Sullivan Arena, Goffstown, NH.
Monday, January 30, 2017.
Goffstown v. Oyster River, 730pm.
Mondays and Goffstown aren’t always a good fit, as it relates to hockey games. After the Grizzlies exciting, come from behind, 2-1 win in the final seconds over Oyster River tonight, they are just 3-3 in games played on Mondays since 2014.
Goffstown got an outstanding effort in net again, this time from Curtis McKay who made 17 saves in the victory.
The first two periods of this game went by very quickly. There were just two penalties and one goal scored after 30 minutes of play. Oyster River displayed a strong skating game, good puck movement, and a solid goaltender when all else failed. The Bobcats were first to score. Will Cillia scored on a play set up by Max Carpenter, after Oyster River was giving the Grizzlies fits while trying to break out of their own end. This was a common theme throughout the first two periods and even to start the final period. Despite some turnovers and other passes clanking off of skates or sticks, the Grizzlies did rally to the defensive end when needed. Brett Lassonde, Nick Nault, Dylan Hyers, Jacob Noonan, Melanie Riendeau, and Colin Burke all helped Curtis McKay in net when they could. The forwards also were responsible defensively at times and helped keep the Bobcats to just 18 shots on goal, with only five in the final period.
In the long history of sports, a scenario that seems to play out quite often, happened again tonight. One team has a great opportunity to score, but does not, and then, as if the imaginary wake up call had been sounded, the other team scores themselves. In the final period, with the Bobcats leading 1-0, it looked like they may increase their lead to 2-0. Ethan Keslar broke free for Oyster River and let a shot rip that beat Curtis McKay clean. The puck clanged off of the far post and skipped wide of the net. No harm to the Grizzlies. Less than 40 seconds later, Nick Nault turned a little nothing into a big something when he raced up ice with the puck. Nault took a hard wrist shot with great speed and the shot was labeled for the net. Bobcat goaltender, Liam McNamara got his right pad on the shot, but the puck glanced off of the pad, and up into the net for a game-tying goal. Nault’s goal was unassisted and tied the game at 1-1, with 4:02 to play in the game.
It looked as though the game may go into overtime. McNamara was saving just about everything and the Grizzlies weren’t getting to any rebounds. Then on one of the few plays all night where all five Goffstown skaters factored into a single play, it happened. Nick Nault started the puck up ice and moved it to slick skating defensive mate, Brett Lassonde. Lassonde used his speed to create a lane, and got the puck to Noah Charron in the middle of the ice. Charron had a shot opportunity but made a pass to his right instead. Tyler Riendeau, with a typical head’s up play, lifted a defenders stick just as the pass slid over to Max Lajeunesse. Max lifted a perfectly accurate shot over McNamara who slid over to defend the short side of the net. The puck knocked the water bottle off of the top/back of the net, and with 9.1 seconds to play, the Grizzlies took the lead. The score would remain 2-1 in favor of Goffstown despite Oyster River pulling McNamara for the extra attacker. Liam McNamara saved 27 of 29 shots he faced in the loss.
For most of the night, Oyster River showed everyone that they made the bus ride and they were there to play. They certainly will be tough to beat on their home ice when Goffstown travels to UNH and the olympic sized sheet of ice to play the Bobcats again.
“Saturday night, in my opinion, was one of the best, top to bottom, team efforts of the season. Goffstown will need this level of play, and more, as they head into a week where they play host to Oyster River on Monday, hit the road against Bow (10-1-1) and finish the week with a Saturday night tilt at UNH against Oyster River again”. Well, the Grizzlies didn’t exactly match their effort from Saturday night, but they did get stronger as the final period wore on, ultimately breaking through and getting the game-winner in the final 4:02.
The Grizzlies travel to Concord to play Bow (10-1-1) on Wednesday night at Everett Arena.
Goffstown (8-2) v. Oyster River (3-5)
Sullivan Arena, St. Anselm College, Goffstown, NH: January 30, 2017. 7:45PM Start:
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.