Tag Archives: Lebanon Raiders

GHS Hockey: Goffstown 4 at Lebanon-Stevens 3

Campion Ice Arena, West Lebanon, NH.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017.

Goffstown at Lebanon-Stevens, 445pm.

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At Lebanon, Tyler Riendeau lets a shot go against the Raiders. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Maturity and growth are signs that lessons are being learned. They are signs that messages are being received. They are the hope that adjustments and development will produce desired results. They reaffirm a coaching staff’s game plan and direction given. Tuesday night, after two previous attempts to play this game that were wiped out by weather, Goffstown did travel to Lebanon to take on Lebanon-Stevens (L-S) in a game featuring two teams vying for playoff positioning. The Grizzlies came from behind, in the third period, to grab a hard-fought, road victory; their 11th win of the season. The final score read Goffstown 4, Lebanon-Stevens 3.

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Mickey Bridgeman and Nick Nault line up in front of Curtis McKay for a faceoff. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

The history of Campion Rink says it’s a regulation sized ice surface, at 85 feet x 200 feet. Although, I would question that, as the ice surface in West Lebanon seems quite small. Either way, it’s always a tough place to play, against Lebanon-Stevens. Last night the Grizzlies played a pretty streamlined opening period. They held the Raiders to just 5 shots on goal, while scoring a goal to take a 1-0 lead. But as learning curves go, there are errors, there are mistakes, and there is also brilliance.

As both teams started the game, they were feeling out the pace, the physicality, the speed, the spacing, and just what they all had in the tank for afternoon tilt. Clearly both teams had done their share of scouting. It was obvious that every time L-S leading scorer, Nate Gariepy, touched the puck, he was not to be allowed to shoot. Just as every time Nick Nault handled the puck for the Grizzlies, the bench yelled to contain him, and “don’t let him go”. Gariepy and Nault both figure largely, into the outcome of the game, scouted, planned for, or not. Early on the Grizzlies were not sharp with the puck but were able to survive with goaltending and good fortune. Six or so minutes into the game Mickey Bridgeman had the puck on his stick with a chance to set the breakout in motion along the right-wing half wall. But the pass went to the middle of the ice and picked off by Ian Garland who got a good shot away. Thankfully for the visitors, Curtis McKay, in net, made the save, and no harm was done. Less than a minute later, Nick Nault got free (temporarily) for a rush to center ice, but he missed a wide open Theo Milanes on the right-wing who was ahead of Nault, and behind the defense approaching the blue line. Nault turned the puck over and Lebanon got a decent rush out of it, when Nate Gariepy ripped a wrist shot that missed the near post by about three inches and went harmlessly wide.

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Griffin Cook lines up with Sebastian Beal and Jacob Noonan at Lebanon-Stevens. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Without belaboring the point I want to point out that Nick Nault learned quickly how much attention was being given to him with the puck and never made the same mistake again. He played a solid, disciplined game, and calculated his chances. Likewise, Nate Gariepy, who had guys all over him in the opening period, found ways to get his shots and offensive chances. A lot of players could learn from Gariepy as he has a sneaky good wrist shot and he shoots off of the wrong foot a lot, which adds an element of surprise to goaltender’s timing his shot. He’s a smart player who also shoots back to the angles where he came from. Meaning that goaltenders dare not leave their post too early, or be too aggressive, because Gariepy will ‘out-wait’ a goaltender.

Back to the first period. Colin Burke was called for the only penalty of the period. He was called for holding, after the Grizzlies had turned the puck over trying to get out of their own zone, and Gariepy tried to slip by Burke outside the right-wing circle. Goffstown had an outstanding penalty kill, allowing just one shot. After the penalty ended, the Grizzlies and the ‘CBC’ line gave the visitor’s a 1-0 lead. Noah Charron got the goal after consecutive passes from Sebastian Beal and Griffin Cook at 12:56. The goal seemed to raise Goffstown’s game for the last couple minutes of the period. Tyler Riendeau worked the puck down low, as Mickey Bridgeman ran over a Raider defenseman behind the net on a clean hit and fed the puck to Max Lajeunesse for a quick shot but Jordan Hammond was there to keep the score at 1-0. That’s how the period would end.

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Theo Milanes skates against the Raiders. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

The second period took on a life of its own. Goffstown was still loose with the puck but this time L-S wasn’t about to let them off of the hook. Mickey Bridgeman led a breakout but his pass to Tyler Riendeau at center ice was a high, hard fastball type pass that crashed into the side Riendeau’s helmet and caromed off the top of his head. While Tyler reacted to the head shot, the puck landed, in time for Ian Garland to grab the puck and go in untouched to score on McKay, tying the game at 1-1 at 1:23. The Grizzlies lined up for the subsequent faceoff at center ice, with their third line and two sophomore defensemen. Normally this group acquits themselves very well. But in competition when you lose focus even for a second, sometimes you pay dearly. Well, it took just 8 seconds for L-S to score again, and take a 2-1 lead. Gariepy scored the goal at 1:31, with the assist going to Nate Damren. After being held to just five shots in the opening period, the Raiders had opened up a 2-1 lead on their first two shots of the second period.

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Dylan Hyers gets tied up at Lebanon-Stevens. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Goffstown kept their head, and turned up the heat immediately by skating hard and started moving the puck as a team. Griffin Cook set up Sebastian Beal, who walked out from behind the net to get a shot on goal that was turned away. The rebound came out to Noah Charron between the circles. Charron quickly, made a touch pass to Dylan Hyers at the right point. Mt. Hyers leaned into a slapshot that parted the traffic out front like Moses and the Red Sea. Hyers’ laser found the twine at 1:54. The tying goal was set up by Charron and Beal. The escalation in pace and intensity had the Raiders running around a bit. Nate Gariepy was called for a pair of tripping penalties less than 3 minutes apart. In between those penalties, Nick Nault made a clean theft of the puck as Lebanon-Stevens was trying to break out of their end. Nault stepped inside the blue line and let a wicked shot go, but the shot clanged off of the lower leg/skate area of Carter Adams, sending him to the ice in a heap of pain. After a brief stoppage, Adams limped off the ice with some help while both sides applauded the display of hockey toughness. Adams would return later in the game. Just after Gariepy’s second penalty had expired, Noah Charron had a great look at a shot, and he blasted a shot past Jordan Hammond in net for the Raiders, only to see the shot explode off of the near post, and bounce right into Hammond’s body.

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Griffin Cook circles the Lebanon-Stevens net. Cook scored a pair of assists in the win. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Somehow the puck did not cross the line, and it eventually slid out the near side where it has originated. Goffstown’s Brett Lassonde, while manning the right point, was surprised by a puck that he thought was going to be wrapped hard around the boards, but instead was bounced towards the point, along the boards. The puck skipped on edge and bounced over Lassonde’s stick, escaping the zone. As Brett went after the puck he was called for interference at 11:55. The Grizzlies ended up killing the penalty but with the PK unit still on the ice, and Lassonde out of the box to help defend, Goffstown could not get the puck out of their end. And at 14:07, just 12 seconds after the penalty time elapsed, Nate Chickering scored to give L-S a 3-2 lead. Joey Dupree and Nate Gariepy had the assists on the go-ahead goal. After the back-to-back goals for the Raiders, Goffstown held them to just one shot on goal over a span of 10 minutes. The last 4 minutes of the period though, the Raiders got a power play and 8 shots on goal, including the goal giving them a 3-2 lead entering the final 15 minutes.

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Max Lajeunesse makes a play with the puck at Lebanon. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

In the third period, Goffstown really took their game to a higher level, and forced the Raiders to match them. Half the period went by as Goffstown was slowly winning more battles than they were losing. And quite noticeably, the Grizzlies were moving the puck East and West in the offensive zone, creating chances, and using everyone on the ice to make plays. Then at 7:42 the ‘CBC’ line would strike again. Noah Charron and Griffin Cook made quick, accurate passes to feed Sebastian Beal for a quick, clean shot from the slot. The sequence of passes made Hammond move side to side as the puck came to Beal. It was a pretty, bing-bang-goal, if I have ever seen one. The comeback effort was realized, 3-3. However, Beal put his own agenda ahead of the team’s effort when he turned immediately after scoring the goal, and drilled L-S forward, Peter Elder, up around the shoulders and helmet area. Beal was called for a roughing penalty and the joy of tying the game quickly turned to the deflating task of killing another penalty. Fortunately for Beal, and the Grizzlies, the PK unit, thanks to a pair of huge saves by McKay, did their job.

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Noah Charron looks for an opening to hit with a shot against the Raiders. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Goffstown continued to ratchet up the pressure, shift after shift. With the third line on the ice, Brett Branscum, Theo Milanes, and Colby Gamache created a nice play to set up Gamache who made a nifty move to get a shot in close. The shot hit off of the post and the puck was loose, but Gamache was hooked by Peter Elder, which probably saved a goal, but resulted in a power play for Goffstown at 10:17. On their third power play attempt of the game, the Grizzlies finally broke through. But before the power play heroics, Mickey Bridgeman and the aforementioned Carter Adams broke out into a mini brawl/temper tantrum in the left-wing corner, along the boards. It was odd, and seemed out-of-place. Fortunately, for Bridgeman and Goffstown, both players were whistled for matching roughing penalties, which allowed the power play to continue for the Grizzlies. Once order was restored, Tyler Riendeau, who was in the right place all night, less the momentary reaction of taking a pass off of his head, won yet another offensive zone faceoff. The puck came back to Max Lajeunesse on the right side of the circle. Max moved the puck quickly across to the left point with a saucer pass that landed flat on the ice. The pass was perfect, and Noah Charron was all wound up and ready to unleash a blast. As the puck entered the striking zone, Charron unloaded a blast from the left point, and the puck was a blur as it made the net strings dance and the Goffstown faithful erupted in celebration. The power play goal at 11:52 gave the Grizzlies a 4-3 lead, on the road, with 3:08 to play. Tyler Riendeau and Max Lajeunesse assisted on the goal. The goal was Charron’s second of the game, and his fourth point of the afternoon.

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Colby Gamache draws the hooking call, as linemates, Brett Branscum and Theo Milanes look to score. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Lebanon-Stevens called a timeout at 12:17 of the third period. No doubt they were setting up plays, getting a breather, and planning for the desertion of their net. Goffstown kept up their puck possession and offensive pressure which took time, and also kept the extra attacker off of the ice for the Raiders. Hammond finally left his net at 14:21 while the Raiders had the Grizzlies hemmed in their own end. As good players often do, they find a way to impact matters involving competition. Somehow, despite all the attention he had garnered, Nate Gariepy had the puck on his stick right in front of the net. Gariepy was under duress, but he had about 4 inches of room between Curtis McKay’s right skate and the post to slide a puck through. As his stick came forward with the puck in place, the pressure from the Grizzlies ‘D’ also took effect, and Gariepy’s shot was stuffed into the protective piece of McKay’s right leg pad that covers his skate. McKay’s leg didn’t move and the puck was covered for a whistle. That was really the only chance that the Raiders had to tie the game. Goffstown barraged the offensive zone throughout the final period with 17 shots, 2 goals, a post, and several near misses as they rallied from a deficit after allowing 3 goals in the second period.

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Noah Charron’s power play goal with Griffin Cook providing traffic in front, turned out to be the game winner at Lebanon. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Although the play was sloppy at times, the game was a good game. Neither team wanted to give an inch. Both teams out muscled, out executed, or out played each other at times in the game. After a reckless, emotionally selfish, undisciplined game on Saturday night against Merrimack, the Grizzlies held it together quite well on Tuesday afternoon. Save the Beal penalty, and maybe the Bridgeman eruption, Goffstown benefited mightily by keeping the likes of Hyers, Nault, and Charron on the ice, and out of the box. For the game, Curtis McKay turned away 20 of 23 shots he faced to earn his 8th win in goal this season. Jordan Hammond made 31 saves on 35 shots for the Raiders, in the loss. Division II’s leading point-getter, Nate Gariepy had a goal and an assist, while being fun to watch. The young man doesn’t appear to be necessarily flashy, but he moves the puck, whether skating, shooting or passing, the puck is on the move. The ‘CBC’ line played maybe their best game of the season. Noah Charron had 2 goals and 2 assists, while Beal added a goal and 2 assists, and Griffin Cook was a +3 with a pair of assists.

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Curtis McKay looks on as Mickey Bridgeman and Tyler Riendeau defend against the Raiders. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Goffstown improved to 11-6 in league play (12-8 overall) and maintains possession of the #4 seed currently. The Grizzlies wrap up regular season play on Saturday at 11:15am against the #3, and defending State Champions, Windham Jaguars. The game is at Sullivan Arena on the campus of St. Anselm College. Goffstown will recognize their seven seniors before the game, so if you are in the area, come out and support the Grizzlies on Saturday.

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NHIAA Hockey

Updated records.

Goffstown (11-6) @ Lebanon-Stevens (7-8)

Campion Ice Arena, West Lebanon, NH
February 21, 2017. 4:30PM Start: Started at 4:45PM.

Summary: 

Goals:
Lebanon-Stevens: 0-3-0 = 3
Goffstown: 1-1-2 = 4

Shots:
Lebanon-Stevens: 5-11-7 = 23
Goffstown: 5-13-17 = 35

Scoring:
1st Goffstown at 12:56. Even. Noah Charron from Sebastian Beal and Griffin Cook.

2nd L-S at 1:23. Even. Ian Garland unassisted.
2nd L-S at 1:31. Even. Nate Gariepy from Nate Damren.
2nd Goffstown at 1:54. Even. Dylan Hyers from Noah Charron and Sebastian Beal.
2nd L-S at 14:07. Even. Nate Chickering from Nate Gariepy and Joey Dupree.

3rd Goffstown at 7:42. Even. Sebastian Beal from Noah Charron and Griffin Cook.
3rd Goffstown at 11:52. PPG. Noah Charron from Max Lajeunesse and Tyler Riendeau.

Lebanon-Stevens Power Play: 0 for 4.
Goffstown Power Play: 1 for 3.

Saves:
Lebanon-Stevens: Jo Jo Hammond 31 of 35.
Goffstown: Curtis McKay 20 of 23.
 
Good night.

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The beginning of every article. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017.

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the individual contributors, mostly mine, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the schools, coaches, players, or characters listed in any of these blog posts. Or, maybe they do, but you would have to ask them directly. Either way, “It’s a great day for hockey” ~ the late “Badger” Bob Johnson.

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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.

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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.

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.