Monthly Archives: March 2016

Grizzlies Hockey ~ It’s Tournament Time!

The Grizzlies gone wild! Celebrating an overtime win versus Windham. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Celebrating an overtime win versus Windham. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

It’s Tournament Time! The Grizzlies host Lebanon tomorrow night (Wednesday 3/9 at 5:00pm @ Sullivan Arena) in the prelim round of the Division II Hockey Tournament. The Grizzlies earned the #7 seed and will host the #10 seed, Lebanon Raiders. The winner of Wednesday night’s game will advance to play #2 seed, Merrimack on Saturday afternoon.

It wasn’t too long ago, when the Goffstown Grizzlies Ice Hockey team found themselves mired in mediocrity. They were hovering at .500 with a 5-5 record, and were in the bottom half of the standings. It was the end of January and they were looking up at most of the division, with games against perennial powerhouses, Dover and Spaulding staring them in the face. Throw in a 10-day layoff, a hole in the schedule if you will, and the Grizzlies went to play at Dover on February 10th.

As it turned out, the Grizzlies beat Dover and Spaulding back-to-back and started to shape their season in a different manner. The Grizzlies would end up going 5-2-1 over their last 8 games and would catapult up the standings from as low as 12th, all the way to 7th seed, and hosting a first round tournament game.

Goffstown starters on Leap Day 2016. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Goffstown starters on Leap Day 2016. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Goffstown will play host to the Lebanon Raiders whom they tied 2-2 up at Campion Rink less than two weeks ago. The Raiders finished in the #10 spot by finishing strong, going 6-2-1 down the stretch, ending the regular season with an 8-8-2 record.

For some notes that we can compare, between these two teams, I give you the following. Both Lebanon and Goffstown played several common opponents this season. Among the common opponents, the edge goes to the Grizzlies, Goffstown was 8-7, while Lebanon was 5-8 against teams they played in common. Against teams that qualified for the tournament, again the Grizzlies had the advantage, going 3-7-1 while the Raiders were 0-7-1 against playoff contenders, the one tie being against the Grizzlies.

Both teams finished the regular season on a strong note. Combined, they were 11-4-2 down the stretch. They played each other recently which should make for an even more exciting matchup in the first round. In their meeting on Feb. 27, the Grizzlies made a long bus ride on a Saturday afternoon on the final weekend of Feb. vacation week, just hours after losing a physical battle against the Keene BlackBirds. After the first period in that game, the Grizzlies carried the play for the most part. Then again, this is why they play the games. Anything can happen out there.

The Goffstown Grizzlies are playing their final home game of the 2015-16 season on Wednesday night, and it happens to be a Tournament game. So, Grizzlies’ Nation, come out and wear your maroon, have fun, and be loud! I can tell you that after being at Sullivan Arena on Sunday for the 2016 NEPSAC (Prep Schools) Ice Hockey Championships, where nobody was a ‘home’ team; it can get really loud in the arena at St. Anselm College. So come out and support the Grizzlies Hockey team on Wednesday at 5pm.

Sam Greenwood, Ben Roy, and Colin Holt. GHS Seniors. (C) 1inawesomewonder

Sam Greenwood, Ben Roy, and Colin Holt. GHS Seniors. (C) 1inawesomewonder

The Grizzlies are led by seniors, Colin Holt (G), Sam Greenwood (F), and Ben Roy (F). The Goffstown juniors are, Tyler Riendeau (F), Nick Nault (D), and Dylan Hyers (D). Goffstown is loaded with freshmen and sophomores, starting with 2nd year players, Mike Fortin (F-D), Max Lajeunesse (F), Ethan Smith (G), Noah Charron (F). The freshmen are, Stephen Provencher (F), Colin Burke (D), Jake Noonan (D), Brett Lassonde (D), Alex McCarthy (F), Sebastian Beal (F), and Griffin Cook (F). The coaching staff is led by Head Coach Ben Slocum (1st year), and Assistant Coaches, John Nanoff and Shane Tufts.

GHS Hockey: Goffstown 2 vs. Windham 1 (OT)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016. 730pm @ Sullivan Arena, St. Anselm College, Goffstown, NH – Goffstown vs. Windham.

It’s Thursday morning, March 3rd, 2016, and I am not certain that I have yet caught my breath from last night’s spectacle that unfolded on a sheet of ice not too far from here. What a game! If I called it a wild affair it wouldn’t begin to do it justice. You would have needed to have been there and have seen all of it with your own eyes; the things that were, the things that were not, and the things that should have been. I will do what I can to describe, in summary, the night, the game, that was.

He SCORES!!!! Lajeunesse goal is celebrated by with his linemates. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Lajeunesse gets behind the defense, he’s in alone! He Shoots! He SCORES!!!! HE SCORES!!!! Lajeunesse goal is celebrated with his linemates. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Let’s get right to the meat of this matter. The Goffstown Grizzlies played their last regular season game on their home ice last night. They played a very good, Windham Jaguars, team who entered the game with a record of 10-5-1, including a January 20th, 3-2 win, over the Grizzlies. In this one though, the home team prevailed, winning an absolute thriller, 2-1, in overtime!

As one might hear when listening to the echoes that carom among the walls, while wandering the cavernous spaces of the lower levels in a facility the size of Sullivan Arena, words take on a meaning, or carry a weight that measures differently as time goes on. I heard in the echoes, words that suggested the Grizzlies may have caught “lightning in a bottle” when they pulled off their upset victory at Dover a few weeks back. To me, that echo I heard, I took as somewhat of an underhanded, soft toss, dig, at the Grizzlies hockey team and their staff. Roughly three hours after the echo resonated with me, I may have suggested, aloud, that the same “lightning in a bottle” comment be recycled and used again as if it were a form of fuel that lit the Grizzlies fire last night.

I am pretty sure the Grizzlies had no knowledge of these echoed words, they just came out ready to play. In their first meeting, Goffstown fell behind 2-0 in the first period, then came back to tie the game in the 3rd period, before losing in the final minutes. Last night, the Grizzlies struck first. Noah Charron scored an even strength goal that was set up by Sam Greenwood and Colin Burke. In hindsight, the goal was obviously huge, but the period was far more crazy than an early goal by Charron giving the Grizzlies the lead.

Noah Charron digs in for a faceoff against Windham. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Noah Charron digs in for a faceoff against Windham. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

When the first period was done, the Grizzlies still led 1-0, but there had also been 26 minutes in penalties called on the two teams. Mike Tardif of Windham, who had trouble staying in control of his elbows and out of the penalty box in the first meeting, ran into more trouble last night. Much more trouble. Tardif, on one play, was called for a cross check (which was pretty obvious, if not a roughing call), unsportsmanlike conduct, and a 10-minute misconduct penalty. He would spend an entire period in the penalty box. Windham’s bench showed equal control of their personnel and emotions by being called for their own unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, minutes later. In the end, Goffstown had a couple of 5-on-3 chances in between the three penalties they took in the period, but could not score on any of them. After one period, Goffstown had 8 shots on goal to just 3 shots for Windham.

In the second period, Windham stepped up their game. They forced the action, skated hard, moved the puck, and had the Grizzlies on the ropes. Goffstown took five minor penalties in the period, leading to almost 5 straight minutes of being down two skaters.

Sebastian Beal, always willing to create that 'net-front' presence. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Sebastian Beal, always willing to create that ‘net-front’ presence. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Before all the penalties started to pile up, Windham tied the score at 1 apiece on an even strength goal of their own. Daniel Donovan scored on a nice play set up by Chad Desautels. The period would end up with the score remaining at 1-1. Windham would get 15 shots on goal in the period, fueled largely by their multiple 5-on-3 opportunities. Although, toward the end of the period, Goffstown did get a 5-on-4 power play that led to several shots on goal, but no goals. The Grizzlies would end up with 9 shots on goal in the period after being stymied for most of the 15 minutes.

Colin Holt appears ready for anything in net. He was. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Colin Holt appears ready for anything in net. He was. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

After Mr. Tardif had spent most of the second period in the penalty box, he was on the ice quite a bit in the final period. I mean, when he wasn’t back in the penalty box, for charging (a play that one official said after the game, “he should have been run from the game” on) and then an interference call that was more of a blatant boarding call. I am not sure if Tardif knew the game was played with a puck, as he had no intent in using one. Either way, neither team could beat the other’s goaltender in the final period. Goffstown had chances, several chances. The home team would get 11 shots on goal to just 4 for Windham in the period. Christian Bassi was stellar in net for Windham and Colin Holt made a couple of ridiculous saves, with a little help from the crossbar, in net for the Grizzlies. The game, which was pretty well-played despite all of the penalties, would go to overtime to be decided.

Thankfully, there were no penalties called in the overtime session. The game-winning goal was scored just 1:22 into the 8-minute extra session. Both teams pressed but neither had registered a shot on goal. Then Max Lajeunesse picked a bouncing puck off of Windham defenseman, Teddy Plandes, just outside his defensive blue line. Lajeunesse carried some speed to get just enough separation behind the defense to get a golden scoring chance. On this night, the puck bounced the Grizzlies way, and Max scored the game-winner at 6:38 of overtime with a nice move and shot, to beat Bassi in net. The home crowd, the home team, and the home goalie erupted in a loud, raucous celebration of their victory. I felt bad for Plandes who lay on the ice, pounding his fist on the ice, while the Grizzlies celebrated nearby. In his defense, the puck was bouncing, and Max just made more contact with the puck, than Teddy did.

Max Lajeunesse with the game on his stick in OT. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Max Lajeunesse with the game on his stick in OT. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

The puck bounced toward the direction Max was headed. Momentum created as the aggressor, often times leads to the puck aligning itself with that force, and this play reinforced the unwritten hockey law.

Honestly, there were 18 minor penalties called in last night’s hockey game. There were probably that many that were not called as well. Seriously. Windham was whistled for 10 of them, Goffstown for 8 of them. Goffstown was 0-7 on the power play. Windham was 0-6 on the power play. Both teams had several minutes of 5-on-3 power play advantages. In my mind, if you threw out all of the penalties completely, this still would have been a thriller. Maybe the shots on goal would have been diminished some, but these two teams battled from start to finish. Neither force wanted to give into the other.

Looking at the standings this morning, things might have become a little more interesting with the Grizzlies win last night. One thing we know, Goffstown will play at home on Wednesday the 9th. They will be either the 8th seed, as they are this morning, or perhaps the 7th seed if Oyster River loses their final game, against Dover, tonight.

The Grizzlies gone wild! Celebrating an overtime win versus Windham. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

The Grizzlies gone wild! Celebrating an overtime win versus Windham. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Lebanon won last night, and only needs to beat either Winnacunnet or Hollis-Brookline-Derryfield in either of their final two games to overtake Kingswood in the standings and clinch a tournament berth themselves. If Oyster River loses tonight, they will finish 10-8, which ties Spaulding who finished at 10-8. Oyster River beat Spaulding twice so, if they lose tonight, they would be the 8th seed, and Spaulding the 9th seed. Then, if Lebanon wins both of their games, and ends up with 40 points, which would tie Oyster River and Spaulding, I believe Lebanon would stay as the 10th seed because they lost their games played against Oyster River and Spaulding. That might be confusing to some, which I understand because it’s somewhat confusing to me as well.

There will be more details certainly as this week closes the schedule for all Division II teams. As for now though, we are fairly certain that Goffstown will return to the ice on Wednesday night at 6pm, the 9th of March, on the home ice of Sullivan Arena.


Summary:
Shots:
Windham: 3-15-4-0=22
Goffstown: 8-9-11-1=29

Powerplays:
Windham: 0 for 6
Goffstown: 0 for 7

Saves:
Windham: Christian Bassi 27 of 29
Goffstown: Colin Holt 21 of 22

Goals:
Windham: 0-1-0-0=1
Goffstown: 1-0-0-1=2

Scoring:
1st 5:53 G Noah Charron (15) from Sam Greenwood (13) and Colin Burke (3).

2nd 6:35 W Daniel Donovan from Chad Desautels.

3rd None

OT 6:38 G Max Lajeunesse (5) unassisted.

Disclaimer:

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.

GHS Hockey: Goffstown 8 vs. Hollis-Brookline-Derryfield 0

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.

Goffstown starters on Leap Day 2016. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Goffstown starting forwards and goaltender on Leap Day 2016. Provencher, McCarthy, Holt, Cook.  (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

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.

Mike Fortin looks to make a play against the Warriors. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Mike Fortin looks to make a play against the Warriors. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

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.

Alex McCarthy and Griffin Cook charge up ice against HBD. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Alex McCarthy and Griffin Cook charge up ice against HBD. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

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 in net. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Ethan Smith in net. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

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.

Jake Noonan makes a pass from his point position. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Jake Noonan makes a pass from his point position. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

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.

Stephen Provencher sets up to fire a shot on goal. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Stephen Provencher sets up to fire a shot on goal. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

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.


Summary:
Goals:
Goffstown 3-5-0=8
HBD 0-0-0=0

Shots:
Goffstown 21-17-8=46
HBD 1-2-1=4

Power Plays:
Goffstown: 2 of 4.
HBD: 0 of 2.

Scoring:
1st 13:31 G Mike Fortin (3) from Tyler Riendeau (10).
1st 6:51 G Max Lajeunesse (4) from Sam Greenwood (11).
1st 3:35 G PP Nick Nault (8) from Noah Charron (7) and Dylan Hyers (6).

2nd 4:46 G Alex McCarthy (1) from Griffin Cook (4) and Mike Fortin (6).
2nd 4:32 G Ben Roy (5) from Sebastian Beal (9) and Tyler Riendeau (11).
2nd 3:49 G PP Tyler Riendeau (9) from Nick Nault (9) and Sam Greenwood (12).
2nd 2:16 G Ben Roy (6) from Sebastian Beal (10) and Tyler Riendeau (12).
2nd 0:39 G Ben Roy (7) from Tyler Riendeau (13) and Sebastian Beal (11).

3rd: None

Saves:
Goffstown: Colin Holt 1/1 and Ethan Smith 3/3.
HBD: Patrick MacDonald 38/46.

Disclaimer:

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.