Two Mid-Fairfield Stars girls hockey teams won their opening games in the Tier I national championships Wednesday. The 14-and-under Stars 1 team defeated Pittsburgh Penguins Elite, 5-1. The 12-and-under team also defeated Pittsburgh, 2-1. Both tournaments are being played in Rochester, Mich.
In the 14-year-old game, Sasha Fritts scored two goals to lead the Stars. Sara McNamara, Nicole Lue and Katelyn Pantera added single goals. Goalie Emma Farrel stopped 15 shots for the Stars, who outshot the Penguins 27-16. After McNamara scored in the first period, Fritts scored a pair in the second period to give Mid Fairfield a 3-0 lead. Lue, of Norwalk, scored in the third period after the Penguins trimmed the lead to 3-1.
Mid-Fairfield plays Assabet Valley of Massachusetts on Thursday at 8:15 p.m. The tournament includes 12 teams divided into two pools. The top four teams from each pool advance to Saturday's quarterfinals. The semifinals are Saturday, and the championship game is Sunday. The Stars, coached by Norwalk's Moe Tarrant, are 43-5 on the year.
In the 12-year-old game, Fairfield's Lauren Hoey scored the game-winning goal with 3:36 remaining to lift the Stars. Darien's Annabel Nottebohm and Fairfield's Anna Rasmussen assisted on the game-winner. Meghan Halloran scored the Stars' other goal with assists going to Darien's Gillis Frechette and Westport's Katharine Paliotta.
Goalkeeper Courtney DeNaut of Greenwich made 22 saves. The Penguins had a 23-17 advantage in shots. The Stars meet Assabet Valley on Thursday at 1 p.m. The quarterfinals and semifinals are Saturday, and the championship game is Sunday.
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