Junior hockey: Fighting Spirit sweeps series against Wild

The New Hampshire Fighting Spirit completed the sweep of the Maine Wild with a 3-0 win Sunday afternoon at the Laconia Ice Arena. Goaltender Claes Endre was perfect in net as he turned away all 19 shots he faced. Spirit forward Brett Bittner was the primary offensive threat as he netted all three Spirit goals, two of which came on the Spirit power play. The 3-0 victory came on the heels of an overtime thriller which saw the Spirit grab a 2-1 win with newcomer Dominic Gruttadauria scoring the game winner. Goaltender Adam Higdon picked up his 11th win of the year stopping 20 of the 21 shots he faced. "We knew we were in for two tough games as the Wild always compete for 60 minutes. I was proud of the way our players handled the adversity thrown at them by the Wild and was happy to see us stick to our game plan and play our brand of hockey which ultimately resulted in two more wins" says Spirit coach Ben Tefft. "We will put this weekend behind us and start preparing for the showcase in Lockport. We face an unbeaten Jersey Shore Wildcats team in our first game and are excited to try and be the first to knock them off this season."

The Fighting Spirit will hit the road this weekend as they will compete in the third of three league wide showcases. They will square off against the Jersey Shore Wildcats Friday, January 16 at 5:30 p.m., the Wilkes Barre Miners Saturday, January 17 at 9 a.m., and the Syracuse Stampede Sunday, January 18 at 11 a.m. All games will be held at the Lockport Express's home arena.

For more information on the Fighting Spirit and their schedule please visit their website at www.fightingspirithockey.com. You can also follow the Fighting Spirit on Facebook and Twitter.

Locals excel at Elks Hoop Shoot in Plymouth

The Plymouth Lodge of Elks #2312 hosted the North District Hoop Shoot and is pleased to announce the results of the North District Championship held at Plymouth Regional High School recently.

The participants from the area Lodges did very well, as 15 area youth finished in the top 3 for their age bracket.

Winners from the Plymouth Lodge included; Kiara Brown (8-9 girls), Riley Flaherty (10-11 girls), Leia Brunt (12-13 girls) and Marcus Morel (12-13 boys).

Winners from the Laconia Lodge included; Lucas Kirk (8-9 boys) and Jacob Mello (10-11 boys).

Others from Plymouth that placed included; Orion Browne (8-9 boys) and Hayden Whitman (1-11 boys).

Those from the Franklin Lodge that placed included; Theresa LaFrance (8-9 girls), Tucker Fluery (8-9 boys), Brandon Dukette (10-11 boys) and Benjamin LaFrance (12-13 boys).

Laconia shooters who placed were Macy Swormstedt (8-9 girls), Delany Ross (12-13 girls) and Philip Nichols (12-13 boys).

The North District winners will now participate in the State Championship to be held in Portsmouth on Feb. 1st.

Laconia Middle School girls collect a dozen wins

The Laconia Middle School girls' A basketball team improved to 12-0 after three wins last week.

Laconia's first game last week was on the road at Kingswood on Jan. 6, where Amelia Clairmont's 14 points lead Laconia to a 44 to 26 win. Hannah Dow contributed 11 points to the effort. Skyler Tautkus, Caitlyn Beattie, and Ellie Kellly played excellent floor games for the Laconia. Delaney Ross hit some key shots for the winners.

The following day saw the closest of the three games for Laconia, when the team traveled to Belmont for a 37-34 victory. Clairmont again lead Laconia with 17 points and Dow followed with 9. It was a hard fought victory for Laconia against a feisty Belmont squad. The score was knotted 17 to 17 at the half. Laconia was able to convert some key lay ups in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

January 9 saw Laconia host Inter-Lakes, when Clairmont posted 30 points on the way to a 50-34 win. Dow scored 10. Laconia led 29 to 18 at the half. Clairmont was the difference in the second half with 8 rebounds and 4 steals along with three 3-pointers for the game. Dow and Sydney Stevens also made key contributions for the Lady Sachems in the victory.

Laconia's next game is on Friday at Merrimack Valley.

Round-up: Belmont girls top LHS, Gilford remains undefeated

The Belmont High School girls' basketball team (4-3) secured a victory at Laconia, 45-34 on Friday evening. Cassie Contigiani had 11 points in the win. Belmont welcomes Franklin tonight.
Laconia drops to 4-2 in the loss to Belmont. Kailey Nute had 17 points to lead all scorers. The Sachems head to Berlin tonight.
Winnisquam fell to White Mountains 54-26 who were led by Laura Harmon (9 points). The 1-6 Bears host Fall Mountain on Thursday.
Gilford improved to 7-0 after the 75-41 victory at Newport. Brooke Beaudet had 19 points in the win. The Golden Eagles host Farmington tonight.
Inter-Lakes (0-6) fell just short of recording their first victory 39-37 at Berlin on Friday night. The Lakers visit Moultonborough tomorrow.
Prospect Mountain fell to Campbell 57-38 on Friday, dropping to 2-5 on the season. The Timberwolves host Somersworth tonight.

Boys' basketball

The Laconia Sachems boys' basketball team needed a three pointer in the final seconds to beat Belmont 39-36 on Friday night. Junior Dylan Dockham drained the game winner to cap his 12 point evening. The 2-2 Sachems host Berlin (4-1) tonight.
Belmont falls to 1-4 after Friday's loss. Trevor Hunt had 16 points for the Red Raiders. Next up for Belmont is an away game against 3-2 Franklin.
Winnisquam earned their fourth victory in five tries on Friday, cruising past White Mountains 85-41. Christian Serrano had 19 points and Torrey Martinez scored 18 in the victory. The Bears head to Fall Mountain on Friday.
Gilford dropped their second game of the season (3-2) to Newport, 54-36. Zach Djabelarbi had nine points in the loss. The Golden Eagles welcome Farmington tonight.
Prospect Mountain (0-4) fell to Campbell 83-51. The Timberwolves head to Somersworth tonight.
Laconia/Winnisquam fell to 2-3 on Saturday after the 5-0 loss to Kennett. The Wolfpack heads to Berlin tomorrow.
Moultonborough/Inter-Lakes also fell to 2-3 after a losing to John Stark/Hopkinton 8-2. The Renegades host Belmont/Gilford on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs improved to 3-1 after the 7-0 shutout against Kearsarge on Saturday. Belmont/Gilford will host rink rival Moultonborough/Inter-Lakes tomorrow.