Alfonso gears up for a shot

Pittsfield's Mia Alfonso keeps her eyes down the ice as she looks for an opening shot during Thursday's game between Pope Francis and Longmeadow. The Pittsfield senior finished with a hat trick for the Cardinals. 

The Cardinals started the weekend by outshooting Auburn by 40 and ended it with a tight victory over Billerica at the Chelmsford Forum. 

Pope Francis girls hockey defeated Auburn 3-1 and Billerica 3-0, improving to 5-3 on the year. 

Mia Alfonso scored twice against Auburn and fellow General Lauren Crocker finished the scoring with a goal of her own. 

"What was impressive was the fact that we won every one-on-one battle in all three zones and scored some timely goals when it mattered," Pope Francis coach Chris Connors wrote in an email. "As a coaching staff, it's been so rewarding to watch this team mature on the ice." 

Sunday's score against Billerica at the Chelmsford Forum is a bit deceiving. Keeper Rowan Howe made 15 saves in the shutout and Kaitlyn Ondrick scored the game's first goal, assisted by Crocker, during a power play. 

The score remained 1-0 until Crocker and sophomore Lily Hayes scored empty-net goals in the last minute of the game. 

"What's nice about our group is we can play a run and gun style and a grind it out type of game," Connors wrote. "[Sunday] was a huge win for our program."