Monday, February 29, 2016. 730pm @ Sullivan Arena, St. Anselm College, Goffstown, NH – Goffstown vs. Hollis-Brookline-Derryfield.
Last night the Goffstown Grizzlies played host to the Warriors from Hollis-Brookline-Derryfield in NHIAA Division II Hockey. Before the game though, the Grizzlies made their Charity of Choice Night efforts known. Once again this year, the Grizzlies are supporting Northeast Passage Adaptive Sled Hockey. Proceeds from last night’s game will go to help support their program. It was an honor to have a couple of the players from the NEP Wildcats team at the game and on the ice for the ceremonial puck drop. Very cool. Several members of the Grizzlies’ hockey team will be headed out to The Rinks at Exeter on Saturday to watch the NEP Wildcats play in a sled hockey tournament. I don’t pretend to know how these guys get through any day or any game, nor do I know what it’s like to play sled hockey. I do know that this video clip explains a little bit about it, and I love that the Grizzlies are supporting this program again. Please check out the video; it’ll take about 8 minutes to watch, but check it out.
The Grizzlies came into last night’s game in need of a win to secure a spot in the Division II Tournament.
They also wanted to improve on their effort against HBD just last week, a 5-4 win in a spirited affair. The Grizzlies entered play with a record of 8-7-1, while the Warriors were looking for their first win at 0-16.
HBD showed up at St. A’s with just 9 skaters and their goaltender. Pre-game warm ups seemed to be different from it was a week ago in Hudson. Everything had a different feel, and the outcome would feel different too.
Goffstown scored first, 89 seconds into the game, Mike Fortin fired a shot on net that found the back of the net through a Sebastian Beal screen of the goaltender, Patrick MacDonald. Tyler Riendeau made the pass that set up the Fortin goal.
With 6:51 to play in the opening period, Max Lajeunesse pounced on a couple of rebounds before poking the puck into the net to give the Grizzlies a 2-0 lead. Sam Greenwood put the play in motion with a give-and-go pass leading to his own shot on goal before Max buried the rebounds. Minutes later, on the power play, Nick Nault sniped a nice goal of his own after a nice high-low pass play set up by Noah Charron and Dylan Hyers. The period would end with the Grizzlies leading 3-0, capping a dominant period in which they outshot their opponents 21-1.
Max Lajeunesse had a half of a dozen shots or more, by himself. Colin Holt started in goal for the Grizzlies, and he made his one save on the first shot of the game, and didn’t have to make another save all night.
When the Grizzlies played Hollis-Brookline-Derryfield back on February 20th, Goffstown scored 3 first period goals that night too, but as I said earlier, last night felt different. The second period rambled by quickly for the first 10 minutes or so, with the score holding at 3-0.
Ethan Smith started the period in net for Goffstown, giving Holt one of the few rests he has had this entire season. Smith would end up saving both shots he faced in the period. Then, with 4:46 to play in the middle stanza, Alex McCarthy finished off a beautiful series of hockey passes, shots, and rebounds, with his first career varsity goal. Mike Fortin and Griffin Cook assisted on McCarthy’s milestone goal. It took only 14 seconds for the night’s most potent line, of Riendeau-Roy-Beal to take the puck up ice and; bing-bang-boom, Riendeau to Beal to Ben Roy for the goal that happened with 4:32 to play in the period. Then Goffstown went to 2-for-2 on the power play when Tyler Riendeau scored after being set up by Sam Greenwood and Nick Nault.
In the final two and a half minutes of the period, Roy would score two more goals, both from Riendeau and Beal. The scoring barrage would give Roy a hat trick, Riendeau 5 points, and Beal 3 assists. On the night, the linemates combined for 4 goals and 7 assists, including 4 goals in less than four minutes. Goffstown led 8-0 after two periods, registering 17 more shots on goal in the second.
Ethan Smith would finish the game in net, earning 3 saves on 3 shots in 30 minutes of play. Goffstown would spend the third period trying desperately to set up various freshmen for goals, but would not score. The final score would read, Goffstown 8, HBD 0.
This morning, Goffstown (9-7-1) finds themselves in 8th place. Spaulding (10-8) dropped their final two games and despite having 40 points (2 more than the Grizzlies) their average points per game played is slightly lower. Goffstown will need to tie or beat Windham on Wednesday night to stay in 8th place and host a preliminary round game in the Tournament on March 9th.
The Grizzlies finish the regular season when they host Windham on Wednesday (3/2) night at 730pm, at Sullivan Arena on the campus of St. Anselm College in Goffstown, NH.
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the individual contributors, mostly mine, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the schools, coaches, players, or characters listed in any of these blog posts. Or, maybe they do, but you would have to ask them directly. Maybe I am good at picking up on these things, and maybe I am not. I guess you can decide. Either way, “It’s a great day for hockey” ~ the late “Badger” Bob Johnson.