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Junior hockey: Fighting Spirit head west for a pair of games

The New Hampshire Fighting Spirit, fresh off Thanksgiving break, are back in action this weekend as they travel to Rochester, N.Y. to take on the Roc City Royals of the Western Conference. This will be the first set of complete games against a Western Conference opponent this season as other games against the West came in the first and second of three league-wide showcases. The Roc City Royals currently sit in 4th place in the West with a record of 7-13-1. While their record may not show, it the Royals are a gritty, hard-nosed hockey team that have been playing especially tough as of late.

"Coming off break we have been working incredibly hard to prepare for the games this weekend. The Royals play a very aggressive, in your face style of game and compete for 60 whole minutes" says Spirit captain Alex Peddle. "We need to match intensity and play our style of hockey to find success this weekend. We will need to stay out of the penalty box and maintain our composure as we know they will be in our face all weekend."

The Fighting Spirit have been looking to improve their special teams play as of late, they currently rank 3rd in penalty kill and 6th in power play amongst the NA3EHL teams. "We have been happy with our progression on our penalty kill, we found a solid group of players that have settled into that role for us. We know the more opportunity they get to perform the better our penalty kill will be as they get comfortable with our system", says Spirit coach Ben Tefft. "Our power play on the other hand is something we have been tinkering with the past few weeks trying to get more scoring opportunities out of it. We have changed some personnel and looked at different formations to try and increase our scoring on the man advantage. As long as we move our feet and make good decisions with the puck we think we can get the PP jump started."

The Fighting Spirit will round out the first half of the season next weekend with a home and home series against the New England Stars who currently sit just 3 points behind the Spirit in the standings. Friday evening's contest will be on the road as the Stars host the Spirit. Saturday night's "Christmas Game" which is sponsored by Proforma Piper Printing is set for 6:30 pregame at the Laconia Ice Arena. The Spirit would like to inform all fans that anyone in attendance showing Christmas Spirit in the form of an ugly Christmas sweater or any Christmas regalia will receive $1 off their admission. Additionally the Spirit have invited Santa to stop by for pictures and candy giveaways for all children in attendance.

For more information on the Spirit and their schedule please visit their website at www.fightingspirithockey.com

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 December 2014 08:39

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Junior hockey: Fighting Spirit heads into Thanksgiving on a high note

The New Hampshire Fighting Spirit knew they had a task at hand before they would enjoy a small break in the season. The task: win three games against the last place East Coast Minutemen and head into break feeling good about their efforts thus far. Mission accomplished, the Fighting Spirit were able to wrap up their three game set with the East Coast Minutemen in impressive fashion as they once again dominated their way to a 16-0 victory. 15 of the 18 players for the Fighting Spirit were able to record at least one point while defensemen Travis Blinkhorn, Ryan Dunfield, and forward Tim Casey led the charge. Tim Casey was able to net a hat trick for the Spirit leading the way in the goals department while Blinkhorn and Dunfield carried the load in the assist department as they each contributed 4. Spirit goalie Adam Higdon was perfect in net stopping all 11 shots he faced. This is Higdon's second shutout of the season as he was able to record one earlier in the year against the long time Spirit rival, the Syracuse Stampede. "We knew we were in for a tough challenge. The timing of this three game set could have played a part in whether or not we grabbed 6 points. Heading into a break in your season you always have to remind the players to stay focused and not check out too early. Our guys did a great job of maintaining their compete level and doing the things necessary to win hockey games", says Spirit coach Ben Tefft. "We ended this particular part of our season on a high note and will look to continue the progress we have accomplished so far. We know it is a long season and we will continue to push our players to constantly progress and get better as the season moves forward."

The Spirit will enjoy the comforts of home as they have a week long break for the Thanksgiving holiday. When they return it will be back to work as usual as they prepare for a big road trip to Rochester, N.Y. to take on the Roc City Royals. The Fighting Spirit would like to wish their sponsors, fans, and everyone in the Lakes Region a safe and happy Thanksgiving. For more information on the Spirit please visit their website www.fightingspirithockey.com

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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LHS grad Mickey Donovan named Coach of the Year in Quebec

Mickey Donovan, head coach of the Concordia Stingers, has been named the RSEQ conference's Coach of the Year for the 2014 football season. This is the second honor bestowed upon Donovan this fall. Earlier this year, the 1999 LHS grad was inducted into the Laconia High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Donovan, who was selected by a panel of media, head coaches and athletic directors, will be the Quebec nominee for the Frank Tindall Trophy presented to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport's Coach of the Year during Vanier Cup festivities in Montreal at the end of the month.
In his first year as a head coach at the CIS level, Donovan directed the Stingers to a 5-3 regular season win-loss record. With a preseason win over the Queen's Gaels and a semifinal loss to the Laval Rouge et Or, he had a 6-4 record overall.
The Stingers were not ranked in the CIS pre-season Top 10 poll but moved into the prestigious rankings in the third week of play and stayed there six weeks, peaking at the No. 8 spot in week 8.
Concordia had struggled the last couple of seasons, and Donovan inherited a 0-8 team in February of 2014. He won the preseason contest versus Queen's and won four straight games to start the regular season. The Stingers finished fourth in the conference and returned to playoff action for the first time since 2011.
Donovan returned to Concordia to take charge of the team 10 years after he suited up for the Stingers and dominated the Canadian university ranks. The Laconia, N.H. native was a very accomplished linebacker for three seasons – 2002 through 2004.
He was a two-time Quebec all-star, a two-time CIS all-Canadian and he won the Presidents' Trophy as the top defensive player in Canadian university football in 2004.
His coaching career started with an internship at the University of New Hampshire in 2006. Donovan joined the Western Mustangs in 2007 to coach linebackers. During his four years with the Mustangs, he handled special teams, the defensive front seven and served as the team's recruiting co-ordinator.
In November of 2011, Donovan joined the McGill Redmen as assistant head coach and defensive co-ordinator. He stayed with McGill until coming home to Concordia nine months ago.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 November 2014 09:28

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Wavemakers begin competition

The Lakes Region Wavemakers Swim Team has started the competitive aspect of their season with their first meet against Portsmouth Swim Team and will continue next week by hosting Concord Sailfish at the Laconia Athletic and Swim Club. Swimmers were able to put to use all the drills and technique that the coaches have been working on with them since early September. The following swimmers were awarded top ten for one or more of their events: Clara Bates, Kendra Blouin, Angela Bonnell, Joseph Bonnell, Chloe Brown, Dagon Burr, Thor Burr, Kaitlyn Callahan, Hayley Cochrane, Miranda Coffey, Rebecca Cook, Alex Dimarzio, Jacob Dumais, Meredith Gerken, Katie Gingrich, Laurel Gingrich, Edward Goucher, Ela Goucher, Emmie Goucher, Colleen Harriman, Murphy Harris, Kathyrn Hawkes, Kamila Hecka, Alyxandra Huckaby, Sydney Irons, Kaylee Jones, Joshua, Kelleher, Sanela Kosut, Alexa Lazazzera, Alexa Leonard, Beck McLean, Eric Phelps, Charlotte Philippy, Sydney Philippy, Owen Sanborn, Garrett Shafer, Lauren Sikoski, Kaylee Smith, Matthew Sundius, Ella Tryon, Ethan Vachon, Hannah Verville, Brooke Vetter, Ruby Walker, Bridget Wilcox. This group of swimmers range from 6-17 years of age with experience from 2 weeks in the water with the team to 10 years. The Swim Team is honored to have 2014 Limited Edition Pepi Herman crystal ornaments available for sale again this year. For more information on the team or the ornaments contact Judy Cook 293-0279.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 November 2014 09:16

Hits: 379

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