Boys Varsity Ice Hockey
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Jan 5, 2019
- GRIZZLIES: 5
SOMERSWORTH HIGH SCHOOL: 4
The Grizzlies celebrate the eventual game-winner against Somersworth-Coe-Brown. (Photo by Charron)
From Rochester Ice Arena in Rochester, NH – January 5, 2019:
If you count the Christmas Tournament, Goffstown has played 10 games so far this season. Interestingly perhaps, they have played 9 of those 10 games on the road, away from Sullivan Arena in Goffstown. The Brian C. Stone Memorial Christmas Hockey Tournament was played at JFK Coliseum in Manchester, NH.
Maybe the most amazing stat is that the Grizzlies are 8-1-1 over the opening 10 games. Playing on the road is difficult enough. Then you also don’t get the last change on stoppages, which is critical against good coaches who have scouted their opponent. It’s also hard to beat good teams anywhere, especially on their own ice.
Goffstown traveled to Rochester, NH to play the Somersworth-Coe-Brown Northwood Academy Bearcats who were 2-1-1 in league play when the opening puck was dropped. The combined name of the schools included as the home team is almost as long as the distance from Coe-Brown to Somersworth High to Rochester Ice Arena, at 27 miles and about 45 minutes, just to play at home. In a nutshell, or two, Somersworth-Coe-Brown (SCB) is a good team. Their goaltender, Kevin Baker, is one big reason why this was a one-goal game. SCB’s team defense, circling the wagons in front of Baker, is another reason. Goffstown taking senseless penalties when nothing but good decisions was in jeopardy also played a big role in this outcome. The Bearcats are a good skating team with depth in the skill of skating, and that is a huge asset to have. Goffstown escaped the trip to Rochester with a 5-4 road victory that easily could have gone the other way.
So, here’s a thought, the Grizzlies’ captains corps spent 14 minutes in the penalty box tonight. That’s nearly one period of play, taking one of those kids off of the ice. I know players generally (95%+) believe they have not committed a penalty. I mean, ever. That would mean that 7 times this evening these three were penalized for nothing. Honestly, though, some of these penalties were just completely mindless. Which makes me immediately think of players being tired, not on their ‘A’ game to begin with, not mentally prepared (as in looking past their opponent) and last but not least, certainly playing against a worthy opponent.
Goffstown scored a pair of first period goals to take a 2-0 lead on the Bearcats. Griffin Cook got the scoring started while shorthanded. He grabbed a loose puck at center ice and meandered just a bit before putting the pedal to the metal and flying down the right wing to put the puck in the net. At 14:32 of the period Somersworth-Coe-Brown forward, Ryan Nester took a two-handed swipe with his stick that caromed off of the head and back of Griffin Cook after Cook had made a physical play on Nester. I mention this because of how the Bearcat player took his decided action and immediately looked around to see if a referee caught him. They did not. I also mention this because of how much of this type of action I am seeing from game to game. It’s alarming. 24 seconds later Goffstown scored when Theo Milianes won an offensive zone faceoff then grabbed the loose puck and snapped it past Kevin Baker in goal. Goffstown outshot SCB 13-5 and took a 2-0 lead to the locker room.
The Bearcats came out in the 2nd period with a renewed sense of purpose. A recurring trend showed itself as well when the Grizzlies allowed yet another first-minute goal. SCB scored when Colby Walsh took a shot towards the net that was just about a foot wide of the far side post, a little higher than ankle high off of the ice. Will Sawyer skillfully redirected the puck on net, and past Kyle LaSella to give the Bearcats the goal at 0:58. After matching penalties, and individual penalties to each side, SCB redirected another shot, but this time it hit the post and bounced away at 8:49. At 9:02 of the period the clock was not started for exactly 30 seconds. Immediately after killing another penalty, with a senior defender in the box, the Grizzlies found themselves tied at 2-2. Gage Gagne scored from Daniel Strum a moment after winning the faceoff. Then another frustration decision led to an SCB penalty at 14:29. Goffstown took advantage 19 seconds later when Colby Gamache and Colin Burke worked the puck to Sebastian Beal. Beal ran over a defender while carrying the puck and ripped a shot at Baker between the pipes. Baker made the save but the rebound bounced off of a Bearcat and into the net at 14:48 to give Goffstown a 3-2 lead. The Grizzlies won the shot battle 15-7 but lost the period 2-1 on the scoreboard.
In the third period, the well-structured, fine skating Bearcats tied the game 3-3 at 1:25 with almost no resistance from the visitors. Jake Pelletier scored from Aiden Perra on a play that looked way too easy. Somehow, 6 seconds later Grady Chretien scored from Theo Milianes to give Goffstown the lead once again. On the next shift, Griffin Cook was set up for his second goal of the game on a gorgeous pass from Colby Gamache. Goffstown led 5-3 with 12:27 to play. Six penalties were called in the next nine minutes, and both teams were guilty of poor reactions to adversity, let’s say. Then Gage Gagne scored his second goal of the night when his shot and then collection and deposit his own rebound were watched closely with little resistance from Goffstown. A minute later Goffstown took a terrible penalty, for no apparent reason or perceived threat, other than to invite the host team a man-advantage opportunity to tie the game. Fortunately for the guilty party, his team killed the penalty before taking another penalty with 10.something seconds left in the game. The Bearcats pulled Kevin Baker from the net at 14:31 and put him back in net after the minor brouhaha when a pair of seniors tried a needless stick swinging dance at 14:49. Goffstown escaped with a 5-4 win.
To expand on a few things, first Somersworth-Coe-Brown has just one senior on their roster, and if the remaining players all come back, this group is going to be very difficult to beat. Second, Goffstown held the puck in the offensive zone for minutes at a time in all three periods, as SCB was content enough to keep all they could to the outside and to let Kevin Baker a good look at shots. The other thing that came from their defensive approach was that the Grizzlies weren’t able to get Baker moving side-to-side, and when he could square up, he saved just about everything he saw. That being said, the visitors scored a powerplay goal, a shorthanded goal, and 3 even strength goals, which speaks to their abilities in many different scenarios. Kyle LaSella made 18 saves en route to the win on the road.
Around the league, undefeated Dover was idle so they came to scout Goffstown. Keene won at Kingswood, 7-3. Alvirne-Milford tied Portsmouth-Newmarket 1-1 despite both teams having two school names each. Merrimack lost to triple threat Lebanon-Stevens-Mt. Royal 5-2. Winnacunnet won their second game in the last three 6-1 over Timberlane.
Goffstown returns to action on Wednesday night, if the weather holds, to play on the road, again, this time at undefeated Dover. Gametime is scheduled for 6:30 pm at Dover Ice Arena.
Goffstown 8-1-1 overall (5-0-1)
Rochester Ice Arena, Rochester, NH
January 5, 2019. 6:00 PM Start:
Goffstown: 2-1-2 = 5
SCB: 0-2-2 = 4
Goffstown: 13-15-10 = 38
Keene: 05-07-10 = 22
1st Goffstown at 1:58. SHG. Griffin Cook (12) unassisted.
1st Goffstown at 4:10. Even. Theo Milianes (3) unassisted.
2nd SCB at 0:58. Even. Will Sawyer from Colby Walsh.
2nd SCB at 12:04. Even. Gage Gagne from Daniel Strum.
2nd Goffstown at 14:48. PPG. Sebastian Beal (9) from Colin Burke (7) and Colby Gamache (12).
3rd SCB at 1:25. Even. Jake Pelletier from Aiden Perra.
3rd Goffstown at 1:31. Even. Grady Chretien (13) from Theo Milianes (3).
3rd Goffstown at 2:33. Even. Griffin Cook (13) from Colby Gamache (13).
3rd SCB at 11:18. Even. Gage Gagne unassisted.
Goffstown Power Play: 1 for 3.
SCB Power Play: 0 for 5.
Goffstown: Kyle LaSella 18 of 22. (45:00)
SCB: Kevin Baker 33 of 38. (44:24)