SAN JOSE, CA-The U-16 Vermont Shamrocks took a 1-0 lead after one period, and turned it into a 9-1 win after three, as the green and white defeated Assabet, Ma with extreme prejudice on Friday evening.
"We are playing extremely well with a lot of energy," said assistant coach Dan Ellis. "We have so much diversity. We can go from one forecheck to another on the fly. Our girls are so smart that way."
When asked if the coaching staff will make any changes as they head into the elimination round, Ellis replied, "Our last game was our best game yet, the girls looked awesome and we are not changing a thing."
As the contest unfolded, it would be coach Ellis' daughter getting Vermont on the board in the first.
Aliza Ellis kicked off the scoring in the opening period, and it stayed 1-0 VT until Assabet tied up early in the second.
Soon after, Morgan Lamos put the 'Rocks up 2-1 on the power-play with Aliza getting the assist.
Rachel Morse scored the first of her three goals to make it 3-1, followed by Hayley Matini's tip in on a Chelsea Ellis point shot.
The girls would take the 4-1 lead into the intermission, but they were just getting started.
When the third period got underway the goals came at a furious pace.
Morse netted two more, Lamos would get her second of the game, and Jade Remillard and Molly Burke each added a goal apiece to salt away the game.
Now you might accuse Vermont of running up the score, but in this tournament goal differential is important, so scoring nine goals is not necessarily an evil thing.
Said NCU/Shamrock forward Taylor Morley, "Every game we play we keep getting getting stronger. I think the other teams are surprised that we are a small team from Vermont and we are are beating the them by so much."
Teammate Corrina Cota weighed in with her thoughts of the tournament so far, saying, "Our chemistry is really good and we are talking. We play the best when we talk. We can get it out of the zone quicker when we communicate, and if you look at tonight, we won 9-1, and that is because we were talking all night long."
Both girls are having a great time in California, and while speaking to them on Friday night, they had just pulled into the parking lot of the HP Pavilion Center for the Sharks/Flames game.
Quarter-final play will get underway on Saturday, and the Express online, will bring you complete game wrap-ups
Plus you can receive live game updates from my twitter feed @nekdrums (yes I know, I work in sports, but I was a musician before becoming a sports editor).
As always, a big thanks goes out to Jeff Cota and Desiree Hurlburt for their in-game contributions.
For a full tournament wrap, complete with photos, look to the pages of the Newport Daily Express this upcoming week.