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Huge Third Period Lifts Greenwich Girls to Finals

GREENWICH, Conn. – Entering the final period of the conference semifinals down a goal to perennial powerhouse Ridgefield, the Greenwich High girls hockey team could have panicked. Instead, Hannah Jeffrey put the weight of the team on her back and carried the Cardinals to an improbable victory.

Jeffrey netted a natural hat trick in the third period to give Greenwich a 4-2 lead with 6:31 to play in the game. Ridgefield cut the Cardinals’ lead to 4-3 with 3:23 remaining, but Greenwich held on for the nail-biting win and a trip to its first conference final since 2005.

“Personally I was pretty nervous and I’m sure the team was too. But we’ve come from behind in a lot of games this year,” Jeffrey said. “We knew we could do it because we had beaten them before. To get to the finals as a senior is an awesome feeling.”

After a scoreless first, Ridgefield jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Maggie McSpedon and Cara Lockwood in the second period. Greenwich’s Emily Bacon cut Ridgefield’s lead in half less than a minute after Lockwood’s goal to give the Cardinals momentum entering the final period.

Greenwich head coach Brett Farson lauded how far his team has come since last season when the Cardinals did not make the conference or state playoffs. “It’s definitely a tribute to how much work the girls put in,” he said. “We’ve definitely gotten stronger as the season has gone on and we became a bit more of a deeper team.”

Greenwich will play undefeated New Canaan in the conference finals on Saturday at Terry Conners Rink. New Canaan is trying for its third straight conference championship. The puck drops at 4 p.m. for that game.

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