Tag Archives: GHS Hockey

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.

GHS Hockey: Goffstown 2 @ Lebanon 2 (OT)

Saturday, February 27, 2016. 420pm @ Campion Arena, West Lebanon, NH – Goffstown @ Lebanon.

On Saturday afternoon, less than 24 hours after playing Keene at home, the Goffstown Grizzlies traveled to Campion Rink and slugged it out with Lebanon. Both teams are battling for a tournament spot, and both teams have multiple games left to play on their schedule while many teams are done their regular season already. Lebanon came into the game winning 4 of their last 5 games, just to give themselves a chance to sniff a tournament berth. Meanwhile, let’s be honest, the Grizzlies are competitive with everyone but you never know which version of their team will show up from game to game. So, then Saturday afternoon happened.

Tyler Riendeau on the move at Lebanon. (C) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Tyler Riendeau on the move at Lebanon. (C) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Now, many of you may disagree but I don’t consider myself to be much of a whiner, but then again, none of us do. Anyways, I noticed that the ice in Campion Rink was largely under water when the teams skated for the pre-game warmup. By the time the game began I would say there was much more ‘snow’ on the playing surface than what is normally there. I decided that maybe the teams were allowed onto the ice too soon, and that the second period might be better. When the officials came out with the teams to start the second period, I knew right away that I wasn’t alone in my assessment of the ice. I noticed one official playing the hockey version of ‘kick the can’ as he placed a puck flat in a puddle on the ice and proceeded to try to kick it to different locations on the ice as the puck repeatedly got stuck in wet spots all over the ice. It was kind of funny to watch but it didn’t bode well for a swift surface to play hockey upon. Either way, the game was played. For those of you keeping track though, it was roughly 11 minutes of game time into the second period before I saw the last puddles on the ice near where I was standing, actually start to refreeze.

The previous paragraph might help explain the first period from the Grizzlies’ perspective. Slow, sticky, and choppy at best. A long bus ride less than 24 hours after a physical game against Keene the night before might also explain some things. Then there was the home team, Lebanon, who played hard, hit everything they could, and showed their urgency to make a tournament run that had something to do with the opening period. There was only one penalty called in the first period when Goffstown’s Max Lajeunesse was called for waterskiing, er uh, hooking. Neither team scored although Lebanon outplayed Goffstown by a sizeable margin and led in shots on goal, 12-3.

The second period is where things started to change. Although the ice was wet, and soft, the play was at a faster pace. Passes started to connect here and there, and both teams had to skate hard to keep pace. Goffstown starting moving their feet which led to some penalties being called on the home team. However, as if they were trying to be gracious guests, Goffstown took penalties of their own on each of their first three power plays, therefore nullifying their man-advantage. Lebanon didn’t do much with their power plays either, but they did score first. Goffstown had an offensive zone faceoff, but lost it decisively, and Lebanon was off to the races. Nick Haidari found a sprinting Brendan Kelley, who broke clean right from the faceoff, and got behind Goffstown’s Dylan Hyers before ripping a wicked wrister into the top, far-side, corner over Colin Holts’ shoulder to give the Raiders a 1-0 lead halfway through the period. In between all of the minor penalties, Goffstown did tie the score at one apiece just four minutes later. Nick Nault and Griffin Cook made nice, short, quick passes, feeding the puck to Noah Charron who blew up the right-wing like a flash and uncorked a rapid wrister that beat Chad Fazio in the Lebanon net, and just like that, the game was tied. Roughly two minutes later, the Grizzlies finally buried a power play goal. After controlling the puck for most of the power play in the offensive end, Sam Greenwood calmly fed the puck from the half wall back to Nick Nault at the point. Nault let a wrist shot go, instead of his nasty slapper, and the puck bounced off of Fazio in net. Tyler Riendeau showed his stellar hand-eye coordination by swatting the rebound out of the air, cleanly, and into the back of the net, giving the Grizzlies a 2-1 lead which they would hold entering the final period. Goffstown enjoyed a 9-3 advantage in shots during the middle stanza.

Max Lajeunesse skates to open space at Lebanon. (C) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Max Lajeunesse skates to open space at Lebanon. (C) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

For those of you, who might compare these passages of time, watching water freeze is way cooler than watching grass grow, or watching paint dry. Pun intended. Anyways, the Zamboni cleaned the ice in between periods and I tried to force myself to look away. I lost. Oh well, they played the third period anyway. So, Goffstown led 2-1, and then Noah Charron was called for tripping on a play that looked more like a Lebanon player slipped and fell on a wet surface, which wasn’t entirely untrue. The penalty did give the Raiders their fourth power play, and the only one they would need to tie the score. After a Grizzlie rush up ice, nearly scoring a shorthanded goal, the Raiders returned fire, quickly. Lebanon’s Cal Garland used his speed to lead a charge into the offensive zone. He cut across the ice, pulling the defense and netminder, Colin Holt, with him only to deliver a beautiful pass back across the grain he had created, to Nate Gariepy who flipped the puck into the open side of the net. It was a gorgeous hockey play, and the game was tied at 2-2 with 12:55 to play. The rest of the period saw both teams play hard, with Goffstown maybe having a slight edge in chances, but regulation time would end in a 2-2 tie.

Overtime was almost completely dominated by the Grizzlies who seemed to get better with each passing minute. There were some penalties on both teams, in frustration of not being able to budge the immovable object that was their opponent for the day, and also a penalty of desperation. Both teams would end up having a power play opportunity in the 8 minute overtime period. Goffstown controlled the puck for most of the overtime, and they did everything but score on their power play. Chad Fazio made his best save of the game during that overtime power play when he turned into elastic man and somehow got a glove on a Nick Nault laser that was targeted for the top shelf where momma hides the cookies. After both teams’ fans went through minutes of holding their collective breath and maybe some gyrations willing a black rubber disc one way or another that nobody needed to see as pucks nearly ended this game along the way, the game ended in a 2-2 tie after 53 minutes of play. As a result, Lebanon is now 6-7-2 on the season with 3 games remaining. Goffstown has 2 games left, and now sits at 8-7-1 on the season.

Ben Roy looks for a pass at Lebanon. (C) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Ben Roy looks for a pass at Lebanon. (C) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

 

The Grizzlies return to home ice to finish the season with games on Monday night, February 29th (yes, it’s a Leap Year) at 730pm against Hollis-Brookline-Derryfield on “Bring your own refs night”. Then they finish the regular season when they host Windham on Wednesday night at 730pm. Both games are at Sullivan Arena on the campus of St. Anselm College in Goffstown, NH.


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

Shots:
Goffstown 3-9-7-6=25
Lebanon 12-3-5-2=22

Power Plays:
Goffstown: 1 of 6.
Lebanon: 1 of 5.

Scoring:
1st: None
2nd: 7:15 L Brendan Kelley from Nick Haidari.
2nd 3:10 G Noah Charron (14)  from Nick Nault (7) and Griffin Cook (3).
2nd: 1:08 G PP Tyler Riendeau (8) from Nick Nault (8) and Sam Greenwood (10).
3rd: 12:55 L PP Nate Gariepy from Cal Garland.
OT: None

Saves:
Goffstown: Colin Holt 20/22.
Lebanon: Chad Fazio 23/25.

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 0 vs. Keene 3

Friday, February 26, 2016. 730pm @ Sullivan Arena, St.Anselm College, Goffstown, NH – Goffstown vs. Keene.

Last night was Senior Night at the Grizzlies Den in Sullivan Arena as the Goffstown Grizzlies home crowd said goodbye to their three seniors. No matter how big or small the hockey program is, or how storied the history is, or not, it’s always a special night when seniors and their families are honored. Last night was no different. If you think about the kids themselves and how “big” everything in their lives seems to them in these moments, you’d remember how momentous these occasions are in a timeline that is still being written.

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

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

So, before the puck was dropped, and before the bright lights brought everything into view, Colin Holt, Sam Greenwood, and Ben Roy all said goodbye to the hometown crowd and were honored with their families. It was nicely done, and as it happens, these young men will be missed after this season ends.

Making a special night a little more special, Guinness Book of World Records holder, Al St. Louis was on hand to sing the National Anthem. Mr. St. Louis, from Nashua, NH, holds the current world record for singing the most National Anthems at public events, with 325 over a 12-month period. Al told me last night that he is hoping to break his own record with 365 or more anthems once this current 12-month span ends. As always, he did a great job singing last night.

The game was played, and it went by rather quickly even though both teams would probably admit that they didn’t have their best, or fastest, skating game of the season. The first two periods were quick. No scoring. Only three penalties were called and the up and down action was constant. Keene had the better of the scoring chances, and outshot Goffstown 20 to 7 through two periods. Again, this stat is somewhat misleading as a much higher percentage of shots that Keene attempted, were on net. Goffstown did get more chances than the 7 shots showed, but the number of shots that didn’t require the opposing goaltender to be present, much less make a save, continued to be troublesome for the Grizzlies.

Dylan Hyers makes a play in his own defensive end. (C) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Dylan Hyers makes a play in his own defensive end. (C) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Also, making the scoreless line stand up, was Goffstown goaltender, Colin Holt. Keene is a good team. Their defensemen are mobile and move the puck well. The Black Birds boast two solid offensive lines who put pressure on defenses every time they are on the ice. This combination did lead to some point-blank looks at tremendous scoring chances. Holty, as he is known, straight robbed Hunter Gallant in both the second and third periods on mano a mano chances.

Finally, after almost 40 minutes of game time, the visitors from Keene scored with 5:36 left. Gaetano DeLonge scored on a set up from Griffin Kane. The Black Birds scored after hemming in Mike Fortin, Tyler Riendeau, Sebastian Beal, Ben Roy, and Brett Lassonde for quite some time. Then there was another recurring scenario that began to become more noticeable over the second half of the game, especially in the third period. Hunter Gallant and Nate Darwin, of Keene’s top line, were on the ice more and more. Goffstown, the home team, with last change rights before each faceoff, found themselves lining up three freshmen, out of their five skaters, against Keene’s top players. This finally caught up to

Nick Nault defends against Keene's Nate Darwin. (C) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Nick Nault defends against Keene’s Nate Darwin. (C) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Goffstown when Gallant scored after a beautiful pass from Darwin at 2:54 of the third period. The goal came on Keene’s second straight shot on goal even though the shots were nearly three minutes apart. I have nothing against freshmen whatsoever. Most freshmen however, are not equipped yet, to properly compete with seasoned, skilled, offensive power houses. Keene opted to double shift these guys, and it paid off for them in match ups, keeping Goffstown in their own end, and ultimately another goal.

Goffstown did apply pressure throughout the third period, but could not get a puck behind Myles Ditkoff in net for Keene. Ditkoff would end up making 15 saves in the shutout victory. He also was also able to watch some 12-15 shots miss the net completely and not require his services, despite being a legitimate scoring chance by the Grizzlies. Hunter Gallant would score again, from center ice into the open net, on another heads up hockey play and pass from Nate Darwin deep in his own end. The goal came with 21.5 seconds left in the game, shaping the final score of 3-0 in this one. Keene finished the regular season with their win, and a final record of 12-5-1. The loss dropped Goffstown to 8-7 on the season, and into 9th place in the Division II Standings. Goffstown has three games remaining, and is battling to get into the post-season tournament.

Sam Greenwood looks for an opportunity on Senior Night. (C) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

Sam Greenwood looks for an opportunity against Keene’s Tim Greenwood on Senior Night. (C) 1inawesomewonder. (Photo by Charron)

As the Grizzlies get set to travel to up to play Lebanon this afternoon, this matchup grows more interesting. Lebanon is 6-7-1 and has won four their last five games. Lebanon also finishes with three games against three opponents that they have already beaten this season, after this afternoon’s game.

The Grizzlies travel to West Lebanon on Saturday (today) afternoon to play at James W. Campion III Rink, at 4:20 pm, versus Lebanon. The game was rescheduled after the originally scheduled game on Thursday was postponed due to one of the few bad weather days we have experienced this winter.


Summary:
Goals:
Keene 0-0-3=3
Goffstown 0-0-0=0

Shots:
Keene 9-11-9=29
Goffstown 3-4-8=15

Scoring:
3rd 5:36 K Gaetano DeLonge from Griffin Kane.
3rd 2:54 K Hunter Gallant from Nate Darwin.
3rd 0:21.5 K (empty net) Hunter Gallant from Nate Darwin.

Saves:
Keene: Myles Ditkoff 15 of 15 shutout
Goffstown: Colin Holt 26 of 28

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 5 @ Hollis-Brookline-Derryfield 4

Saturday, February 20, 2016. 830pm @ Cyclones Arena, Hudson, NH – Goffstown @ Hollis-Brookline-Derryfield.

By the time last night’s game had ended and I got home to start compiling all of this, a new day had started. So, last night Goffstown traveled to Hudson to play the team composed of players from Hollis-Brookline-Derryfield (HBD or Warriors from here on in). The Warriors entered play with an 0-13 record in Division II hockey. They had not come closer to winning a game (in score) than a 6-3 loss in their first game of the season, against Timberlane. Last night though, the team from HBD played well enough to make things difficult for the visiting Grizzlies from Goffstown. The final score would read, Goffstown 5, HBD 4. Perhaps the game wasn’t as close as the score indicated, but then again, maybe it was.

The Grizzlies having turned the calendar to February, were 2-1 on the month entering the game, suffering just the disappointing loss at the hands of Oyster River. Goffstown did pound the Warriors net for 58 shots on goal before this one was done, but Patrick MacDonald was, at times, nearly super human, keeping HBD in this game. The Warriors never trailed by more than 2 goals in the contest, and MacDonald, or the posts on either side of him, turned away most of the pucks fired at him.

Brett Lassonde sprints up ice. (Photo by Charron) (C) 1inawesomewonder

Brett Lassonde sprints up ice. (Photo by Charron) (C) 1inawesomewonder

 

I can’t mention the first goal of the game without getting into one part of the game that was WAY TOO noticeable. Officiating. HBD scored first, or so it was called on the ice. The official blew his whistle and called a goal on a shot that all of the players on the ice thought had rung off of the corner of the crossbar and post, and bounced out. Everyone I heard, standing behind that net agreed too. The puck did not go in. The official said he heard a “double ping” which I believe is true, but what about the visual evidence. I heard a lot of things during the game too, but I gave more credence to what I saw in the game to put this together. Either way, HBD led 1-0. To finish the thought and move on, I will share this. When the officials, Mark and Jeff, finally were leaving the ice as they skated some sort of victory skate as if they were the stars of some ice dancing show, they were demonstrative in their gestures and professional immaturity perhaps a reflection of how thin their skin is, and just how much public opinion entered into the game they called. As I heard one official ask a fan at the end of the game, “you wanted me to call that there”? Well, to answer the question that was left unanswered as the fan had no interest in engaging an on ice official through the glass above the boards (which begs to reason why the official was even a part of any conversation outside the ice surface), yes please call it. Why call it with 2 seconds left in the game? Well that should be obvious, because it was a penalty. It happened. You saw it. I would assume had it been a “double ping” with 2 seconds left in the game, you would have called it. Then again, I don’t know what your agenda called for, I didn’t see the playlist. Finally, when both coaches leave the ice shaking their heads at the officiating, and then one coach is guarding the door back into the rink to make sure no parents/fans went after the referees, I am pretty sure the officiating was out of line. Way out of line.

Goffstown earned three power play opportunities in the first period, not so astonishingly though, they would not get any more over the final 31 minutes of play. The Grizzlies’ faithful have been whispering, or maybe even murmuring about the lack of production on the power play in recent games, as fans do. Last night though, Goffstown struck for a pair of power play goals, helping them to a 3-1 lead after one period. First, it was Dylan Hyers scoring on a shot as he fell, spinning, to the ice. Hyers goal came on the power play, on a rebound, with assists going to Nick Nault and Sam Greenwood. Tie score, 1-1, with 3:25 left in the period. Then Noah Charron ripped a hard shot into the back of the net on a beautiful set up from Greenwood, also on the power play, with 43.3 ticks left in the first period. Stephen Provencher won a face-off over to line mate Sam Greenwood who fed Tyler Riendeau who was flying through the middle of the ice to score with just 5.8 seconds left in the period, giving Goffstown a 3-1 lead after one period. The Grizzlies outshot the Warriors 18-7 in the period.

Alex McCarthy and Griffin Cook working together for the Grizzlies (Photo by Charron) (C) 1inawesomewonder

Alex McCarthy and Griffin Cook working together for the Grizzlies. (Photo by Charron) (C) 1inawesomewonder

The second period started with more shots from Goffstown, but nothing to show for it. Then HBD scored their second goal of the game. The first goal had been credited to Michael Chiasson, unassisted. The second goal was scored by Sam Poisson who broke in behind the Grizzlies defense and scored on Colin Holt in net. Poisson would use his speed and quickness to get behind defenders all night. Tyler Riendeau would make a nice rush up the ice, splitting defenders, and practically stick-handle the puck into the net with 9:29 to play in the middle stanza, giving the Grizzlies a 4-2 lead. Riendeau was set up beautifully by Nick Nault and Sebastian Beal as they moved the puck crisply and cleanly to Riendeau on the fly. Minutes later, Dylan Hyers would let a blistering shot go that beat everybody on the ice, but rang directly off of the post and out. No goal, single ping. The Grizzlies would amass 21 shots on goal in the period, to just 8 for HBD, but both teams would score just once. The period ended with Goffstown holding a 4-2 lead.

Michael Chiasson scored again just 16 seconds into the third period to pull the Warriors within a goal at 4-3. The goal was set up by Sam Poisson and Alec MacEchen, although numerous eye witnesses thought the puck may have been directed into the net by a Warrior glove. Noah Charron temporarily rescued the hearts from the Grizzlies fans’ throats when he and his line-mates, Sam Greenwood and Max Lajeunesse combined for a total jailbreak type of goal. All three forwards exploded through the HBD defense to set up a great shot for Lajeunesse, but MacDonald (who saved everything but Jeb Bush’s campaign last night) made the save. Charron rifled a shot off of the rebound, also turned away by MacDonald, before finally sliding another rebound attempt between the pads of the goaltender, giving Goffstown a 5-3 lead. Tyler Riendeau and Sebastian Beal would both ring shots off of the post, but the score stayed at 5-3 for more than 13 minutes.

Colin Burke reacts to Tyler Riendeau's 1st period goal as Stephen Provencher (assist) looks on. (Photo by Charron) (C) 1inawesomewonder

Colin Burke reacts to Tyler Riendeau’s 1st period goal as Stephen Provencher (assist) looks on. (Photo by Charron) (C) 1inawesomewonder

Goffstown would be called for a couple of penalties down the stretch, the second of which came with 1:01 to play. Noah Charron was whistled for a cross check when he retaliated to receiving a high stick, or punch, if you will, to the head that nearly dropped him. The retaliation was kind of a double ping I guess so it was called. Six seconds later, Sam Poisson scored on the power play, from MacEachen. It was a 6-on-4 power play goal, as MacDonald had been pulled following the penalty call and a timeout called by the Warriors. After the goal, MacDonald was inserted back into the net, and the final 55 seconds did see the Warriors get a good look at a shot or two on Holt, but he and the defense held on to preserve the 5-4 victory on the road for the Grizzlies. Again, Goffstown pounded the net with 19 shots, to 10 for the Warriors, but HBD won the period 2-1 on the scoreboard. Final score: Goffstown 5, HBD 4. The win improved the Grizzlies record to 8-6 on the season.

The Grizzlies travel to West Lebanon on Wednesday night to play at James W. Campion III Rink, at 6:00 pm, versus Lebanon.


Summary:
Goals:
Hollis-Brookline 1-1-2=4
Goffstown 3-1-1=5

Shots:
Hollis-Brookline 7-8-10=25
Goffstown 18-21-19=58

Scoring:
1st 8:27 HB Michael Chiasson unassisted.
1st 3:25 G PP Dylan Hyers (3) from Nick Nault (5) and Sam Greenwood (6).
1st 0:43.3 G PP Noah Charron (12) from Sam Greenwood (7).
1st 0:05.8 G Tyler Riendeau (6) from Sam Greenwood (8) and Stephen Provencher (2).

2nd 9:45 HB Sam Poisson unassisted.
2nd 9:29 G Tyler Riendeau (7) from Sebastian Beal (8) and Nick Nault (6).

3rd 14:44 HB Michael Chiasson from Sam Poisson and Alec MacEachen.
3rd 14:08 G Noah Charron (13) from Max Lajeunesse (5) and Sam Greenwood (9).
3rd 0:55.2 HB PP (6-on-4) Sam Poisson from Alec MacEachen.

Saves:
Hollis-Brookline: Patrick MacDonald 53 of 58 (Wow!)
Goffstown: Colin Holt 21 of 25

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 1 vs. Oyster River 2

Thursday, February 18, 2016. 730pm @ Sullivan Arena, Goffstown, NH – Goffstown vs. Oyster River.

Tonight, the Grizzlies from Goffstown hosted the Bobcats from Oyster River in a Division II hockey game, with the chances to host a tournament game starting to take shape, on the line. For a couple of teams with nicknames that embody skilled hunters, predators, if you will, this game didn’t have that kind of bite. Oyster River would skate away with a 2-1 victory on the road, and the Grizzlies just couldn’t do anything about it.

Back on January 18th, Goffstown lost at Oyster River, 2-1. One month later, both teams played better, but the score, the style, and the results were mostly the same. If you are playing this Oyster River team you are going to face a team that plays responsible, layered defense, and they love to center the puck to the area between the circles from below the goal line. Tonight was no different.

The first two periods were scoreless, with each team registering one penalty, and nine shots on goal. There were very few stoppages in play, as both teams dumped, chased, pressed, and clogged up the areas where offensive hockey likes to be played. An example of the games’ flow, was evident right from the get-go, when the first whistle of the game wasn’t blown until 6:56 into the game. There were four whistles in the entire opening period.

So, Goffstown, playing at home, trying to win their third game in a row against teams with a winning record, against a team that had already beat them, entered the final period locked in a scoreless tie. You’d think they would come out with some jump. Some “not in my house” swagger. Some, “we are better than you, and here’s how that looks”. But, um. No. That didn’t happen.

Sam Greenwood was whistled for a slashing penalty that was more of a trip, but probably wasn’t that either. Regardless, the Bobcats went on the power play, just 2:18 into the third. Less than a minute later, they scored when Tyler Harvey scored from where? You guessed it, between the circles, from Anson Thibeault and Michael Donovan. Then, 16 seconds later, Dylan O’Connell would score the game winner from Sam Dreher. There was still 11:29 to play in the game, but all of a sudden this come from two-goals-down task seemed insurmountable.

Then, the Grizzlies did get a power play of their own, and it took only six seconds to make that pay off. Noah Charron rifled a shot into the back of the net with assists going to Sam Greenwood and Nick Nault. There was life. Goffstown would get two more power plays in the period, but would only hit the post with a Max Lajeunesse shot and not be able to cash in and tie the game. Earlier in the game, during a second period power play, Nick Nault would ring a shot off of the crossbar, but the puck would bounce high into the air and land harmlessly away from any scoring area.

Goffstown pulled Colin Holt, 12 of 14 saves on the night, for the final 1:23 of the game for the extra attacker, but everything they threw at the net was saved, blocked, or offline. Final score, Oyster River 2 and Goffstown 1. The Bobcats improved to 9-6 on the season, while Goffstown dropped to 7-6.

The Grizzlies travel to Hudson on Saturday night to play a game in the Central Time Zone, at 8:30 pm Eastern Time, versus Hollis-Brookline.

Summary:
Goals
Oyster River 0-0-2=2
Goffstown 0-0-1=1
Shots
Oyster River 5-4-5=14
Goffstown 7-2-7=16
Scoring
1st NONE
2nd NONE
3rd 11:45 PP Oyster River: Tyler Harvey from Anson Thibault and Michael Donovan
3rd 11:29 Oyster River: Dylan O’Connell from Sam Dreher
3rd 9:53 PP Goffstown: Noah Charron from Sam Greenwood and Nick Nault
Saves
Oyster River: Liam McNamara 15 of 16
Goffstown: Colin Holt 12 of 14

 

GHS Hockey: Goffstown 3 vs. Spaulding 1

Saturday, February 13, 2016. 400pm @ Sullivan Arena, Goffstown, NH – Goffstown vs. Dover.

In the end, Goffstown did make the road upset win at Dover stand up. The Grizzlies came out and beat the high-flying Red Raiders of Spaulding High School in Rochester, 3-1. The win raises the Grizzlies record to 7-5 on the season while Spaulding drops to 8-6.

With the winds escalating and the wind chills dropping into the -20°F and lower, the game inside was hotly contested. Spaulding came to the campus of St. Anselm College ready and raring to go.

Early on, both teams had their legs going pretty well and the action was up and down the ice. Goffstown’s Max Lajeunesse made a nice play to cause a turnover at center ice and get a pass off to Sam Greenwood who skated into the open space to collect the puck. The innocent looking 2-on-2 turned into a goal when Greenwood ripped a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Spaulding netminder, Ben Toussaint, and under the crossbar, into the net. The goal was Greenwood’s 6th of the season, with the assist going to Max Lajeunesse (4), Goffstown led 1-0 just 1:29 into the game. Little did we know then that there would not be another goal scored in this game until almost 32 minutes, of game-time, later. After one period, the Grizzlies led 1-0, but were outshot 7-5. Worth noting, a trend started that almost cost Goffstown dearly before the game was over. The Grizzlies would get more chances than the stat sheet would show, because they missed the net completely with several shots.

The second period was completely dominated by the visitors. Layers were important in this period for both teams. First, the Red Raiders layers of aggressive forechecking, and also their layering of controlling the neutral zone in transition time, were effective and kept the Grizzlies playing catch up to the puck. Defensively, while spending lots of time in their own end, Goffstown kept the play largely to the perimeter and, for the most part, out of harm’s way. The Grizzlies looked tired, and lost nearly every race to a free puck throughout the period. The Red Raiders outshot the Grizzlies 8-1 in the period. Goffstown’s Colin Holt made everything okay, saving all 8 shots he faced. After two periods, the Grizzlies led 1-0 on the scoreboard despite being outshot 15-6 and looking a little sluggish in the middle stanza.

In the third period, Spaulding came out with some intensity, trying to get the tying goal, and impose their will. Dylan Hyers laid out 3 or 4 big hits in one shift, while Jake Noonan, then Mike Fortin, Colin Burke, and Brett Lassonde worked down low to move the puck. Nick Nault was on the ice a lot in the 3rd period and carried the puck well while working hard to get open for shots on the offensive end. Spaulding was getting the better stats, with shots on goal, and Holt was answering all of them, with a bit of good fortune as well. One save he made with his chest while practically laying on the ice. Goffstown had chances as well, but in no particular order, Tyler Riendeau, Max Lajeunesse, Noah Charron, and Nault all had shots that failed to find the net. Then with 3:48 to play, on the forecheck, Riendeau jumped to glove down a clearing attempt by Spaulding and fired a shot that Ben Toussaint saved, but Ben Roy (4) was there to put home the rebound. The lone assist went to Riendeau (9). Spaulding answered with a goal of their own just 92 seconds later. Drew Healey scored from Brody McDougal with 2:16 to play. Both teams exchanged more chances, and somehow Holt covered a loose puck in front of his net through a maze of players that included just about everyone on the ice. With 1:05 to play, Spaulding took their timeout. The ensuing faceoff, in the Grizzlie defensive end, led to the Red Raiders pulling Toussaint in favor of a sixth attacker. Spaulding would press, but not score. Noah Charron would break up a passing play as the Red Raiders were retrieving the puck from their own end. Charron would tie things up long enough for the cavalry to arrive, in the form of Sam Greenwood. Greenwood would fire a spinning backhand from out near the blue line, but it was right on target, and into the empty net. The goal was Greenwood’s second of the game and 7th of the season while Charron earned the assist (6). The goal came with just 0:03.6 seconds to play. Goffstown would earn the 3-1 victory even though they were outshot 25-12 in the game. The Grizzlies had at least that many shots that never hit the net.

Goffstown plays again on Thursday, February 18th, when they play host to Oyster River High School. Goffstown lost 2-1 at Oyster River one month ago. The game will be played in Sullivan Arena on the campus of St. Anselm College in Goffstown, NH at 7:30pm. Won’t you come out and join us in enjoying the wonderful sport of high school hockey, and support the Goffstown Grizzlies? This team plays hard, and plays for each other. See you at the rink.