Conway Arena, Nashua, NH.
Monday, January 16, 2017.
Goffstown @ Nashua South-Pelham, 250pm.
After an overtime loss in Dover on Saturday, Goffstown traveled to Nashua to play Division I foe, Nashua South-Pelham at Conway Arena. After sitting through another overtime loss this afternoon, I was left with more questions than answers. The game clock was wrong by more than 20 seconds, three different times. The scorer never even recorded one of Goffstown’s goals on the official record. Blatant infringements were missed, and players not even on the ice were called for penalties. Then there were coaches yelling, for everyone to hear, “you” hit this player or that player next time. Was the outcome of the game decided by any of this? I would like to think not, but then again, how does cause and effect work? But as all water that passes under the bridge, it is gone, and what’s done is done. The next question would be, were it left to me to ask, where do we go from here? “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
The Grizzlies came out flying in the opening period, or at least they were the better team, by a lot. Goffstown would get 15 shots on goal, draw 3 penalties on the Nashua South-Pelham (NSP) Kings, and lead 2-1 after the opening 15 minutes. Were it not for the excellent play of Nathan Radin in net for NSP, this game could have been over early, in favor of the visitors. Noah Charron scored the first goal of the game just 62 seconds into the contest. The goal was unassisted. Half way through the period, Nick Nault scored an unassisted goal on the power play to give Goffstown a 2-1 lead. NSP had placed a marker on the board at 5:09 of the period when Michael Fournier exploded up the ice like a jet, and scored, with assists going to Nolan Harvey and Ian Burmingham.
If there was an escape in this game, it was how the Kings got out of the opening period with a chance to still win this game. If there was a switch to flip, it was flipped. And if that sort of thing happens, even though everyone says athletes can’t just flip a switch, then that which was consistent became completely inconsistent.
The Kings from NSP certainly got their skating legs going in the middle period. The Grizzlies had a hard time taking the body, and seemed to be chasing the hit at times, while they were making plays. Less than half way through the period, the Kings had taken a 3-2 lead. First, Robert Haverty scored on a pass from Zac Clancy. The Grizzlies had just killed a penalty taken by Sebastian Beal who was whistled for interference despite being checked face first into the opponent’s goal.
Then seconds after Goffstown’s Max Lajeunesse just missed on a one-timer set up by Tyler Riendeau, making a pass across the crease, Tony Columbus, John Pinksten, and Kyle Joyce raced up the ice for NSP. Columbus got the goal, while Pinksten and Joyce recorded the assists. Goffstown would respond when Dylan Hyers slid a rebound into the net after numerous miraculous saves by Radin while the Grizzlies were on the power play. Griffin Cook and Nick Nault got the assists even though every one of the five Goffstown players in the offensive zone did touch the puck on the succession of plays. With just over a minute to play in the period, Beal would get trapped against the boards, behind, and to the side of the NSP net. After being knocked down on to his hands and knees, Beal made a nifty pass with the butt end of his stick, like a cue shot, as to avoid a hand pass. The puck went right to Griffin Cook who circled the net and put a shot on net.
The shot was saved, but Beal had hopped to his skates and followed the play to tap the puck over the goal line. Goffstown led 4-3, and the period would end that way. NSP did outshoot the Grizzlies 8-6 in the period.
The third period was a wild affair. On the power play, NSP scored when Vincent Annicchiarico scored from Michael Fournier. Then Fournier struck again with the assists going to Tony Columbus and Ryan Desimone. Just like that, the Grizzlies trailed 5-4. Goffstown was called for 3 penalties in the period, including a hooking call on Colby Gamache who was sitting innocently on the bench for the entire line shift when the penalty supposedly occurred. Fortunately, Grizzlies captain, Nick
Nault turned a thinking man’s pass from Jacob Noonan into the tying goal with a heroic rush up the right-wing with 3:02 to play in regulation. However, the Kings would win the period 2-1 on the scoreboard, and out shot the Grizzlies 8-5 as well. And, we were all in for some extra time.
In the overtime, which is 8 minutes of 5-on-5 hockey in NHIAA play, the visitors from Goffstown were getting the better of the chances, pounding 5 shots on net in less than five minutes
of play. As fate would have it, Nashua South-Pelham needed only one shot to win the game in sudden death. Robert Haverty would score the game winner, 4:43 into the overtime and send the Kings to celebrate their first win of the season. Kyle LaSella would take the loss in net for the Grizzlies, making 16 saves, a handful of which were brilliant. Radin gave his team a chance to win, and they did.
Goffstown will take their 4-2 record home to Sullivan Arena when they play Winnacunnet on Saturday evening at 7:30pm.
Goffstown (4-2) @ Nashua South-Pelham (1-4)
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. Either way, “It’s a great day for hockey” ~ the late “Badger” Bob Johnson.