Goffstown School District
Boys Varsity Ice Hockey
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Dec 11, 2023
- GRIZZLIES: 6
MONADNOCK REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL: 1
December 11, 2023 - A New Era Begins - St. Anselm College - Goffstown, NH -
There is a new face at the helm of the Goffstown Hockey program, and on opening night, the Grizzlies earned a 6-1 win.
As the new era begins, the Goffstown hockey team has a roster of 25 players. Only 20 players can dress for a varsity game, so there will be some rotation among the players on the roster. By my count, there are 8 freshmen, 5 sophomores, 8 juniors, and 4 seniors. Youth. And hope springs eternal.
It's a new season! It's a young team. A new era begins. Andrew Skora is the highest career point leader (9g-12a-21p) returning this season. Where will this season take the Goffstown Grizzlies and G-Town Nation? It should be fun to watch. Afterall, it is all about the kids.
And on opening night, the kids played well enough to snag a 6-1 victory over the Monadnock-Fall Mountain-Con-Val Huskies. The Grizzlies took a 3-0 lead in the first period, with 3 goals over a 4 minute and 21 second span. Then they didn't score again for 23 minutes and 17 seconds. The home team added three goals in the final period and skated to the opening night win.
It was a memorable night. A new head coach. A win on opening night. Alex Veary earned his first varsity win in net with 20 saves on 21 shots. And three players scored their first career goals. A new era begins.
- Grizzlies score first - The first goal of the 2023-2024 season was also the first goal of Gavin Diodati's career. Dylan Ellbeg won the offensive zone face-off for the Grizzlies, with some help from Andrew Skora. Skora spun and sent the puck into the slot to Ellbeg, but the defense was contending the middle of the ice. The puck skipped off of Ellbeg's stick right to Diodati, and Gavin made no mistake! He swept the puck into the net for his first career goal and the Grizzlies had a 1-0 lead. First career goal - Diodati from Ellbeg and Skora. Even strength.
- Everyone loves a shortie - The Grizzlies were killing one of their four shorthanded encounters when Tyler Lessard entered the shooting lane. He blocked a blast from Kiernan King off of his shin guards. The puck caromed out in to center ice and the race was on. Lessard flew up the left side with the puck and Skora on his right. Lessard shot but Matt Coburn made the save. Then Lessard followed his shot and tapped another shot into the pads before grabbing another rebound and slamming the puck into the net. 2-0. SHG - Lessard unassisted.
- Wicked wrista - The Grizzlies had a 2-0 lead and the action had opened up late in the first period. Dylan Desruisseaux got back and forced a Huskies shot wide of the net. Lessard came back through the defensive zone grabbed the puck. He then went on a bit of a sakte-about in the defensive end. He spun, he circled, he doubled back, and then turned up ice still with the puck. As he went through center ice he flipped a backhand pass ahead to Zack Tarrier who was up ice and on the fly. Tarrier hit the offensive blue line with speed, the puck, and a defender between him and the net. Tarrier let a wrist shot fly as he was moving left and using the defender as a screen. Not only that, he shot the puck back toward his right with accuracy and speed. Judging the reaction of Coburn, the screen worked, and the speed beat him to the spot as the puck sent waves through the netting in the goal. 3-0. Tarrier from Lessard.
- Another career first - Gavin Diodati cut to the outside and entered the offensive zone with some speed. He made a nice centering pass to the slot that rolled off of Owen St. Onge's stick right to Andrew Skora. Skora ripped a shot that whistled just wide. He got his own rebound, circled in the corner, fought off a check, and dished to the slot. St. Onge was moving backward toward the center of the ice as the pass reached him right in his left-shot wheelhouse. St. Onge cranked a shot all in one motion and the puck found the net before the goaltender could complete the slide from his right to his left. First career goal - St. Onge from Skora and Diodati. 4-1.
- Another first, 6 minutes later - St. Onge won an offensive zone face-off to himself and while spinning around he got a nice shot that just missed the near side post, wide. The puck hit the end boards and slid toward the far corner. Andrew Skora was there to retrieve the puck and instantly sent a pass toward the crease. The puck avoided traffic and ended up right where AJ Tramontozzi wanted it. And AJ slammed the puck into the net. 5-1. First career goal - Tramontozzi from Skora and St. Onge.
- Empty netter - The Huskies pulled their goaltender with 90 seconds left in the game to work on their extra attacker set up. They won an offensive zone face-off and did everything but score as Veary and the defense somehow kept the puck out of the net. Moments later, Will Hamel grabbed the puck in the D zone and safely banged the puck up the boards. The puck got past the Monadnock forward where Cole Stratford took the puck and hit center ice. He made a pass that might have been intended for Connor Bernard but he was stick-checked and the pass lacked the necessary oomph to get to Bernard. The net was empty. Dylan Ellbeg was the recipient of the pass and barreled over the blue line and buried a wrist shot into the open net. 6-1. Ellbeg from Stratford and Hamel.
Monadnock Huskies: 01 - 00 - 00 = 01
Goffstown Grizzlies: 03 - 00 - 03 = 06
Shots on goal:
Monadnock Huskies: 08 - 08 - 05 = 21
Goffstown Grizzlies: 17 - 07 - 12 = 36
Goffstown Grizzlies Penalties:
- Tarrier (Interference)
- Ellbeg (Trip)
- Bennett (Slash)
- Lessard (Interference)
- Tarrier (Rough)
Goffstown was 0-for-1 on the power play, while the Huskies were 0-for-4.
Matt Coburn made 30 saves on 35 shots (.857). There was one shot on goal when the net was empty.
Alex Veary made 20 saves on 21 shots (.952).
There are a number of eligible Goffstown student-athlete hockey players that chose not to return, or chose to play in a different program than to play in the Goffstown high school program this season.
This has become a popular problem in the last 15 years especially, as parents shop their players to the greener grasses disconnected from the hometown team. In addition, the players interest (overall) in the discipline and time requirement along with the narrowing of the competition funnel that determines which players play most, seems to get a little weaker every year for some, if not for many.
Maybe the underclassmen that chose to play elsewhere will come play for the Goffstown on their chest before their high school glory days are done. Then there were some big, strong, good players (12 goals and 17 assists last season) that didn't return for this campaign.
Then again, maybe the greatest Goffstown hockey players of all-time are already in the current mix.
We know that life is short. And even shorter than that is a high school career. The career all-time leader in hockey games played for the Goffstown Grizzlies played 90 games in four seasons. That's 4050 minutes (67.5 hours) of regulation, game-time hockey in a career. If a player was exceptional enough to play half of those minutes, that would equal just over 2,000 minutes of play in a four year career. Or 8.5 hours per season of game-time action alongside your teammates and schoolmates.
So, you can see that time is indeed fleeting. Then, if a player took a 2-minute penalty each game, they've cut their time on ice as a Goffstown Grizzlies player by nearly 10%. In my opinion, it should be an honor and a privilege to wear that jersey and look up and down the bench at your teammates, best friends, and schoolmates, all wearing Goffstown across their chest. Then, by deduction, giving your all for 8.5 hours (or one long school day) over a season shouldn't leave much doubt as to where the commitment and effort level should be.
I look forward to what this group can produce on and off of the ice. A new era begins with each member of the team, the Goffstown Grizzlies of 2023-2024. Enjoy the ride!
A new era begins for the Huskies too. As they combine Monadnock, Fall Mountain, and Con-Val together put a varsity hockey program together with an aim to be playing back in NHIAA D-III after next season. I do wish their coach Ethan Russell, and the entire program much success moving forward. I hope that many players get a chance to play NH high school hockey as a result of these schools coming together.
Here is what I wrote about Monadnock's coach just a few years ago (January 3, 2019) from a Goffstown hockey game against Keene..."I personally thought Ethan Russell was their best defender all night. He skates very well and gets his feet in front of offensive players which makes his poke checking skills look easy while being a nightmare to one trying to stickhandle around him..."
You can follow other Goffstown Hockey stories, here.
Remembering Jen Cheney...
The Jen Cheney Memorial Scholarship and Sportsmanship Award (awarded each season)
As a sixteen-year-old junior, Jen was a manager for the very first Goffstown Grizzlies hockey team in the 1999-2000 club season. Her infectious smile and friendly nature was a joy for everyone fortunate to know her. Jen is now our eternal team angel. The spirit of Jen lives on...our team champions an angel memorial patch sewn to each uniform jersey.
On Thursday, May 18th, 2000, Jen was killed by a drunk driver. We are dedicated to memorialize Jen’s life with the Jen Cheney Memorial Scholarship and Sportsmanship Award. But we also want to deliver a message from our team angel… simply…if you choose to drink, don’t drive.
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.
"We should be dreaming. We grew up as kids having dreams, but now we're too sophisticated as adults, as a nation. We stopped dreaming. We should always have dreams." ~ the late Herb Brooks.