Tag Archives: NHIAA 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


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: Quarterfinals: #4) Goffstown: 3 vs. #5) St. Thomas: 4

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

Saturday, March 4, 2017.

Goffstown v. St. Thomas, 4:00pm. Quarterfinal.

The starting five (in front of McKay), Mickey Bridgeman, Nick Nault, Brett Lassonde, Max Lajeunesse, and Tyler Riendeau. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

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GHS Hockey: Goffstown 4 vs. Windham 3 (OT)

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

Saturday, February 25, 2017.

Goffstown v. Windham, 11:30am. Senior Day.


The 2016-2017 Goffstown Grizzlies Varsity Hockey team. Regular season record of 12-6, earning the #4 seed in the tournament. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017.

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GHS Hockey: Goffstown 4 at Lebanon-Stevens 3

Campion Ice Arena, West Lebanon, NH.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017.

Goffstown at Lebanon-Stevens, 445pm.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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

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.

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


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.

GHS Hockey: Goffstown 1 at Merrimack 4


The Team. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

West Side Arena, Manchester, NH.

Saturday, February 18, 2017.

Goffstown at Merrimack, 500pm.


Brett Lassonde, Kyle LaSella, and Nick Nault. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Merrimack and Goffstown are not too fond of one another. At least the high school hockey teams from these two towns tend to show much disdain toward each other. For the third straight meeting between these two teams, Goffstown was in a position of having to pull their goaltender. And for the third straight time, they allowed an empty net goal to Merrimack. Goffstown has lost 4 straight games to the Tomahawks since the 2013-14 season. The Grizzlies have been outscored 16-7 in those 4 losses. The schools are only about 11 miles apart, and the rinks they play in, are less than a mile from one another. But on the ice, these two teams are from different worlds. The Tomahawks are, well they are just like their nickname, sharp, tough, dangerous, and not terribly accurate. They play their style of hockey better than most teams do. Like it or not, they’re effective. They are not nearly as talented as they have been in recent years, but if you play their game, you may be worse for the wear.


Brett Lassonde against Merrimack. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Saturday night, Merrimack recognized their 6 senior players in an inaudible pregame ceremony of sorts. Then the Merrimack seniors came out and accounted for all 4 goals and 2 assists that they put on the board. Greg Amato stopped nearly everything in net, and Merrimack earned a 4-1 victory over a team that resided some seven spots ahead of them in the standings.

Amato was HUGE! He made 39 saves on 40 shots, none of which included the following shots. A shot from the corner that Tyler Riendeau put between Amato’s pads from a terrible angle that still disappeared under the pads, and crossed the goal line all before caroming off of the inside of the left pad and through the backside of the crease. Ruled no goal.


Griffin Cook battles against Merrimack. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Then there was the shot that Sebastian Beal shot from behind the goal line, trying to bank the puck off of Amato, and in. Except, Amato moved, and the Tomahawk defenseman who was surprised to see the puck, watched as the puck deflected off of his left skate and into the empty net. He quickly swiped the puck out of the net, and away. Ruled no goal. Then after a long possession, and a flurry of shots, the Grizzlies thought they had another goal when Greg Amato and a defenseman were laying in the net when the whistle sounded. After everyone shifted and jostled out of the net, the puck was produced. It looked like Amato made a tremendous glove save, but did so with his glove behind goal line, in the net, before they dislodged the net. Ruled no goal.

Now having any one, or more, of these being called goals, then maybe future results change. Maybe not. Regardless, early in the first period, a little thought started to grow in the back of my mind. The thought was that of the Concord-Salem game in Division I on Friday night. Concord was stymied by Salem, and goaltender Paddy Capsilas, who made 54 saves on the night. Goffstown carried the play in the opening period but had a 1-0 deficit to show for it. Merrimack scored when Dylan Hyers had his shot from the left point blocked directly back to him. Hyers then tried to flip the puck deep into the zone, but the puck went to right to


Nick Nault and Tyler Riendeau headed up ice against Merrimack. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

John Tiano of Merrimack. Tiano made a quick pass to Owen O’Brien, and the race was on. Tiano and O’Brien raced up ice on a 2-on-1 against Colin Burke who rotated back on defense when Hyers was caught up ice without the puck. Tiano to O’Brien, a nice pass at full speed, and O’Brien buried it. 1-0 Tomahawks, just 68 seconds into the game. Goffstown would dominate play in the sense of offensive zone possession and shots on goal. At 14:30 of the period, O’Brien would make a nice inside-out move against Dylan Hyers and walk in for a clean shot against Kyle LaSella. LaSella was beat cleanly, but the shot rang loudly off of the post and kicked wide. After a full period, Goffstown led the shots battle 11-4, yet trailed 1-0.

The second period, which has been a stumbling block to Goffstown all season, was an odd period to say the least. Goffstown would draw 5 penalties on Merrimack in the period, by absolutely owning the puck for almost the entire period. The Grizzlies outshot Merrimack 15-3 in the period and still trailed 2-1 after two. Merrimack got their first two shots on goal, 9 and a half minutes into the period. Owen O’Brien made a pass to Owen Hastings who shot on goal from an awful angle just above the goal line on the left-wing side. LaSella made the save, hugging the post in doing so. Somehow though, the puck landed in a spot where Hastings could tap the puck into the net between the post and LaSella’s right skate. It was 2-0 Merrimack at 9:21 of the second. Long before this goal, the Grizzlies had just started killing a penalty on Brett Lassonde when Nick Nault picked off a pass and skated up ice.


Sebastian Beal turns the corner at West Side. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Nault beat everyone up the ice with good skating and nifty moves to get a clean shot at Amato. Nault’s shot was stopped by Amato, but the rebound kicked out to Sebastian Beal who had hustled up ice just behind Nault. Beal lifted a shot that got off of the ice, but not enough to clear Amato’s left pad. Two Grade A chances turned aside at 3:52 of the second period. Goffstown got their only goal of the night on the power play at 14:47 of the period. Tyler Riendeau scored the goal set up by Griffin Cook and Nick Nault.



Tyler Riendeau had Goffstown’s only goal against Merrimack. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

The third period was more of the same, only with much worse attitudes. There were seven penalties called in the final period and probably a dozen more that weren’t. Neither team was innocent. Merrimack got a whopping four shots on goal in the period, including the empty netter with 34 seconds left. One of the other shots they got on net was a goal scored by Owen O’Brien when he threw a backhand from a tough angle and found the twine behind LaSella. Kyle had come up with a huge save earlier though, when Max Lajeunesse turned the puck over out by the blue line and Jeff Gerhard walked in alone. LaSella made a ridiculous stick save which left Gerhard looking up at the ceiling wondering how he hadn’t scored. Goffstown would end up with 14 shots in the period, and 40 for the game. Goffstown somehow held Merrimack to just 11 shots in the game. Their final shot coming when Owen Hastings lofted a high arching shot, like he was trying to drop a punt inside the 10, from his side of center ice. The puck landed and slid into the wide open net. Final score in favor of Merrimack, 4-1.


Noah Charron against Merrimack. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

There were several, near melees on the ice in the second and third period’s. It could have been worse. No, actually, it was worse. Sometimes I wonder if the officials called everything, which would require work on their part, would some of this playground, no harm no foul, but I am still going to punch you in the head, stuff, would go away. If everything was called last night, there would likely have been some of the senior mom’s needed to suit up and finish the game. Goffstown would’ve killed some major penalties, and likely an ejection or two.


Dylan Hyers ready to play against the Tomahawks. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Listen, I am biased towards Goffstown. I have been following Goffstown sports and writing about them for almost 20 years. I try very hard to be objective, and call it like I see it, regardless of who did what. A few things I have noticed, as it relates to hockey. There are some coaches and programs that just play a different brand of something that resembles hockey. Goffstown has a very good team, especially when they can play gentlemen’s hockey. Then, they get completely out of their game when they try to be the big-hitters and chase hits around the ice. The Nashua South’s, the Oyster River’s, the Dover’s, and certainly the Tomahawks get them out of their comfort zone. The Grizzlies can hit. They can skate. They can score. They play their hearts out, giving maximum effort. Perhaps their approach needs to be updated, if not streamlined. Simple answer: Do what they do better than they do it now. Demand perfection. Raise the standard.


Good goal! Goffstown. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

On the other side of the coin, there is a modus operandi that seems to drive the Grizzlies crazy. And the best way I can describe it would be to use a term that was really perfected by the first Americans in the Revolutionary War. The term is guerrilla warfare. For this example I will define it as such: a form of irregular hockey in which a small group of competitors use less than ordinary tactics including any back alley type activity that would seem invisible to officials, heavy stick work, petty maneuvers, hit-and-run tactics, and mobility to battle a structured but less-disciplined traditional hockey club. Last night, the Grizzlies outplayed Merrimack in a traditional hockey sense by at least a 4-1 margin, yet Goffstown had no chance to win that game.


Mickey Bridgeman makes a quick stop against Merrimack. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)


Nick Nault gets up to full speed. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

No chance when playing into the hands of an opponent that thrives on just that. Instead, in a domination of play at 364% (40-11) over the opponent, the Grizzlies got only 25% (1-4) of the desired result. That’s my own math, and I know many factors go into this type of thing, but this incident isn’t isolated. At Nashua South, 141% (31-22) over the opponent, got only 83% (5-6) of the desired result. At Oyster River, 258% (31-12) over the opponent, got only 0% (0-2) of the desired result. Again, my math, but I hope the point is made. Even in the wins against Kingswood and Oyster River (at home), the result was nowhere near the level of domination. I point this out as a closer look into numbers, because frankly, even after 24+ hours, I don’t have a lot of nice words to say about last night’s game.


So, after this week’s action, the playoff picture is rounding out.

1) Keene is 15-0 after beating Bow again, 5-3.
2) Bow is 14-2-1, only losing to Keene, and a tie with Windham.
3) Windham is 11-4-1, with Alvirne and Goffstown left.
4) Goffstown is 10-6, and needs one more win to maintain 4th place.
5) Dover is 9-6-1, plays Winnacunnet and Lebanon, and could finish 11-6-1.
6) Oyster River is 7-6-1, finishes against 4 teams with worse records.
7) Portsmouth is 8-7, plays OR, St. Thomas, and Bow.
8) St. Thomas is 8-7, plays Portsmouth, Winnacunnet, and Lebanon.
9) Spaulding is 8-8, only has Keene showing on their schedule.
10) Merrimack is 6-8-1, showing only Belmont left on their schedule.


Gavin Macentee against Merrimack. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

With two games to play, Goffstown could jump into third with a pair of wins, but Windham would have to lose to Alvirne also. Dover could win both games and leapfrog GHS. Oyster River could run the table and finish ahead of the Grizzlies, even if Goffstown can split the last two games. If you dare think the unthinkable, Goffstown could drop as low as 8th with a pair of losses. We will just have to watch and see.

NHIAA Hockey

Updated records.

Goffstown (10-6) @ Merrimack (6-8-1)

West Side Arena, Manchester, NH
February 18, 2017. 5:00PM Start:
Merrimack: 1-1-2 = 4
Goffstown: 0-1-0 = 1

Merrimack: 4-3-4 = 11
Goffstown: 11-15-14 = 40

1st Merrimack at 1:08. Even. Owen O’Brien from John Tiano.

2nd Merrimack at 9:21. Even. Owen Hastings from Owen O’Brien.
2nd Goffstown at 14:47. PPG. Tyler Riendeau from Griffin Cook and Nick Nault.

3rd Merrimack at 7:35. Even. Owen O’Brien unassisted.
3rd Merrimack at 14:25. Empty Net. Owen Hastings unassisted.

Merrimack Power Play: 0 for 4.
Goffstown Power Play: 1 for 7.

Merrimack: Greg Amato 39 of 40.
Goffstown: Kyle LaSella 7 of 10.


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.

GHS Hockey: Goffstown 9 at Alvirne 2

Skate 3, Tyngsboro, MA.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

Goffstown at Alvirne, 550pm.


(C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Maybe a gaffe; a faux pas, as it were. See, the game sheet last night read: Home Team: Alvirne. Visiting Team: Goofstown. I am sure it was an honest mistake, but then so were the 9 goals the Grizzlies put on that same score sheet. I doubt this fact was brought to anyone’s attention prior to the game as ‘bulletin board’ material, as they say, but the result might as well have been correlated to similar motivation. Personally, I do believe in ‘bulletin board’ material, but not in the big “RAH RAH!!!” fashion. I would take something like this, personally, as a competitor, and let it sit with me like a powerful rumble, low beneath the earth’s surface, that builds into a force to be reckoned with. But that is just me.


Mighty Maggie Fifield at Alvirne. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)


Mackenzie Potvin starts the rush up ice as “C-Mac” watches on. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)


Mike Siemiesz makes a play with the puck. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Either way, the Goffstown Grizzlies packed their team, their gear, and their 9-5 record onto the bus, and headed to Massachusetts to play a team from Hudson, NH. Oddly, Alvirne is just 17 miles from Goffstown High School as a crow could fly. Alvirne is almost 10 miles from Skate 3, in the opposite direction, so this was kind of a road game for both teams. Anyway, Alvirne, the Broncos, entered play with a 3-12 record, but that wasn’t something to take lightly. Alvirne averages just a tick under 3 goals per game. They had just scored 7 goals against Nashua North, and they posted 5 goals against Bow, so they have the ability to put the puck in the net. By comparison, the Grizzlies averaged only 3.04 goals per game last season, so getting 3 per game is nothing to sneeze at. The big issue for the Broncos this season has been team depth, and defensive inadequacies. They allow a lot of goals, so many nights, 3 or 4 goals on the plus side, still results in a lopsided loss.


Mike Siemiesz at Alvirne. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)


Stephen Provencher and Griffin Cook looking for a chance to create some offense. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

For 8 minutes and 59 seconds, there was no score. As a matter of fact, the shots were nearly even to this point. Shane Pimentel had already made a spectacular save for Alvirne when he turned away an almost certain goal on a shot by Mickey “The Wrecking Ball” Bridgeman. Bridgeman was set up perfectly on a beautiful passing play when Max “The Missile” Lajeunesse hit Tyler “The Rocket” Riendeau in full stride with a prefect pass just before Riendeau did the same, putting a pass right on Mickey’s stick. Pimentel slid over, making a sensational save, to keep the game scoreless.


Mackenzie Potvin gets ready for the drop of the puck. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Shortly thereafter, the Broncos were called for an innocent enough penalty, when they had too many skaters on the ice. The resulting power-play for the Grizzlies seemed to get things really going for the visitors. Noah Charron put the puck past Pimentel for the power-play goal, and the Grizzlies were off and running. Max Lajeunesse made the play to set up Charron, but Colin Burke had started the whole play at the left point, with a nice pass to Lajeunesse. Max took the pass, curled from the left-wing corner, up the boards, looking like he might just drop a pass back to Burke at the point. Instead, he cut off of the half-wall, with the puck, to the open space above the circles and ripped a nice shot on goal. Pimentel made that save but the rebound dropped at Charron’s feet and he made no mistake. 1-0 Grizzlies at 9:00. Exactly 3 minutes later, Lajeunesse scored on a nice pass from Mickey Bridgeman. In the last minute of the period. Lajeunesse scored again after Dylan Hyers managed to weave through a pair of defenders, and delivered a perfect pass to Max for the goal. After one period, Goofstown, er uh, Goffstown led 3-0 and had fired 16 shots at Shane Pimentel in net. The Grizzlies did allow 11 shots to get through to Curtis McKay, but “C-Mac” was up to the task, saving all 11 shots.


Noah Charron ‘Sha-Roan’ races up ice with the puck at Skate 3. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)


Stephen Provencher. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

In the second period it became quickly apparent that the Grizzlies were not very pleased with the number of shots they had allowed thus far. They held Alvirne to 6 shots, and 4 shots, respectively, over the final two periods. Alvirne’s Doug Herling and Kyle Sintiris were on the ice a lot for the Broncos. With their speed and ability, they were a constant threat to score. Add the speed of Ian Morse and play of Justin Hudgins, and Alvirne did create a handful of break away opportunities as well.


Theo Milanes carries the puck against Alvirne. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Morse played like he was genuinely mad at someone, which brought a physical aspect to the Broncos game. Although his physicality didn’t bode well when he skated, head down, into Mt. Hyers, and fell to the ice like gravity was showing off its eternal pull.


The Captain, Nick Nault and Brett Branscum against Alvirne. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

In a 5 minute, 22 second span the Grizzlies scored four more goals and leapt to a 7-0 lead. Mickey Bridgeman scored when he refused to stop working in front of the net and pounded the puck home. Max Lajeunesse had circled the net to give Bridgeman a centering pass, to get the lone assist. Then it was a normal looking play to start, when Jacob Noonan banked a pass off of the end boards behind his own net to D-partner, “The Captain”, Nick Nault. Nault, with his head up, made a long, accurate, two-line pass, to Brett Branscum who was flying up the left wing like his hair was on fire.


This my friends, is a dangling Dylan. Dylan Hyers with all the right moves against the Broncos. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Branscum made a nice little maneuver to get out wide, then he cut the angle beyond the defenseman he beat, and roared toward the net like a herd of Texas cattle on the home stretch. Just before he reached the net, Branscum roofed a wicked wrister up under the crossbar to give the Grizzlies a 5-0 lead on a gorgeous hockey play that covered the length of the ice in about 5 seconds. Next it was the all rugby line of Bridgeman-Riendeau-Siemiesz who just wouldn’t leave the offensive end of the ice without getting a goal. Bridgeman got the goal on a nice feed from Tyler Riendeau who had taken a quick touch pass from Siemiesz to start the play. Only 16 seconds later, Noah Charron (pronounced Sha-Roan in most rinks he visits) became the third Grizzlie to register a pair of goals in the game when he was set up by Griffin “I Can’t” Cook (I don’t know, maybe he can cook) and Mackenzie “Big Mike” Potvin to give Goffstown a 7-goal lead.


Cool Hand Jake Noonan has everything under control against Alvirne. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Alvirne would answer with a goal at 10:15 of the period on a beautiful play made by Doug Herling and Kyle Sintiris who set up Justin Hudgins for the goal. The period ended with the visitors holding a 7-1 lead on the board, and a 28-17 advantage in shots.

The third period was running time which did speed things up some. Even though Goffstown would go on to score a pair of goals, it was Alvirne that created two of the nicest plays and chances in the game. During the period, Herling and Sintiris made a couple of long passes up ice, where the pass was made on one end at full speed, and received on the other end, also at full speed, leading to clean breakaways. Curtis McKay stifled a couple of clean breakaways but Sintiris did get one goal set up by Herling, to cut the lead to 8-2. So let me get to the Grizzlies 8th goal now.


The Grizzlies celebrate first year varsity player, senior, Maggie Fifield’s first career goal. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Maybe there were ghosts dancing in her head, or thoughts that led to doubt, or maybe none of these things had an effect on “Mighty” Maggie Fifield. I can speak for the fans though, when we conjured up visions of sure goals that weren’t, against the likes of Kingswood, St. Thomas, Oyster River, and Keene, every time that Ms. Fifield had the puck within shooting distance. Then with an entire section of bleachers, way too ‘into a game’ involving a 6-goal differential, the hockey gods released their hold on the yawning goal mouth. Noah Charron started the play when he passed the puck to Tyler Riendeau (who spent the entire third period trying to set up Siemiesz, Provencher, Potvin, and Fifield for goals).


Lifelong friends, Noah and Maggie, one assisting the other, celebrate Maggie’s first goal, at Alvirne. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Riendeau promptly dished the puck to Fifield in the slot. Fifield made no mistake on this shot, and the entire Goffstown throng erupted for her, as Pimentel looked back at the puck in the net. Maybe it wasn’t the best shot of all time, but it might have been, and the entire play was just a solid, good hockey play. Shortly after the goal, the referees stopped play momentarily to retrieve the puck that “Mighty” Maggie Fifield had slammed into the net, and delivered it to the Goffstown bench.

Perhaps fittingly, the final goal of the game came after all six Goffstown players had touched the puck, yes, all six. Curtis McKay had made a save that ultimately came out to Nick Nault in the Goffstown defensive end. Nault and Noah Charron, who played the final period on defense, played catch with the puck to relieve any Bronco pressure and moved up ice. Time was running out. I don’t know if anyone looked at the clock to create a more dramatic situation in their heads, but they should have.


Noah Charron had a pair of goals against the Broncos. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

As the sellout crowd raised its’ collective voice in unison, to count down the final 10 or so seconds of the game, the puck continued to make its way from one Grizzlie to another. Nault to Charron, back to Nault, nice feed to Bridgeman for a shot, rebound, Sebastian Beal in the slot, pounced on the rebound as the deafening countdown, may, or may not have, thundered down to ice level. Beal’s shot was clean. The puck passed through a defenseman’s legs and there was Ms. Potvin directly in front of the net. Mackenzie was posted outside the crease like the last outpost before Shane Pimentel in net for the Broncos. At the last conceivable second the puck found a piece of Potvin and slid along the ice, right through the most famous hole in all of hockey, the 5-hole. Beal and Bridgeman, while celebrating, went to the officials immediately yelling that “6 got the goal! Give it to 6!”


Colin Burke registered an assist in the Grizzlies road victory. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Time ran out, and the horn sounded before the officials reached the scoring booth, and no goal was ever announced over the loud-speaker, but I am here to tell you that Goffstown’s 9th goal went to Mackenzie Potvin with assists going to Sebastian Beal and Mickey Bridgeman. And if there were more assists to hand out, Nault, Charron, and McKay could have all earned one.

With another February snowstorm on the doorstep of northern New England just about to bust loose outside, in some old maze of rinks, in a little town just over the border, an otherwise forgettable Wednesday evening left a group, a team and their fans, with a night that won’t soon be forgotten.


Griffin Cook looks to motor up ice at Skate 3. (C) 1inawesomewonder 2017. (Photo by Charron)

Goffstown improved their record to 10-5 on the season, while the Broncos dropped to 3-13. Goffstown scored 9 goals, but it was M & M and their supporting cast, that provided the drama, and sent the Gtown faithful home through the snow with smiles on their faces.

Goffstown returns to action at West Side Arena in Manchester on Saturday at 5:00 pm. The Grizzlies play Merrimack, the team that ousted Goffstown from the NHIAA D-II Tournament last March.

NHIAA Hockey

Updated records.

Goffstown (10-5) @ Alvirne (3-13)

Skate 3, Tyngsboro, MA:

February 15, 2017. 5:50PM Start:



Alvirne: 0-1-1 = 2

Goffstown: 3-4-2 = 9


Alvirne: 11-6-4 = 21

Goffstown: 16-12-6 = 34


1st Goffstown at 9:00. PPG. Noah Charron from Max Lajeunesse and Colin Burke.

1st Goffstown at 12:00. Even. Max Lajeunesse from Mickey Bridgeman.

1st Goffstown at 14:27. Even. Max Lajeunesse from Dylan Hyers.

2nd Goffstown at 1:15. Even. Mickey Bridgeman from Max Lajeunesse.

2nd Goffstown at 2:58. Even. Brett Branscum from Nick Nault and Jacob Noonan.

2nd Goffstown at 6:21. Even. Mickey Bridgeman from Tyler Riendeau and Mike Siemiesz.

2nd Goffstown at 6:37. Even. Noah Charron from Griffin Cook and Mackenzie Potvin.

2nd Alvirne at 10:15. Even. Justin Hudgins from Kyle Sintiris and Doug Herling.

3rd Goffstown at 5:04. Even. Maggie Fifield from Tyler Riendeau and Noah Charron.

3rd Alvirne at 10:45. Even. Kyle Sintiris from Doug Herling.

3rd Goffstown at 14:50. Even. Mackenzie Potvin from Sebastian Beal and Mickey Bridgeman.

Alvirne Power Play: 0 for 1.

Goffstown Power Play: 1 for 3.


Alvirne: Shane Pimentel 25 of 34.

Goffstown: Curtis McKay 19 of 21.

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.