Saturday, January 30, 2016. 4pm @ Sullivan Arena, St. Anselm College, Goffstown, NH – Bow @ Goffstown.
After all was said and done, the Bow Falcons improved to 10-1-1 on the season. Goffstown dropped to 5-5. According to records, streaks, common opponents, etc. Bow was supposed to win this game. Ultimately the young, talented team from Bow did win, but this was a battle from the opening faceoff.
These two teams are both young, with only three seniors each. Goffstown has struggled this season to come out game after game with consistent high intensity and high energy. Today, though, they did. These two teams might be set up to have some great battles in coming years with so many returning players.
Goffstown came out with good energy today, right from the start. Goffstown moved the puck quickly, and up the ice early as well as often. The Grizzlies forced Bow to defend the entire length of the ice. For a while Bow was out of their game, or at least it appeared that way. They were constantly chasing the play. As a result they were whistled for a pair of penalties in the opening period. On the first penalty, Goffstown took advantage on the power play when Nick Nault scored his first goal of the day from Noah Charron and Ben Roy. The Grizzlies earned another power play just 30 seconds later but could not convert despite managing the puck well for most of the advantage. Late in the period, with the visiting Falcons finding their legs, Bow started to cycle the puck in the offensive end more and more, controlling the puck and the play. With 1:30 to play, Griffin Cook had the puck on his stick with a chance to clear the zone, but he and his linemates could not clear. The puck found its’ way down low with Bow getting a point-blank shot, but goaltender, Colin Holt, made a huge save to keep the game at 1-0. The period would end with Goffstown clinging to the lead 1-0, and outshooting the Falcons 6-5.
The second period was pretty wild with 6 penalties being called (3 per side) and a pair of goals as well. The game’s intensity was high and the quality of play was pretty good. Goffstown would continue to be aggressive on the forecheck which led to turnovers and scoring opportunities. Sebastian Beal would get a great feed right to the slot on a turnover caused by the forecheck, but would fumble the puck and not get a shot away. Later, Beal and his mates would get a steal while killing a penalty and Beal would get a breakaway only to be denied by Nate Carrier in goal for Bow. After a 5-minute major penalty to Bow’s Colin Tracy when he ran Sebastian Beal from behind, the Grizzlies would miss play the puck on the power play and give up the tying goal. What started with an innocent loose puck at center ice would turn into a shorthanded goal for Bow. The puck was loose, between Goffstown’s Nick Nault, and Bow’s Josh Connor. Nault would make a run for the puck just outside his defensive blue line, but Connor took control of the puck and got past Nault. Nault recovered quickly but gave up the inside positioning to Connor who would bolt to the net and ultimately slide the puck past Holt in net to tie the game at 1-1. Just 18 seconds later, the Grizzlies would draw another penalty and get a 5-on-3 power play. Despite the 2-man advantage and several looks at the net, Goffstown could not score. However, while dominating the attacking zone on the power play, Nate Carrier, in Bow’s net, lost his cool and slashed a Goffstown forward. The penalty gave Goffstown another 5-on-3 advantage. This time after a couple of shots got blocked or redirected, Nick Nault got the puck and made a nice move from out high, to beat a forward, and skate in with plenty of room to work. Nault’s shot would tickle the net on the top of the goal, a beautiful shot up under the crossbar to give the Grizzlies the 2-1 lead. Goffstown would take two penalties in the second half of the period, but would hold Bow off of the scoreboard. In the period Goffstown would outshoot the Falcons 9-2. After two periods, Bow was behind 2-1.
The third period would belong largely to Bow. They came out and pumped five shots on goal before Goffstown could muster a single shot. Goffstown would kill off one penalty they took when Sebastian Beal was called for tripping, but they would not be able to kill the next one. While on the power play, Goffstown’s Nick Nault was whistled for tripping. The penalty would even up the players at 4-on-4, but with Nault in the box as one of Goffstown’s best skaters, Bow would take advantage, and quickly. First, Ryan Tobeler would score a 4-on-4 goal from Austin Beaudette and Jamie Ess. Then one minute and ten seconds later, with 5:23 left to play, on the power play, Doug Champagne would give Bow the lead with assists to Colin Tracey and Alex Killion. Trailing for the first time in the game, Goffstown did turn up the pressure. Sam Greenwood would get a pair of nice chances with one shot hitting Carrier up high and glancing wide, and the other sailing high and wide of the net. With 3:46 to play, Goffstown would miss a chance to get the puck out of their own end leading directly to a 2-on-1 for Bow. Colin Holt would come up with a huge save on the breakdown and keep the game at a one goal difference. Goffstown kept the pressure on in the offensive end when the puck came out toward the point at about thigh high in the air. Defenseman Colin Burke, who was in tighter than normal to create offense, gloved the puck down to his skates but never got the puck to his stick. Caught flat-footed on the play, Burke never got back to defend the play. Fortunately for Bow, this led to a full break, 2-on-1 for their two top scorers. Champagne would net his 22nd goal of the season with Ryan Tobeler getting the assist, and his 26th point in 12 games. Bow led 4-2 with just 1:21 to play. Colin Holt would leave the net with 53 seconds to play but Goffstown could not get anything past Nate Carrier. Final score: Bow 4 and Goffstown 2. Bow would outshoot Goffstown 12-8 in the period. Carrier would end up with 21 saves on 23 shots, while Holt would save 15 of 19 shots in the loss. Goffstown’s first line of Sam Greenwood, Max Lajeunesse, and Tyler Riendeau turned in a tremendous effort in this one but had nothing to show for it. Today’s game was a great game, and both teams played good hockey.
Goffstown doesn’t play again until February 10th, when they travel to Dover to play for only the third time in 20 days. I don’t know why, but the schedule is odd at best.