I sit here writing this recap on Christmas Eve, and I’m reminded how blessed I am. I will get to the game. Before I do, I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Be safe. Be thankful. Be especially pleased to know that you possess the ability to give, and for that reason alone, we all should enjoy Christmas.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015. 7pm @ Sullivan Arena, St. Anselm College-
It was time to play a home game. The Goffstown Grizzlies played host to Pembroke Academy-Campbell HS in their 2015-16 home opener last night. After two road games, both wins, the Grizzlies were looking for some home cooking before Christmas. Goffstown had wins at Winnacunnet and Somersworth while Pembroke had dropped their only decision against Keene.
Before the game started, the voice of the Division I State Champion Football team, Al Potvin, announced that proceeds from the gate and the 50/50 raffle were being donated to a trust fund that helps the Carlson family pay for medical bills. So, after the ceremonial puck drop with two-time cancer survivor (and still battling), Maddie Carlson, it was time for some hockey.
If there was any emotional build up from playing the first game in front of the home town fans, or from the emotion of the Maddie Carlson story, it appeared to dissipate as the teams skated their first shifts. The first period was largely quite choppy hockey with no discernible ebb and flow. Both teams traded chances, with Goffstown showing a slight edge in play. Then, after 10 plus minutes of play, the Grizzlies scored first. On the power play, Mike Fortin took a shot from the point on a very much ‘screened’ Matt Tremblay in net for Pembroke. The puck found its way to the back of the net, just inside the far post. Fortin’s goal was assisted by Kainen Lassonde. Just minutes later, on their own power play, Dylan Fisher scored for Pembroke to tie the game at 1-1. The period would end with the same score. Goffstown led in shots on goal, 13-6.
As the second period started nobody knew that Goffstown would end up perfect on the power play for the night, or that two freshmen would get their first career points, or that, three Grizzlies would skate shifts late in the game, each with a chance to record a hat trick. For now, it was a 1-1 game after one period. It wasn’t too long before Goffstown got the offense going, a theme that would run very strong for roughly 18 minutes of game time. Max Lajeunesse scored on a nice backhand goal that was set up by Tyler Riendeau. Shortly thereafter, Noah Charron scored a goal set up by Mike Fortin. Then freshman, Griffin Cook, scored his first career goal, set up by senior, Ben Roy. The second period would end with Goffstown holding a 4-1 lead on the scoreboard, and a decided edge in shots, 24-11.
Now before I get to the barrage of scoring that would lead to a Goffstown 9-1 win, I must mention something. Not that the outcome would have changed necessarily, but Pembroke had some point blank chances in each and every period that could have changed how things turned out. No chance was more glaring than the one in the first minute of the third period when a nice combination of passing led to a wide open shot on a wide open net, when Pembroke’s forward pushed the puck just wide of the post. At that point, had the puck gone in, it would have been a 4-2 game with nearly a full period to play. Then, as fate would have it, Goffstown scored five goals in less than six minutes to seal the deal. The Grizzlies showed they are Goffstown Strong, and put on a show for Ms. Carlson, ensuring a delightful outcome for all of the Goffstown fans in attendance.
In some sort of a rapid fire fashion, Sam Greenwood would score on a pass from Tyler Riendeau. Then on their next shift, on the power play, Greenwood would score again, from Riendeau. Ben Roy was next to score after the puck was boxed all around the crease area, freshman, Steve Provencher, got a stick on the puck before Roy slid it home, and Provencher had his first career point. Max Lajeunesse scored again, assisted by Dylan Hyers, and Noah Charron took passes from Kainen Lassonde and Mike Fortin before scoring his second goal of the game. In the end, Goffstown won 9-1, and they recorded double digits in shots on goal in all three periods, totaling 34 for the game. Colin Holt made 14 saves on 15 shots, to improve his record to 3-0-0 on the season.
Goffstown will play the day after Christmas in the Bauer Christmas Hockey Tournament in Manchester at JFK. Their schedule looks something like this:
6pm Goffstown vs. Hanover
2pm Goffstown vs. Bedford
8pm Goffstown vs. Central