Junior hockey: N.H. Fighting Spirit look to extend lead

The New Hampshire Fighting Spirit will be looking to extend their lead in the Eastern Conference as they take on division opponent the East Coast Minutemen Sunday at the Laconia Ice Arena. While the Minutemen have yet to tally their first win of the season they have added a few players to their roster and have been playing more inspired hockey as of late. "We are in a tough situation heading into this weekend, our next three games are against the Minutemen and we need to be prepared for each one", said associate head coach Ben Tefft. "Any time you face a team that is desperate to get things going in the right direction it's always a tough matchup. The Minutemen would love nothing more than to knock off the first place team to grab their first win of the season and it is something we need to be aware of. We have to play our style of hockey and give the Minutemen the respect they deserve or we may find ourselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard", said


In other league news the Fighting Spirit's Mike Heffernan (Brockton, Mass.) had a solid showing over the weekend and was given the honor of being named the Offensive Player of the Week for the NA3EHL. Heffernan compiled 5 points over the showcase weekend to help the Spirit rack up two more wins on the season.

Sunday afternoon's contest is at the Laconia Ice Arena and will begin at 1:45 with puck drop at 2 p.m. The Minutemen will be back in Laconia for the Spirit's first midweek game of the season on Wednesday November 19 with pregame at 6:15 p.m. Visit the Fighting Spirit's website for up to date information including stats and schedule, www.fightingspirithockey.com

Flag football tournament in Laconia over Thanksgiving weekend

On Thanksgiving weekend, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 28 and 29, the Lakes Region Flag Football League and Laconia Sachems Football will be holding the first annual Turkey Bowl Flag Football Tournament at the Laconia High School's Fitzgerald Field.

This two day tournament is hosted by Laconia Sachems Football and Lakes Region Flag Football. There will be two divisions, an 18+ and a 30+ division. Registration is $300 per team with a maximum roster size of 12 players. Proceeds go to Laconia High School's new weight room to benefit students and faculty and also go to the LRAAC (Lakes Region Athletic Advancement complex), a proposed regulation-size indoor field enabling children and adults of the Lakes Region and beyond to stay active year round.

Games are non-contact and are played 6 on 6 with a 20 minute running game clock per half. Each team will play a minimum of 4 games over the two day tournament. On Friday each team will play 3 games to establish seeding and the elimination games begin on Saturday.

This tournament is not limited just to the LRFFL summer men's league teams and players. Organizers are reaching out across the Lakes Region (and beyond) in an effort to reach more players for this tournament and raise substantial funds.

It is not necessary to have a full roster to register as roster moves can be made up to Thanksgiving day. Register on lrffl.com by clicking on the register tab.

Sponsorships are also sought. Banners will be placed along the playing field fence for donations of $250. Location will be determined by order of sponsorships received. The earlier sponsors sign-up, the closer to the middle of the fence near the 50 yard line their banner will be placed. Contact LRFFL at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to inquire about sponsoring this event.

Golden Eagles have chance for revenge in North Conference championship tomorrow

The Gilford High School Golden Eagles football team will head to Newport tomorrow to take on the Tigers in the North Conference championship. The winner of Saturday's game will earn the right to play for the DIII state title.

Gilford visited Newport in week three of the regular season and suffered the team's only loss of the season, falling by the score of 27-20. "We lost momentum in the first game after a touchdown was called back for a blocking in the back penalty," said coach Shawn Garrett. "The afternoon was very hot and humid and we had trouble staying fresh." Newport jumped out to a 14-0 lead before Gilford found the endzone in the second quarter. The Golden Eagles drew within seven, 27-20, with three minutes remaining but could not complete the comeback. "That game was the low point of our season," continued Garrett. Gilford turned the ball over seven times compared to Newport's two turnovers.
Gilford's Carter Mercer threw for 213 yards on 14 completions with three touchdowns and four interceptions in the first game. Max Troiano rushed for 106 yards on 19 carries and Kyle Gaudet had seven receptions for 159 yards and two TDs back in September.
After the loss in week three the Golden Eagles have beat their opponents by at least 26 points to finish the regular season 7-1. Gilford got past Inter-Lakes-Moultonborough 28-13 in the first round of the playoffs last week. Newport beat Mascoma 34-14 in the first round.
"We expect them to be better than the team we first faced," added Garrett. "We have added some new dimensions to the offense and we will hold nothing back in what I call the second season." The Golden Eagles will have to keep the offense rolling to get past the Tigers who have not given up more than 21 points on the season and average 36 points per game. "Our key to the offense is the offensive line. This is the first season the group has played together. Most haven't played a full season prior to this year," Garrett said. "Newport is the best team we have faced this season. They are well coached and do not make mistakes," finished Garrett. "We have watched a ton of film and will be ready"
The Conference Championship is in Newport tomorrow at 1 p.m. The action will be streamed live on the NFHS Network, found at www.nfhsnetwork.com/associations/nhiaa.

Junior hockey: New England Wolves extend win streak with 5-2 win over Walpole Express

LACONIA — The MJHL New England Wolves, a new Junior Hockey team playing out of the Laconia Ice Arena, extended their win streak another weekend, with a decisive 5-2 victory over the Walpole Express at Rodman Arena in Walpole, Mass. on Saturday night. Entering the game the Express sported a stellar 10 win and only 3 loss record on the season.
Jumping out to a 3-0 lead midway through the 2nd period, the Wolves were led by Captain Dillon Smith who recorded the first ever Hat Trick in MJHL Wolves history. "Dillon has led by example all season, and recognized the challenge we faced. He let his actions do the talking on Saturday night." Coach Andrew Trimble quoted.
Outstanding defensive efforts by the whole Wolves defensive core of Hunter Craig, Brogan Hurst, Shawn Sullivan, Blake Babineau and in particular Wolfeboro natives Owen Richard and Josh Grasso, kept Walpole Forward Logan Stark off the score sheet. Stark entered the game as one of the MJHL's leading point producers.
Opening the scoring for the second week in a row was Dillon Smith, on a goal assisted by Hunter Craig. Trading scoring chances, the Wolves capitalized on a power play early in the 2nd period on a beautiful Josh Grasso end to end rush. Smith would strike again to make it 3-0, before things would get interesting.
Two successive Walpole goals and penalty trouble by both squads were the story till 90 seconds were left in regulation, when Kevin Morello scored off a neutral zone faceoff when Walpole removed their netminder in favor of an extra attacker. Smith completed his hat trick seconds later.
The MJHL New England Wolves return to action next weekend on the road as they take on the Northern Cyclones on Saturday night in Hudson, NH.
Congratulations to Lunenberg, Ma's Phillip Schultz, who was awarded Honorable Mention Player of the Week by the MJHL last week. Additionally, coach Trimble would like to thank Lakes Region Youth Hockey for their continued support and the opportunity they provided to the Wolves Players to participate with "Try Hockey for Free Day".
For more information, visit- www.americanhockeyinstitute.com or www.scoringconcepts.com .