warner, tying the score 2-2. When the timer hit zero, and half-time had begun, the WA Pep band blared a rendition of Bruce Channel’s “Hey Baby!” while the Colonial’s band responded with a lively brass cover of “Ex’s and Oh’s” by pop singer Elle King. To an observant passerby, the event would appear a mixture of two competitions: that of the athletes, as well as a competition between each school’s pep band.
At half-time fans on both sides took a temporary shelter from the sub-freezing weather by going inside to stock up on refreshments while some added an extra layer to their heap of blankets. The players, however, were immersed in an air of unwavering determination.
At the beginning of the final quarter, fans were once again splitting their attention on staying warm, and watching WA Girls’ Varsity take the lead in a 2-2 tie. Within the final minute of the game, Butler made an assist to junior Kerri Bolivar, putting the Grey Ghosts in the lead with only 30 seconds on the clock.
Players hugged and cheered as the game came to a close, and Head Coach Bob Ware came onto the ice for a congratulatory picture with the girls.
“I’m happy for the girls,” Ware said.
“It’s a great group of kids that work hard every day, and to come out here to Fenway park and beat Acton-Boxborough is a great win. It’s a great experience for the school and the community,” Ware said.