Tag Archives: Keene hockey

NHIAA Hockey: Div. II Final: Bow Hands Keene First Loss, 4-2

SNHU arena, Manchester, NH – 03/11/17

#2 Bow (17-2-1) vs. #1 Keene (18-0) – Division II Championship

Mettlesome and gritty are a pair of words that come to mind when I look to describe the Bow Falcons in their game this afternoon. See, Bow entered the tournament as the #2 seed, and they owned an awesome regular season record of 15-2-1. As these kind of things often work themselves out, the pair of losses for Bow came at the hands of this afternoon’s opponent, the Keene BlackBirds. Bow lost to Keene 3-0 just before Christmas, and then they lost again, 5-3 in mid-February. In today’s Division II State Championship game, the #1 BlackBirds (18-0) looked to remain undefeated, and cap their perfect season with their first ever hockey title. Though, as we have learned over the years, in sports, and in rivalries, it is very difficult to beat a good opponent three straight times, especially in the same season. Today was no different. Continue reading

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NHIAA Hockey: Div. II Semi-Finals, It’ll Be 1 vs. 2

The Rinks at Exeter, Exeter, NH – 03/08/17

Mumbled and garbled audio aside, the atmosphere in Exeter was electric. The Bow student section was in place early. The Windham throngs seemed to show up at exactly the same time. Keene packed their side with orange and black. St. Thomas showed their various blues. Before long the seats were full. The areas all around the glass where people were allowed to stand, were accounted for. The crowds for all of the Final Four teams were loud, present, and noticeable. Despite my hometown Grizzlies being absent from the semifinals, it was fun to watch some good high school hockey. Storylines run in every direction when there are a few of us, or more, gathered at events like these. Then, there comes the time when the game is played, and legends are born. Continue reading

GHS Hockey: Goffstown 3 v. Keene 8

Sullivan Arena, St. Anselm College, Goffstown, NH.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017.

Goffstown v. Keene, 730pm.

Misery and gloom are associated with distress and anxiety. And these emotions could have played major roles in tonight’s home game against the undefeated Keene Blackbirds. Especially when Keene scored six unanswered goals over a span of  17 minutes. But the Grizzlies kept skating. They kept competing. They kept getting scoring chances. The final score was 8-3 in favor of the Blackbirds, who improved to 13-0 on the season. Goffstown did battle, and they did get some great chances to score. Myles Ditkoff was solid in net for the visiting Keene squad, making 26 saves on 29 shots. Keene had only allowed as many as 2 goals in a single game, just once this season. Tonight, they allowed 3 goals to the Grizzlies. Continue reading

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 1 @ Keene 2

Saturday, January 16, 2016. 5pm @ Keene Ice, Keene, NH – Goffstown @ Keene.

The Goffstown Grizzlies came to Keene after a week of practices, playing their first game since blowing out Timberlane last Saturday. As of late, Keene has been red-hot! They entered play with a 6-1 record, and had scored 40 goals in their last 5 games, all wins. Goffstown came in 4-1 in Division II, but is still trying to figure out where they fit as they have earned blow-out wins against Timberlane and Pembroke, but lost to Merrimack who hasn’t won since. Let the game begin.

Keene came out energized by the home crowd, their new barn, and the confidence that comes with six straight wins. It was apparent early that Keene has some size, some speed, and some skill. They played fast and aggressive right from the start. The Grizzlies were forced to play a little faster than they wanted to, or at least, faster than they were comfortable with. Despite the speed, the period would end scoreless, thanks mostly to Colin Holt in net for Goffstown. Keene ripped off 13 shots on goal while Goffstown managed just 4 shots on Myles Ditkoff at the other end. Goffstown had more chances than the four shots on goal, but chances were rushed and shots missed the net or were a second too late in being taken and didn’t materialize. With 2:10 to play in the period Keene’s Cody Bragg broke in nearly alone on a great chance to get the Blackbirds on the board but his shot went just wide of the net. Sam Greenwood was called for the only penalty of the period but Goffstown was able to kill the penalty on strong play from Nick Nault, Colin Burke, Sebastian Beal, and Noah Charron, among others.

In the second period the intensity grew a little bit more. It seemed that the Blackbirds and their home fans weren’t happy with no goals being scored yet, and the noise grew. Just 48 seconds into the period, Goffstown’s Nick Nault and Keene’s Hunter Gallant battled to matching penalties, called for cross-checking and high-sticking respectively. Then, 12 seconds later, after losing the defensive zone faceoff, the Grizzlies fell behind. Nate Darwin (who gave the Grizzlies trouble all night) scored on a rebound after a scramble in front of the net following Colin Holt’s initial save. Assists went to Tim Greenwood and Cody Bragg. The Grizzlies mounted some good chances throughout the period, including two power play chances, but couldn’t get on the board. Finally, on a nice rush up the ice by Nick Nault, the Grizzlies scored. Nault fed a pass to the front of the net from the left-wing boards, and the puck was deflected into the net with 1:34 to play in the period. Max Lajeunesse was credited with the goal, his third of the year, with the other assist going to Tyler Riendeau. After two periods, the score was tied 1-1. Keene led the shot margin 24-12 through two periods.

The third period featured even more intensity, more hitting, and more shots from Keene. There would be just three penalties called in the period, but there probably could have been a dozen or more. Early in the period it was obvious that Keene was out for the win on home ice. Keene tried to hit everything that moved, some were good hits, some were perfect visuals of how certain penalties should be called, like contact to the head, along the glass to Goffstown’s Sebastian Beal who only played another shift or two after showing symptoms of a concussion. Then there was the perfect example of how charging would be defined if you were teaching someone what to look for when a Keene player took five or six strides from the middle of the ice to try to bury Kainen Lassonde along the boards. But in this period, those things weren’t called. Later in the period which was dominated by Keene, after a hold, a hook, some interference, and maybe even some wrestling moves between players on both sides, the puck came out high to Keene’s Gaetano Delonge. Delonge delivered a perfect wrist shot just above Colin Holt’s left pad, and Keene led 2-1 with just 1:26 to play. The Grizzlies would pull Holt for the extra attacker with 1:11 to play after an icing call on Keene. The Grizzlies would make some good plays but either try to stickhandle once too many times, or pass up a shot to try for a better shot, and get nothing to the net. The only recorded shot for the Grizzlies in the period came from Dylan Hyers who ripped a wrist shot that hit Ditkoff’s blocker before he even moved, but the shot bounded away from harm for the Blackbirds. Final score would read 2-1 in favor of Keene. They outshot Goffstown 37-13 in the game. They are the better team. This was a good road experience for the Grizzlies to get under their belt, against one of the better teams in Division II. As I watched the way several of the Keene players screamed for some other reason than joy directly into the face masks of Grizzlie players after the final horn sounded, I thought of the upcoming Senior Night at the end of February when Keene visits Goffstown. Who knows what things will look like then.

The Grizzlies return to the ice for another road game on Monday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) versus Oyster River, at the Whittemore Center on the campus of UNH. Game time is set for 4:30pm.