Girls’ hockey: Concord glides past Salem, picks up first win of the season

Concord High freshman Emelia Raimo skates to the bench to celebrate her goal scored in the second period to put the Tide ahead 6-0 against Salem en route to an 8-0 win at Everett Arena on Wednesday.

Concord High freshman Emelia Raimo skates to the bench to celebrate her goal scored in the second period to put the Tide ahead 6-0 against Salem en route to an 8-0 win at Everett Arena on Wednesday. CHIP GRIFFIN / Photos By Chip

Concord’s Gracen Arndt prepares to play the puck during Wednesday’s defeat of Salem. Arndt turned in a hat trick in the Tide’s 8-0 win.

Concord’s Gracen Arndt prepares to play the puck during Wednesday’s defeat of Salem. Arndt turned in a hat trick in the Tide’s 8-0 win. CHIP GRIFFIN / Photos By Chip

Concord’s Gracen Arndt fires a shot at Salem goalie Zeynep Yildirim during Wednesday’s contest at Everett Arena.

Concord’s Gracen Arndt fires a shot at Salem goalie Zeynep Yildirim during Wednesday’s contest at Everett Arena. CHIP GRIFFIN / Photos By Chip

By ERIC RYNSTON-LOBEL

Monitor staff

Published: 12-21-2023 12:34 AM

Modified: 12-21-2023 9:42 PM


CONCORD – After coming up on the short end of two straight one-goal losses to start the season, the Concord High girls’ hockey team left little doubt around the outcome of its matchup with Salem on Wednesday evening.

Led by a hat trick from freshman Gracen Arndt, Concord rolled to an 8-0 victory at Everett Arena.

The Tide (1-2-0) led 2-0 after the first period on goals from Abigail Colby (Julia Kirrane assist) and Arndt (Hailey Pinette assist) before the offense exploded for five goals in the second. Pinette scored the first of the five goals (Kirrane assist), Arndt added the next two (assists from Ayva Walsh and Annabelle Norwalt), Emelia Raimo scored the fourth (unassisted) and Andie Moreira capped off the offensive avalanche (assists from Addison Twyon and Arndt). Malie Ramshaw rounded out the scoresheet with Concord’s eighth goal of the game in the third period, with assists from Arndt and Madison Mayo.

Here are three takeaways from Wednesday’s victory:

Concord steadies things after sloppy start: Similar to last week’s season opener against Berlin-Gorham-Kennett, the Tide didn’t play clean hockey early. Passes were aimed at no one in particular and players rushed themselves despite little pressure from Salem (0-1-0).

After the intermission, the team started to find its stride.

“We talked a lot about making passes and opening up for passes and being ready,” head coach Kate Billings said. “They were giving us a lot of time and space out there, and so it was a matter of them recognizing how much time and space they had and that they didn’t need to just give the puck up when they felt panicked. They had more time to adjust, so I think just getting them to recognize some of that and adjusting to how the team’s playing, they figured it out.”

Arndt playing massive role as a freshman: Billings highlighted Arndt’s two-goal performance last week against BGK as a potential sign of big things to come for the freshman forward. On Wednesday, she outdid herself with three goals and an assist.

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“She’s very comfortable just handling the puck and not panicking when it comes to a little bit of pressure on her,” Billings said. “She shoots the puck well. She plays all over the ice very well and has some good hockey sense. It’s nice to have her.”

If her first few games are any indication, Arndt’s scoring will likely play a big role in any future success for the Tide this season.

Tide improve at playing together: Asked the biggest difference between this Wednesday’s win and last Wednesday’s loss, Billings pointed to her players’ comfort level on the ice together.

“I’ve seen them improve just working as a team more and finding each other out there,” she said. “We’ve been working on different things in practice that I’ve been seeing come to life a bit in games, which is really nice to see. The more we practice, the more we play, the more we’re playing as a team and getting used to each other.”

Concord’s next game will be on Jan. 2 when the Tide take on Pinkerton on the road.