Tag Archives: GHS Hockey

GHS Hockey: Goffstown 3 vs. Timberlane 1

Thursday, December 22, 2016. 730pm @ Sullivan Arena, Goffstown, NH – Goffstown v. Timberlane

Continue reading

Advertisements

GHS Hockey: Goffstown 4 @ Portsmouth 3 (OT)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016. 400pm @ Rinks at Exeter, Exeter, NH – Goffstown @ Portsmouth

Continue reading

Grizzlies Hockey ~ A Season and the Impact

It’s that time again; a time I have yet to learn how I should better handle. It’s the end of the season. Ugh. I do not like the end of the season. Let me put it in my own words, and see if anyone else can relate. I know that I don’t always make sense, but I’ll give it a try. This might take awhile, but hey, it’s been 105 days and counting, until the banquet I suppose. There’s a lot to discuss.

Last night I found myself looking back at an email from November 29th, 2015, the night before tryouts. I read through it and revisited the thoughts, anticipations, questions, and emotions that I had that very night. Little did we know then, that just hours later, four of our players trying out would ‘lose their lunch, or breakfast, or dinner’ as it were, while skating during the first 530am ice time of the season. Many of you may have known, but I didn’t know how all of this would come together, so I will try to take you down this path in some particular order. Okay, there may not be any order.

Who knew it was so hard to move a hockey bag? I mean they can get heavy, and you usually know you’re near one long before you can see one. Oh, the smell! Seriously though, we spent the first week of the season chasing a hockey bag all over SAU 19. Kids can ride the bus, come and go from school, get to practices and such, but, oh that hockey bag, who knows its’ travels. See, the hockey bags and hockey sticks can’t ride a school bus. This requires a lot of planning, structure that wasn’t yet in place, or exquisite communication and good gas mileage. I did get to see the Holt’s beautiful property, you know, right up next to the North Pole, on one or two trips to retrieve a hockey bag. I also spent some time with Sebastian one afternoon trying to figure out just where his hockey bag had traveled once practice ended that morning, before school. I will say this though, the older kids were awesome, helpful, and willing to help the newbies, the youngsters. For that, we are all thankful.

One of the things that tears at my core when a season, that I love, comes to an end, is the finality of the chaos that had turned to a sort of rhythm of normalcy for a period of time. I immediately miss the alarm going off at 4-something-AM, and picking up a teammate or two on the way to St. A’s. I miss the teamwork it takes from the parents to help us all get through week after week of a long winter season. I miss seeing the boys all scramble from their vehicles in the dark of early morning when the rink door is opened. I miss the not-so-painful relentless onslaught of questions to do this, that, or the other thing because “everyone” on the team is going here or there. One day soon, I’ll miss even more, being the ‘ride’ to all things pertaining to a season.

I do love the energy that is found in a group of people working together towards a common goal. The team. The coaches. The parents. The board members. It’s awesome! To be a part of something bigger than yourself will never grow tired with me. Game nights turned into organized mayhem, which led to just another chance to see friends, new and old, and have a blast watching our team play. I am thankful for the folks that pull these things together. They are parents, friends, families, schoolmates, coaches, educators, and administrators. I enjoy the opportunity to help and be a part of the presentation that is our team, our sons, our future. It’s about the kids, and I love that.

Games, home and away, always a chance for the kid down the street, or the one from the next room, to do something you might have questioned he possessed the skills to do. You never know what’s going to happen next, and that is one of the beauties of sport. Walking into some far away rink, knowing that the Grizzlies were going to be skating for all to see, as we watch with the anticipation of what’s next. Looking around the rink, any rink, and seeing those familiar faces, knowing we all got each others’ back as it relates to supporting our team; there is a quiet confidence there. I hope the team feels the same.

There are highs and there lows as life would have it. Yet, the show must go on. Life lessons presenting themselves on a daily basis, and it’s all right there for us to be a part of, together, as a community. Watching the youth and the experience come together to be one, with both being better for it. The exuberance of achieving individually is fantastic, but fails in comparison to the sheer joy and sense of accomplishment when teammates celebrate you, us, with you. Oh, to be that kid again.

Maddie Carlson Night, Comedy Night, Charity of Choice, Goffstown Food Network, fundraisers, volunteerism, team bonding, outings, and more. Wow! What a group! The team donated $800 to help Maddie Carlson’s family with medical bills and expenses. They donated $1000 to the Northeast Passage Sled Hockey Program and were also honored, in turn, when the NEP team named Goffstowns’ 3 seniors as honorary coaches on their bench during a tournament game out in Exeter. Members of the team also helped the Goffstown Food Network move hundreds of pounds of food from one location to another at Christmas time. What a season. One day kids will grow to be men and women, adults, and I hope they realize sooner, than later, the effect they have on so many. You never know who is watching. You never know who needed to see any of us give of ourselves, help another, support someone else, refrain in the right moment, demonstrate humility and patience in another moment, or just smile to let the world know we are having a good time. Impact. Most times we don’t get to choose who we impact, but we always get the chance to choose how we carry ourselves, thus directing how we impact. None of us are perfect, even though Ethan Smith did stop every shot he faced in games this year, we all have our moments. If you read the first sentence of this paragraph, you will know what I mean, as it relates to this team, this group. Hundreds, if not thousands, of little moments packed into a season. I wish I knew of all the acts of kindness, caring, support, and even tough love that went into everyone that was a part of this season because I would share it. It’s a great group. I know I will miss the ones moving on, yes, even though some of these folks I have just met or started to get to know. That’s how ‘team’ works.

I have shared in the honor of relaying facts, stats, messages, updates, stories, comments, and numbers regarding this team all season. If I were better prepared, maybe I would have captured more of the sentiments shared throughout the season. There have been so many comments praising this team and the group that make it all happen. Really, it’s been wonderful to read and hear. Listed below I have gone back through messages and comments I have seen all the way to early December, right through to this week.

 


Final game against Merrimack, “You should be proud of your fighting spirit. We are proud of having you represent Goffstown.”

Final game against Merrimack, “Good luck this afternoon! Give it everything you have!! ‪#‎GrizzlieNation‬

OT Tourney win, “Congrats Grizzlies on your win over Lebanon tonight!!!”

Win against Windham, “Great job tonight!”

On supporting NEP, Charity of choice, “GO GRIZZLIES! Class act team.”

Maddie Carlson Night, “Awesome,,,such a great team!!!”

One of the team bonding events, “They definitely had a blast!”

On Comedy Night, “We had a blast!”

Opening night, “Nice opener Grizzlies!!!!! Congrats keep it going, we are all watching and cheering.”

Opening night, “Awesome!!”

Opening night, “Excellent job boys!!”

Regarding Maddie, “we are all praying for her..this is the ️best hockey team in the USA!”

Regarding Maddie, “You know… I am 700+ miles away, but the joy I see with stuff like this makes me smile….. Congrats to Maddie and her team from Goffstown HS!!!”

Online presence, “Your team has the best stuff on the GHS Athletics page.”

Online presence, “Thank you for keeping us up to date on the team.”

Online presence, “We love to see the articles and all of the pictures of the boys!”

Online presence, “We started coming to games to see what all these stories were about. What a team! Go Grizzlies!”

Teaching moments, “I couldn’t agree with you more about the National Anthem. Thank you for sharing that.”

Teaching moments, “I liked that video about the anthem too…good coach & American. I hope everyone watched it with their kids.”

Support, ” I love your write ups!  Can’t miss one!!”

Support, “Thank you for all write ups. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading them.”

Support, “I love the articles and keeping up with the team.”

Support, “I woke up early looking for the article on the game the night before. Loved it!”

Support, “Thank you for all the great game reviews.  My parents in florida and my sister in Oregon feel like they were at the game !!!”


 

Honestly, I am humbled by the support of the write-ups, blog posts, articles, or whatever they are called. The support, kind words, and feedback from Grizzlies Nation has been overwhelming. I am truly thankful just for the opportunity to contribute along with everyone else. There are so many people, between the coaching staff, the players, the trainers, the bus drivers, the parents (of past and present players), the Friends of Goffstown Hockey, the school folks, and so on, that do so much to make a season even possible. It’s about all of them, supporting the kids. Thank you all for letting me be a part of this 2015-16 GHS Hockey season. It has truly been my pleasure.

So, another season goes in the books. Which is another thought that I had. Are there actually books that track each season? The records. The stats. The schedules. I will pursue that lead separately. Anyway.

In an attempt to close this out, I go back to the word, impact. Impact is defined this way; the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another, or, the effect or influence of one person, thing, or action, on another. Maybe it’s just me, but this season, right from tryouts through now, has impacted me. Maybe even forcibly come in contact with any of us. Certainly there has been ‘effect’, and most definitely influence on another. Personally, I think the impact has been positive. I do believe the team, the sum of its’ parts, is better today than they were when the roster was announced on December 2nd. I do believe the players are better players, up and down the roster, than they were when we started. I think the coaching staff had an impact, a positive one at that, right out of the gate. I heard it in the voices of the returning families, I saw it in the smiles on the players faces. I felt it being around the rink and witnessing the countless gestures of kindness and support. The kids broke out of the secrecy and security found in any good locker room environment, crossing the threshold back into the reality of life away from that sacred sanctuary found at the rink, often times greeted with brownies, cookies, or some other baked goods. There was impact, and it was everywhere.

Did Maddie Carlson night have an impact on anyone? Oh, I know it did. Did Maddie Carlson herself, have an impact? Absolutely. Did we all, the entire GHS Hockey community, have an impact on Maddie and her family? I am quite certain we did. Seeing and hearing Maddie’s mom having a blast at the comedy show was worth the price of admission alone. (Segue way) How about the Comedy Night Fundraiser? What an overwhelming impact it had on the camaraderie found in the Goffstown Hockey community. I look forward to building on that. The more the merrier, I always say. Did the team and the support group around them have an impact on the Northeast Passage Program? I certainly hope so. Did they have an impact on us? I believe they did. Their tagline is “living beyond disability”. We could all learn from those three words. In fact, we could interject our own word in the blank, “living beyond ____”, and be better for it. How about Senior Night? Impact. The program carries on, but each year somebody’s high school career comes to an end, and while it’s sad, it’s really just another beginning. But, there is without question, impact felt throughout the organization.

Then there’s the time on the ice. There’s the beauty of the boldness in the perceived immortality of youth. Did Stephen Provencher have an impact on those who watched him work and go boldly where he never had gone before? Yes. How about Ethan Smith, and his commitment to being the backup goaltender to Holty? Impact? Yes. Did 6’5″ Dylan Hyers come forcibly into contact with another? Oh yes, and it was awesome. There’s Brett Lassonde, and the comments I heard all year about his abilities and tenacity for his size. Well guess what, he’ll keep growing, and he was fantastic regardless of size. Yes, please know that there’s been an impact on more than you know. Mike Fortin, defense, offense, extra attacker, #12 did it all. Impact = tremendous. Noah Charron, did he have an impact? Yes he did. The sophomore led the team in goals and points. What about Tyler Riendeau and his impact? He seems like a field (ice) general, giving direction and feedback constantly. Like it or not, improve your game to match his, and oh yes, there’s an impact. Who remembers being impacted by the theft committed by Max Lajeunesse leading to his game-winning snipe against eventual DII Champs, Windham? Oh, that impact was felt throughout the State of NH hockey circles. Then there was the Griffin Cook, Ben Roy, and Alex McCarthy line. I called them my abacus line, as they wore numbers 5,6, and 7. They teamed up for a beautiful goal early in the season and the senior meshed with the youth, leading by his hustling example, each of them battling to make hockey plays, each having their own impact. These youngsters can play, and their impact will continue to be felt. There’s Colin Burke who started the season as a long, lanky, 14-year-old kid. He was pressed into service against players 4-5 years older than him, but he battled, showed his skills, and worked on improving. Impact? Yes, and I can’t wait to see what he has to offer this program in the coming seasons. There was Sebastian Beal who played his way into consistent ice time, and definitely had an impact on the ice, especially killing penalties. Impact, oh ya. You ask about Jake Noonan and his impact? Sure he impacted others. He got a chance to play along some much more experienced defensemen, which was a tremendous classroom experience right there on the ice everyday. I also hear that alongside his efforts to improve on the ice, he had some pretty good one-liner comments at practices that brought some humor from an unexpected source. Nick Nault had an impact, not only on the number of sticks (his and opponents’) he snapped with his slapshot, but with his skills on the ice. He impacted how other teams defended the Grizzlies power play and offensive rushes up ice. Oh, how many, would be goal scorers, did Colin Holt impact this season? Too many. I think the whole of Grizzlies Nation felt the Holty impact in the overtime victory over Lebanon in the first round, among many examples this season. Speaking of which, could we ever forget the impact of Sam Greenwood on the Raiders from Lebanon in that first round win? Watch the video (GTV on YouTube) of the 1:03 of overtime play. Greenwood made his impact felt in just about every way possible, and he did all season.

Yes, there has been an impact up and down this team, and it has been tremendous. Like I said, you never know who is watching, and just who you might be impacting at any given time. I hope this trip through the season in 3,000 words or less, has helped bring attention to this fact. In the end, you, Goffstown Grizzlies Hockey, have impacted us all, and you make us proud. Go Grizzlies!

GHS Hockey: Goffstown 5 @ Merrimack 8 (Quarter-Final)

Saturday, March 12, 2016. 400pm @ West Side Arena, Manchester, NH – #7 Goffstown vs. #2 Merrimack. (Go ahead and click on the pictures, they open in their own page)

quarter finals bear

What’s a Goffstown hockey game without a Grizzlie on the ice? (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Well, where do I begin without letting the end get in the way. The Goffstown Grizzlies showed up with a whole bunch of their fans at West Side Arena this afternoon. I know that I, for one, hoped for the upset, the chance for the #7 seed to pounce, and knock off the #2 seed. In short, Merrimack was prepared, they were sharp, and they were better. Right from go. Their intensity waned not. After all was said and done, the Merrimack Tomahawks advanced to the Semi-Finals with an 8-5 victory over the upset-minded Goffstown Grizzlies.

Merrimack’s win today extends their streak to 13 consecutive games without a loss. They will move on and play in the Semi-Finals. The Tomahawks have a good team, and they should be good again next year. They did get 5 goals and 3 assists from their senior players today, but they have a strong junior class as well as a sophomore goaltender.

Sam Greenwood sprints up the left wing. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Sam Greenwood sprints up the left wing. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

The Grizzlies, the school, and the fans, all saw Colin Holt, Sam Greenwood, and Ben Roy play their last game in a Grizzlies’ hockey uniform today. I have only known these kids for a few months, and it pains me still, to write that last sentence. In true Goffstown fashion, with no quit in their vocabulary, these guys led a charge that took a 6-2 deficit and cut it to 7-5 with 1:46 to play. But today, the better team had too many answers, and that was as close as Goffstown could get in the final period.

Colin Holt and Nick Nault getting ready to defend. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Colin Holt and Nick Nault getting ready to defend. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Merrimack senior, Ryan Downie scored 3 goals and added an assist. He scored an empty net goal with 0:43 seconds left and capped the Goffstown comeback bid. The Tomahawks got 4 assists from Remy Tupper (Jr), and a goal from his brother Aaron Tupper (Sr). Owen O’Brien (Jr) had a pair of goals while John Tiano (Jr) had a goal and an assist. Kyle Feeney (Sr) added a goal and 2 assists of his own. Goaltender, Greg Amato (So), looked shaky at times but ended up saving 20 of 25 shots in the win for Merrimack.

Goffstown, on the other hand, got 2 goals and 3 assists from sophomores and freshmen in this afternoon’s tilt. Sam Greenwood (Sr) had a goal and an assist in his final game for GHS.

Tyler Riendeau takes a faceoff in quarter-final action. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Tyler Riendeau takes a faceoff in quarter-final action. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Colin Holt, the workhorse, in net would save 30 of 37 shots he faced today, and finished a stellar final season for the Grizzlies. Holt was 11-8-1 in goal, saving more than 90.3% of the shots he faced during the regular season and tournament play. Noah Charron (So) registered 2 goals and an assist, while Tyler Riendeau (Jr) scored a pair of goals for the Grizzlies. Nick Nault (Jr) had a pair of assists with helpers also coming from Dylan Hyers (Jr), Mike Fortin (So), and Sebastian Beal (Fr).

Sebastian Beal and Ben Roy getting after Remy Tupper. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Sebastian Beal and Ben Roy getting after Remy Tupper. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

The ice was hard and fast. Merrimack was fast, and hard to play against. Goffstown was gritty, and never let up. The officials were atrocious, at least one of them, and I think both teams would agree. Blatant penalties committed by both teams were not whistled right from the start. Offsides and icings were merely a suggestion, not a rule to be enforced. This lack of control almost blew up in the officials’ (and everyone else’s) faces when the final 5 minutes of the third period looked as much like a melee as it did a hockey game. Players at this level learn quickly, if it’s not called, then for today, it’s okay. One Merrimack defenseman slashed someone on just about every shift. He usually acted on his moments of bravery when he thought nobody was watching, but I was. So were the refs on a couple of the hacks, but not a single whistle blew. (Maybe, like me, he is just upset winter is coming to an end, as if we had a winter this year.)

Dylan Hyers and Max Lajeunesse looking for a chance off of a faceoff. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Dylan Hyers and Max Lajeunesse looking for a chance off of a faceoff. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

This approach led to the chip-chip-chippiness in the third period. As I said, both sides took liberties and got away with them, nearly all of them. You know what I am saying.

The game saw an empty net goal, a goal with an extra attacker, goals from each power play, wicked wrist shots, broken sticks, pucks bouncing off of the lively boards, and hard, fast action. The old West Side Arena, which looks better than ever, was pretty full, and the game didn’t disappoint. Merrimack is a good team and certainly could contend for a title if they play with the edge they had today.

Mike Fortin moves the puck up ice to Sam Greenwood. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Mike Fortin moves the puck up the ice to Sam Greenwood. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

The Tomahawks will play #6 Windham who upset #3 Portsmouth-Newmarket 7-4 tonight out in Exeter. Keene and Bow advanced in the other side of the bracket.

I have a feeling I will get one more Grizzlies’ update in before spring tryouts start. So for now, I will leave it here. The Grizzlies have been a joy to watch, and it has been my honor and my pleasure to keep #GrizzlieNation updated with the measurables that are measured. Thank you all for the opportunity. Go Grizzlies!

 

The 2015-16 Goffstown Grizzlies Boys Varsity Ice Hockey team. Thank you guys. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

The 2015-16 Goffstown Grizzlies Boys Varsity Ice Hockey team. Thank you guys. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)


Shots:
Goffstown: 8-5-12=25
Merrimack: 14-13-11=38

Goals:
Goffstown: 1-1-3=5
Merrimack: 3-3-2=8

Powerplays:
Goffstown: 1 for 3
Merrimack: 1 for 2

Saves:
Goffstown: Colin Holt saved 30 of 37 shots he faced in the loss.
Merrimack:  Greg Amato saved 20 of 25 shots he faced in the win.

Scoring:
1st : 14:17 M Ryan Downie from Remy Tupper.
1st : 7:15 G Noah Charron (16) unassisted.
1st : 6:50 M Kyle Feeney from Ryan Downie.
1st : 4:30 M Aaron Tupper from Remy Tupper.

2nd : 12:42 G Tyler Riendeau (10) from Noah Charron (9) and Mike Fortin (7).
2nd : 9:30 M PP Owen O’Brien from Kyle Feeney and Jeff Gerhard.
2nd : 3:33 M John Tiano from Remy Tupper.
2nd : 1:06 M Ryan Downie unassisted.

3rd : 6:35 G PP Sam Greenwood (9) from Dylan Hyers (8) and Nick Nault (10).
3rd: 5:49 M Owen O’Brien from John Tiano and Remy Tupper.
3rd: 5:07 G Noah Charron (17) from Sam Greenwood (14) and Sebastian Beal (12).
3rd: 1:46 G Tyler Riendeau (11) from Nick Nault (11).
3rd: 0:43 M EN Ryan Downie from Kyle Feeney.

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.

Grizzlies Hockey ~ It’s Quarter-Final Time!

It’s Tournament Time, and the Grizzlies have advanced to the NHIAA Division II Ice Hockey Quarter-Finals! The Grizzlies travel to West Side Arena in Manchester, NH to take on the #2 seed, Merrimack Tomahawks. The puck drops at 4pm tomorrow, Saturday, March 12th at West Side Arena. For you Grizzlies’ fans, come out and support your #7 seed, Goffstown Grizzlies.

Before I get into this brief preview, full of stats and numbers that often times don’t matter once the puck drops, I have one other thing that does matter, and I have wanted to cover this for quite some time. Recently, a video has made its way around cyberspace providing perfect segway to get this teaching moment off of my chest.

I have discussed this with my kids long before this video came around, but I encourage any parent or coach to share this with their kids or their players, early, and often if needed. This is about honor and respect. It’s about our flag, our anthem, our country. My kids will tell you that my favorite song is our National Anthem (it’s true). So, I share this video. Just click on the link and take the 4+ minutes required to watch it. Share it and make sure this generation understands what it all stands for. It drives me crazy when I see players, coaches, or anyone else who can’t stand up straight and quit being a distraction or being distracted long enough to honor our country. Again, this isn’t about views or sides, but about honor and respect; two things that this world could use a lot more of. Thanks.

The teams line up for the National Anthem. (c) 1inawesomewonder (Photo by Charron)

The teams line up for the National Anthem. (c) 1inawesomewonder (Photo by Fortin/Charron)

Now, on to tomorrow’s matchup. Back on January 6th, Merrimack beat Goffstown 2-0 at Sullivan Arena. It was the first game for both teams after the Christmas break, and a lot has happened since then. After the win on January 6th, Merrimack would lose 3 games in the next 5 days. They haven’t lost since. The Tomahawks finished the season with a 13-3-2 record, and haven’t lost since January 13th (10-0-2 in the streak).

Goffstown has a style all their own. The Grizzlies are the lowest scoring team of the 10 teams that qualified for the Tournament. Goffstown has struggled to find the net at times, both getting pucks to the net, and getting pucks into the net. But man, do they compete?!?! They just won’t go away. It’s a beautiful thing.

When the Grizzlies tangled with the Tomahawks in early January, both teams had 21 shots on goal. The Grizzlies trailed 1-0 for most of the game, right up until Merrimack scored an empty net goal with 20 seconds left in regulation. Obviously, no team is any hotter than the white-hot Tomahawks. Then again, they haven’t played a meaningful game since Feb. 25th. By tomorrow, that will be 16 days since they last played. The Grizzlies are now 6-2-1 in their last 9 outings and have started to generate some momentum themselves. Anything can happen as we all know, and tomorrow we will find out if any of these numbers mean a thing.

Grizzlies line up during pre-game. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Grizzlies line up during pre-game. (c) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

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. Lebanon 1 (OT)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016. 500pm @ Sullivan Arena, St. Anselm College, Goffstown, NH – #7 Goffstown vs. #10 Lebanon.

Earlier this evening, the Goffstown Grizzlies stunned the visiting Lebanon Raiders with a 2-1 overtime win in the first round of the NHIAA Division II Boys Ice Hockey Tournament. At 1:03 of the overtime period, Sam Greenwood, Senior, Co-Captain of the Grizzlies, scored a power play goal to send Goffstown to the quarterfinals against #2 Merrimack on Saturday afternoon.

Greenwood sends the locals into the next round! OT Winner! (c) 1inawesomewonder (Photo by Fortin)

Greenwood sends the locals into the next round! OT Winner! (c) 1inawesomewonder (Photo by Fortin/Charron)

Prior to the overtime winner scored by Greenwood, there was one name on my tongue, as it related to the one who stole the show; that name is Colin Holt. Senior, Goaltender, Colin Holt, he wears uniform #1 and tonight, he was the #1 defender. Were it not for Holt’s heroics in net, the Grizzlies could have been down 4 or 5 goals after the first period alone. I am not kidding when I tell you that he saved the Grizzlies’ bacon numerous times, including a couple of saves he made with his mask. In my opinion, a tremendous, tournament changing, type of performance.

Okay, I know that hockey is a team game, and, yes it took the whole team, to get a win on Wednesday night for the hometown Grizzlies. Much like a quarterback in football, or a pitcher in baseball, the goaltender in hockey gets so much attention for their performance in their position. Tonight, Holt was awesome, and I am summarizing some of that here. In the first period, Brett Lassonde (D) made a nice play to  keep the puck alive along his offensive blue line, only to lose an edge, fall over, and lead to a total breakaway for Lebanon’s Nate Damren, but Holt made the save. Then it was Nick Nault (D) who was beaten to a loose puck, as the Raiders’ Nate Chickering blew past him to get a breakaway himself. Again, Holt made the save, and then a rebound save too. When Mike Fortin (D at the time) took a tough angle against Lebanon’s best player, Nate Gariepy, the Raider forward blew in all alone and was robbed by Mr. Holt.

Holty was awesome on Wednesday night! (c) 1inawesomewonder (Photo by Charron)

Holty was awesome on Wednesday night! (c) 1inawesomewonder (Photo by Charron)

Now I am not picking on anyone here, as these things are all a part of the game. Not only that, but, ‘team’ is, among other things, about picking up your teammate, and having his back when one falters, or when bounces go the other way. Tonight, Holty picked everyone up. As a matter of fact, that’s one of the things most endearing about this team, they battle for one another. They compete every time they take the ice, and they find themselves with chances to win in nearly every game. Ben Roy had a chance to score down low. Max Lajeunesse had a breakaway of sorts, with a defender draped all over him, but could not find favor with anyone on the ice. Sebastian Beal had pokes at loose pucks around the crease, for not. Chad Fazio kicked out a couple of wrist shots by Sam Greenwood only to have the rebounds narrowly cleared or secured by defensive units for the Raiders. The Grizzlies had chances too, just not as blatantly visible as many of Lebanon’s chances.

I am pretty sure that most, if not all, of the Grizzlies would recognize that tonight’s game was not their best effort. I would also mention that it had a lot to do with Lebanon’s game plan and execution. Whether you liked the officiating in this game or not, there are two things that stuck out to me as it related to the visiting Raiders.

The teams line up for the National Anthem. (c) 1inawesomewonder (Photo by Charron)

The teams line up for the National Anthem sung by Al St. Louis. (c) 1inawesomewonder (Photo by Fortin/Charron)

First, they played hard, with a sense of urgency, and won a lot more ‘puck battles’ than did the Grizzlies. Second, they finished their checks; they made it tough to play against them. Lebanon’s gameplan and style is similar to that of Oyster River’s (who beat Spaulding, 2-1 in OT, in the other prelim game tonight) and they execute it well.

Despite being outplayed by quite a large margin in the first period, the Grizzlies battled. Nick Nault retrieved a loose puck from his own defensive end and meandered his way up the ice only to bury a nice wrist shot, giving the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead with 4:19 to play in the first period. The goal was unassisted. Each of the first two periods would end with the Raiders leading in shots on goal by a 13-7 margin, and trailing 1-0 on the scoreboard.

Then the third period started, and Sam Greenwood decided to put on a minor hitting spree, which did seem to get the Grizzlies going. Then, right after getting beat to a puck by Nate Chickering, Goffstown’s Nick Nault was called for a 5-minute major boarding penalty.

The scoreboard says it all. Grizzlies Win! (c) 1inawesomewonder (Photo by Charron)

The scoreboard says it all. Grizzlies Win! (c) 1inawesomewonder (Photo by Charron)

The Grizzlies led 1-0 with 14:32 to play, at the time. The Grizzlies went through some tense moments trying to get the puck out of their own end while shorthanded. Then, after killing off almost the entire major penalty, the Raiders tied the score with 23 seconds remaining on Nault’s infraction. Nate Gariepy, who averaged 2 points per game in the regular season, scored on the power play. The goal was assisted by Cal Garland and Nate Chickering. There would be a pair of matching penalties to each side, called in the next 5-6 minutes of play. Then Lebanon would finally get called for their first penalty of the game, that wasn’t matched by Goffstown. The penalty was called on Nate Damren, who, judging by his language and demeanor in the penalty box, did not agree that he had committed a penalty.

Several of the Grizzlies in the pregame. (c) 1inawesomewonder (Photo by Charron)

Several of the Grizzlies in the pregame. (c) 1inawesomewonder (Photo by Charron)

Fortunately for him, there was no NHIAA official in his penalty box or he may have been serving more than two minutes. The Grizzlies dominated on the power play but could not get a puck past Chad Fazio who made several brilliant saves in net for Lebanon. The period, and regulation time would end in a 1-1 tie. The Raiders led in the shot column by a 35-23 margin for the first 45 minutes.

Game one of the NHIAA Division II Boys Ice Hockey Tournament was headed to overtime. In overtime, Mr. Damren was in the spotlight again. And again, it was for another slashing call. This one took place at center ice, and was so obvious that everyone in the arena knew the penalty was coming. The penalty was called with 14:32 to play in the overtime, which was also the time of Nault’s major penalty in the third period, 14:32. It only took 35 seconds on the power play for Dylan Hyers and Noah Charron to get the puck to Sam Greenwood, who then closed quickly, from right to left. and ripped a wrist shot by Fazio in net. Fazio, to his credit, didn’t see the shot as the Grizzlies had heavy traffic in front of the net. The shot heard around the arena, ended Lebanon’s season right then and there. The goal was celebrated briefly by the Grizzlies before they had to line up and shake hands with the Lebanon team.

prelim game win cele with flag

The Grizzlies celebrate their opening round overtime thriller! (c) 1inawesomewonder (Photo by Charron)

In my humble opinion, Goffstown was outplayed by Lebanon in several areas tonight. To the credit of the Grizzlies, as they always seem to do, they competed, they battled, and they found themselves with a chance to win the game. For the second straight Wednesday night, they found themselves celebrating an overtime winning goal on their home ice. Tonight was the last home game for the Grizzlies. Saturday at 4pm they will travel to West Side Arena to play the high scoring Merrimack Tomahawks in the quarterfinal round of the D-II Tournament. And it will likely be that, Greenwood, Holt, Roy, Tyler Riendeau, Nault, Hyers, Noah Charron, Max Lajeunesse, Fortin, Beal, Stephen Provencher, Alex McCarthy, Griffin Cook, Colin Burke, Jake Noonan, Lassonde, and Ethan Smith all will battle, compete, and give themselves a chance to upset the #2 seed.


 

Summary:
Shots:
Lebanon: 13-13-9-0=35
Goffstown: 7-7-9-1=24

Powerplays:
Lebanon: 1 for 4
Goffstown: 0 for 2

Saves:
Lebanon: Chad Fazio 22 of 24
Goffstown: Colin Holt 34 of 35

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

Scoring:
1st 4:19 G Nick Nault (9) unassisted.

2nd None

3rd 9:55 L PP Nate Gariepy from Cal Garland and Nate Chickering.

OT 13:57 G PP Sam Greenwood (8) from Noah Charron (8) and Dylan Hyers (7).

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.

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.