Some people, like professional commentators for instance, might say that tonight’s game against Nashua South Pelham was somewhat of a trap game. It would be sort of like the Grizzlies who finished Saturday’s game on a tidal wave of emotional momentum against a rival in Dover, playing a Division I team who is only 1-3 and not regarded as a real threat in the standings. Thus the potential let down, or “trap” game.
Thankfully for the Grizzlies and their faithful they were able to shrug off any such potential let down by working hard, skating three lines, and playing as a team for all 45 minutes. Hopefully somewhere in there they had taken note that this team from Nashua South Pelham (NSP) was no pushover, regardless of their won-loss record. The Kings, as they are known, had only allowed 10 goals over their previous three games coming into tonight’s contest.
That might not sound great but when you’re into January with only one win on the season, large deficits are usually present, but this team was downright stingy. If the Grizzlies needed anymore motivation to take this NSP team seriously they only need look back to last year when they lost to this team 6-5 down at Conway Arena.
During the first period there were few whistles and play moved up and down the ice with little flow for either side really. Both teams were getting pucks deep, and defending their zones pretty well. Goffstown had the edge in offensive play which showed up in the shots on goal column by the end of the first period, with the Grizzlies holding an 8-3 advantage. Goffstown was the first team to light the lamp when Griffin Cook broke in behind the NSP defense to score at 9:42 of the period after a nice pass up the left wing lane from Brett Lassonde. Jacob Noonan started the scoring play by retrieving the puck in his own end before making a D to D pass over to Lassonde. NSP would answer at 13:27 of the period, on their second shot of the game after a Goffstown turnover. John Pinksten made the pass that allowed Riley Nutter to get in close and score for the Kings. After one period, the score was 1-1, and it was clear that this visiting team was not likely to go away.
As the game wore on, NSP did their best to be strong on the puck, poking countless pucks away from Grizzlies while attempting to handle the puck. They filled shooting lanes and blocked shot after shot while defending their zone. The Kings took the body any chance they could, but they were working much harder to defend their end than Goffstown was, purely out of necessity. The second period featured no scoring, one penalty (NSP’s Nolan Harvey – Interference), and a 10-4 shot advantage for Goffstown. There was really nothing to report on the score sheet other than the solo penalty. That said, there is always something happening that is in the depths of defining each and every game. While the Grizzlies could have been getting frustrated with how much time they were in the offensive end with nothing to show for it, they were turning over three lines, shift after shift after shift. Trust me, this usually adds up over the course of a game, similar to a football team that extends long drives up and down the football field, forcing the opposition’s defense to rack up long periods of hard, stressed play in defensive mode. Not only that, but it seemed that neither team was getting any “luck” with the way the puck was bouncing.
At 10:23 of the second period, the Kings thought for certain they had scored a goal when Ryan Desimone, who had started to set up at offensive blue line any time it looked NSP might control the puck and breakout from their own end in an attempt to get behind the Grizzlies D, broke in on a breakaway with nobody but Maddie Sage between him and the net. Desimone got a nifty shot away that beat Sage and hit the crossbar. Three players from NSP raised their arms and briefly celebrated while the closest official was waving his arms in calling no goal. There was no whistle, rightly so, and play continued. The Grizzlies took the puck the other way pinning several Kings’ players out of position. Noah Charron ended up with the puck and a great scoring chance but Nate Serrentino made a great save, with no rebound to restore order for the moment.
Nate Serrentino made his presence felt all night long, as he was brilliant in net for the Kings. At 13:55 of the second period he made a pair of tremendous saves at point blank range against Noah Charron. Not to be outdone, Madeline Sage made a huge save for the Grizzlies when Jacob Smith raced in for NSP after another Goffstown turnover on a breakaway that looked more like a penalty shot at 14:40.
After two periods the score remained tied at 1-1, and the Grizzlies held the shot advantage at 18-7 despite all the shots that were blocked by defenders from Nashua South Pelham.
In the third period, the wear and tear of all the hard work to play defense over the first 30 minutes started to show it’s effect on the Kings. Although they weren’t going to give up without a fight. Goffstown absolutely took the play to the visitors in the third period. Finally the Grizzlies broke through at a time when a goal would be least expected, while shorthanded. Colin Burke had been whistled for high sticking after being wrapped up with a NSP defender who was so “hands on” it looked like the two of them were stuck trying to break out of a fully zipped sleeping bag. Anyways, the Goffstown bench was not terribly please with the call. To Burke’s credit, he stood in the penalty box and was cheering his penalty killing unit on, remaining sincerely positive. Then, 58 seconds into the penalty kill, at 9:07 of the third, Griffin Cook set up Noah Charron with a tremendous play, and Charron was not to be denied by Serrentino this time.
The Grizzlies led 2-1, and their energy level as well as resolve seemed to multiply. Then, these visitors from down the road a ways along Route 3, just would not quit. At 11:38 of the third period, off of a turnover, Matthew Diprizio scored the tying goal from Nolan Harvey. It is worth noting that Harvey and Diprizio were immense for NSP all night, and they probably each logged close to 30 minutes of ice time on the night. They were constantly on the ice and disrupting plays against the Grizzlies. So, after all that had happened so far, there was only 3:22 left to play and the game was tied 2-2. Goffstown, like the train that just kept a rollin’ all night long, answered quickly. At 11:53 of the period, just 15 seconds after the Kings’ goal, Sebastian Beal took a feed in front of the net from Griffin Cook below the right wing circle after Noah Charron won the faceoff over to Cook for the eventual game winner, beating Serrentino. While on the same shift, 25 seconds later, Griffin Cook made a nice clear from behind his own blue line, off of the boards and on to the tape of Noah Charron. Charron gained the offensive zone but momentarily lost the puck. Fortunately for the Grizzlies it ended up right on the stick of Griffin Cook, who notched his second goal of the night giving Goffstown a 4-2 lead just 40 seconds after being tied. Nashua South Pelham called a timeout after the goal, trying to regroup and rally the troops to mount a comeback.
But a comeback was not to be had on this night. At 12:31 of the period, Max Lajuenesse, who just couldn’t catch a break in this one despite some tremendous play, made a steal of the puck that could have landed him in cuffs. It was a brilliant play by Lajeunesse, but Serrentino wasn’t done having a sensational night for the Kings and turned the bid away. NSP pulled Serrentino in favor of an extra attacker at 14:00 of the period but he had to return to the net at 14:16 after they iced the puck when the CBC line had multiple close calls trying to hit the open net. The NSP netminder was pulled again at 14:29 but had to return once again when Josh Kinghorn was whistled for a trip while the Grizzlies were on the offensive once more. The final score read, Goffstown 4, Nashua South Pelham Kings 2. Goffstown cranked out 18 shots in the final period to just 2 shots for NSP, giving them a 36-9 advantage for the game. Nate Serrentino made 32 saves on 36 shots, and was simply dazzling in net for the Kings. Madeline Sage only faced 9 shots on the night, and she saved the Grizzlies’ bacon on at least three occasions against breakaways by NSP.
The Grizzlies return to the ice on Saturday evening against Winnacunnet. Please note that this game has been moved to the Haverhill Valley Forum. In Division II play on the holiday, St. Thomas improved to 8-0 with a 4-1 win against Dover. Bow took a 3-1 lead against Bishop Brady, before the Giants stormed back with 5 unanswered goals to win it 6-3. At the ICenter in Salem, Winnacunnet got past Timberlane 3-2 to improve their record to 3-4 on the season. Notable from Division III today, Kennett’s Connor Doucet eclipsed the career 100-point mark in their 5-2 win over Monadnock. Doucet is the 8th Kennett Eagle to reach 100 career points.
Goffstown (7-1) vs. Nashua South Pelham (1-4)
Sullivan Arena, St. Anselm College, Goffstown, NH
January 15, 2018. 7:15PM Start:
Goffstown: 1-0-3 = 4
NSP: 1-0-1 = 2
Goffstown: 8-10-18 = 36
NSP: 3-4-2 = 9
1st Goffstown at 9:42. Even. Griffin Cook (5) from Brett Lassonde (7) and Jacob Noonan (4).
1st NSP at 13:27. Even. Riley Nutter from John Pinksten.
2nd No Scoring.
3rd Goffstown at 9:07. SHG. Noah Charron (13) from Griffin Cook (10).
3rd NSP at 11:38. Even. Matthew Diprizio from Nolan Harvey.
3rd Goffstown at 11:53. Even. Sebastian Beal (12) from Griffin Cook (11) and Noah Charron (7).
3rd Goffstown at 12:18. Even. Griffin Cook (6) from Noah Charron (8).
Goffstown Power Play: 0 for 2.
NSP Power Play: 0 for 2 .
Goffstown: Madeline Sage 7 of 9.
NSP: Nate Serrentino 32 of 36 .
New Hampshire Union Leader
01/16/2018 – Page D02
Goffstown boys outskate Nashua South/Pelham
Griffin Cook scored a pair of goals as Goffstown pulled away from Nashua South/Pelham 4-2 on Monday in boys’ hockey.
Sebastian Beal and Noah Charron also scored for the Grizzlies improved to 7-1.South/Pelham (1-4) got goals from Riley Nutter and Matthew Diprizio. Goalie Nate Serrentino made 32 saves. Goffstown’s Maddie Sage made only seven saves, but three were on breakaways.
Arlington (Mass.) Catholic 4, Bishop Guertin 1: In Arlington, Mass., the Cardinals (4-1-1) averted a shutout when Ben Pederson scored a late power-play goal. Shots were 25-20 in favor of Arlington Catholic.
Exeter 70, Trinity 56: In Manchester, Exeter High opened a 24-point halftimelead and cruised past Trinity. Cody Morissette scored 16 points and younger brother Josh added 14 as the Blue Hawks used 14 players and improved to 5-0. Trinity, paced by 11 points each from Zach Dagan and Ethan Frenette, dropped to 0-6.
Exeter 10, Bedford 2:Carissa Towlson scored four goals as the Blue Hawks improved to 5-0. Meredith Madden and Sarah Gallo added twogoals each. Kendall Cassidy and Abi Magnifico scored for Bedford (1-7)
Bishop Brady/Trinity/West 3, Bishop Guertin 2: In Tyngsborough, Mass., Lauren Trippiedi scored with 8.4 seconds left to win it for Bishop Brady/Trinity/West (6-0). Sydney Herrington scored once, Mary Anne Wiley tallied two assists and Marie Barrioz made 34 assists for Brady/ Trinity/West. Ashley Killen scored twice and Brooke Yabroudy had an assist for Bishop Guertin (4-2).
Nashua South/ Pelham’s Joe Moore, right, is hit by Goffstown’s Noah Charron during the first period of their game at St. Anselm College on Monday night.Mark Bolton / Union Leader
New Hampshire Union Leader
01/16/2018 – Page D01
There for the taking
Nashua South/Pelham’s Joshua Kinghom, left, and Goffstown’s Sebastian Beal go for a loose puck during the first period of their game at St. Anselm College on Monday. MARK BOLTON/UNION LEADER