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Fairfield girls hockey edges ND-Fairfield 1-0

Updated 3:18 pm, Thursday, February 21, 2013

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  • Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe's Jade Powell controls the puck during their ice hockey game against Notre Dame-Fairfield at Wonderland of Ice in Bridgeport, Conn. Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. Photo: Autumn Driscoll / Connecticut Post
    Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe's Jade Powell controls the puck during their ice hockey game against Notre Dame-Fairfield at Wonderland of Ice in Bridgeport, Conn. Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. Photo: Autumn Driscoll

 

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Fairfield co-op girls ice hockey goalie Steph Gabriel's final game went about as well as she could've imagined.

Gabriel stopped 25 shots, and Tabby Cascella scored the game's only goal as Fairfield trumped rival-Notre Dame 1-0 on Wednesday at Wonderland of Ice.

"It was great for our girls," Fairfield coach Paul Kelly said. "We always have great games with Notre Dame.'

Cascella's goal came with just 1:23 in regulation, keying Fairfield's sixth win. Co-op finishes its season 6-11.

ND netminder Brooke Bonetti made 27 saves. The Lancers finished 7-13.

"This is one of the most enjoyable, hard-working teams I ever had the honor to coach," ND coach Kerri Rowland said. "When you come off the ice and feel sick to your stomach ... you know how much the game means to them."

Gabriel, the four-year Fairfield netminder, pitched her first shutout of the season in her final game.

"I've been working all year to get that shutout," Gabriel said. "It's amazing to finally get it in my last game."

"She deserves it," Kelly said of Gabriel. "She's probably saw anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 shots in four years."

Lancers forward Sebryna Buskey had several chances to beat Gabriel, but Fairfield's goaltender was equal to those tries.

"She's kept us in a lot of games," Kelly said of Gabriel. "She's a great goaltender."

But Bonetti was good as well, and the teams remained scoreless into the game's late stages.

"I was getting worried," Gabriel said.

Yet, Cascella took the puck and raced end-to-end, beating Bonetti with just 83 seconds to play.

The Lancers pulled Bonetti, but could not beat Gabriel in the waning seconds.

"It was hard-fought, great hockey game," Rowland said. "We just came up short."

ppickens@bcnnew.com; twitter.com/Pat_Pickens

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