Bauer Hockey christmas classic
Saturday, December 26, 2015. 6pm @ JFK Coliseum, Manchester, NH-
Goffstown came to JFK Coliseum after a 9-1 drubbing of Pembroke-Campbell on Wednesday night. Of course, everyone was coming off of Christmas Day. And on top of that, the Grizzlies were playing a big, fast, well-coached team, in Division I opponent, Hanover. When the puck finally dropped at 6:15pm, it was time to see what kind of hockey we would see.
The game started with Goffstown holding their own for a few shifts, maybe even creating some chances. Then it seemed that Hanover had the better of the play. The Grizzlies struggled to match the size and speed of Hanover’s Jake Acker, and his line. Colin Holt did some outstanding work in net to keep the Marauders from Hanover off of the scoreboard. Hanover played hard and fast, but Goffstown managed to play up to the competition as the period went on. The first period ended in a scoreless tie, with Hanover having created more scoring chances and outshooting Goffstown 11-9.
The second period was, in my opinion, better hockey at a better pace, and both teams were up for it. This period would also end scoreless, but the pace and quality of play was pretty entertaining. Goffstown found their skating legs and the Acker line and company had less room to operate for Hanover. Goffstown got chances from its’ first two lines of Sam Greenwood-Tyler Riendeau-Max Lajeunesse and Noah Charron-Kainen Lassonde-Sebastian Beal. Goffstown’s Nick Nault carried the play at times to create chances, as did Mike Fortin and Ben Roy. It was an even played period and at the end of it both teams had registered 10 shots on goal apiece.
After 30 minutes of hockey, there was still no score, and just 15 minutes left to decide the outcome. For the first 6 minutes of the final period or so, both teams created chances. Hanover had a few more shots perhaps, but it was close. Then the water behind the dam really started to mount and the pressure of breaking through became more real when Goffstown was whistled for their first penalty of the game. Mike Fortin was whistled for an interference call that had the Goffstown bench up in arms. The Grizzlies and Colin Holt would kill the penalty but the Marauders created several chances. Then, on the shift that followed the Goffstown penalty-kill, they were whistled for another one. Any breeze that filled the underdogs’ from Division II sails’ after the penalty kill turned to a headwind after the second consecutive penalty was called. Noah Charron was called for holding on a tangle with Jake Acker at center ice that probably should have been a no-call, or at worst, a matching penalty keeping both sides at 5-on-5. After another half-dozen scoring chances for Hanover, Acker redirected a shot past Holt in net on the Marauders 31st shot of the game, with just 1 second remaining on the penalty. Acker was assisted by Pat Logan on the power play goal. It took just 103 seconds for Acker and Hanover to score again. This time at even strength, an off-speed shot slid up and over Holt’s goalie’s stick and bounced off of the crossbar. The puck bounced directly behind the Goffstown goaltender and was subsequently pushed across the goal line by Jake Acker. Seth Stadheim was credited with the lone assist on the Marauder’s second goal. Goffstown would pull Holt for the extra skater with a little more than a minute left in the game. It took just 17 seconds for Hanover to create a turnover at center ice and score the empty net goal with 58.6 seconds to play. David Lehmann put the empty netter in on an assist from Alan Baker. The final score would read, Hanover 3; Goffstown 0. For 38+ minutes these two teams battled it out, both playing good hockey, with each showcasing their abilities. The Division I Hanover Marauders finished strong, scoring three goals in the final 4:29. In the period they had 14 shots on Holt, connecting on two of them before getting the empty net goal. Goffstown managed 4 shots in the period with several other chances being blocked or missing the target. For the game, Colin Holt made 33 saves on 35 shots in the loss. Gabe Loud saved all 23 shots he faced in the shutout win for the Marauders. It was Hanover’s second consecutive shutout win, after beating Salem 2-0 on December 21st.
Goffstown is back on the ice tomorrow afternoon at 2pm against Division I powerhouse, Bedford High School. Bedford is 2-0 in Division I play, outscoring their opponents’ 13 to 1 thus far.
2pm Goffstown vs. Bedford
8pm Goffstown vs. Central