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Fighting Spirt's hockey season begins with a weekend split against Cape Cod

The Spirit opened up their 2014-2015 campaign for a third consecutive championship with a 3-0 loss Saturday night. The Spirit found themselves in penalty trouble early which led to the Islanders cashing in on a 5 on 3 power play just 2:30 into the period. Midway through the first, the Islanders were able to score another goal giving them a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

The Spirit rallied back with a strong effort in the second period but were unable to crack Islanders goaltender Patrick Spaulding. Just over the halfway mark in the second the Islanders received a lucky bounce as a shot from the corner bounced off a Spirit player and into the back of their net giving Cape Cod a 3-0 lead.

Despite the frantic effort and quality scoring chances, the Spirit were unable to solve Spaulding as he earned the Islanders first win of the season with a 27 save shutout performance. Spirit goaltender Claes Endre was strong in the net turning away 23 of 26 shots he faced.

In Sunday's game, both teams entered intermission tied at zero. The Islanders struck first early in the second period. Nearly 13 minutes later the Spirit finally got off their scoring snide and found the back of the net with a power play goal. Mike Heffernan took a pass from teammate Andrew Gass in the high slot and was able to slide it past the outstretched leg of Spaulding.

Both teams began the third at even strength and it would not take long for the Spirit to get some puck luck of their own. Just 1:45 into the period Travis Blinkhorn ripped a shot from center ice surprising Spaulding and beating him high glove side giving the Spirit a 2-1 advantage. Five minutes later the Islanders tied the score at 2 with a deflection on a shot from the point that beat Spirit goaltender Adam Higdon low blocker side.

The Spirit ramped up their attack in the final minutes of the third and into the overtime period but were unable to score the game winning goal. In the shoot-out, it took both teams five players before the first goal was scored, and it proved to be the game winner. Newcomer Christian Babineau was able to deke and beat Spaulding low glove side to secure the win for the Spirit. Goaltender Adam Higdon stopped all five Cape Cod shooters to tally the first win of the season.

"We felt we played two very competitive games this weekend against Cape Cod. We were very tough to play against in our defensive zone and we had solid goal tending all weekend long, which allowed us to keep Saturday's game close and secure the victory on Sunday," said associate head coach Ben Tefft. "We found ourselves gripping the stick too tight and fighting the puck all weekend which is to be expected on the opening weekend. We got a glimpse of what we are capable of this weekend and are confident our team will settle down and find their rhythm. Our forwards are very skilled and will be able to put the puck in the net more consistently as the season progresses. All in all we were very happy with the effort this weekend and are gearing up for our next opponent."

The Fighting Spirit are off this weekend and are set to volunteer their time at the 6th annual WOW Fest. Their next game is scheduled for Friday October 3 and is their home opener against the Junior Mariners, pre-game starts at 6:45 p.m.

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

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 September 2014 07:26

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Medeiros again named 'Player of the Week' at Norwich

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Norwich University sophomore kicker/punter Wes Medeiros (Gilford, N.H.) was named the Special Teams Player of the Week for the second straight week.

Medeiros was Mr. Clutch on Saturday, nailing a 22-yard field goal with five seconds left in the game to lift Norwich to a 10-7 victory over WPI. Medeiros also successfully converted his only point after attempt, improving to a perfect 3-for-3 on PATs this year and 2-for-2 on field goals.

This marks Medeiros' fourth ECFC Special Teams Player of the Week nod over the last two seasons.

Norwich (2-1, 0-0 ECFC) enters its bye week on a two-game winning streak after beating St. Lawrence and WPI by 10-7 scores the last two weeks. The Cadets open up ECFC play with a tough matchup at Husson University on Saturday, Oct. 4 at 1 p.m.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 September 2014 07:22

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Inter-Lakes Volleyball knocks off Stevens, Belmont to improve to 5-2

The Inter-Lakes High School varsity volleyball team got back in the win column on Monday night with a straight set victory at Stevens High School in Claremont, 25-5, 25-12, 25-18. Leading the way for the Lakers was sophomore setter Rebecca Otis who registered 14 service points and nine assists in the match. Maegan Bunnell knocked down five kills and six service points, including four aces. Also contributing were Kaila Martin (10 points, two kills), Hailey Eldridge (five points, one kill) and Ella Flanders (six points, four aces). With the win, and a subsequent victory over Belmont on Wednesday, Inter-Lakes improves to 5-2 on the season.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 September 2014 07:13

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New England Wolves take to the ice tomorrow, roster includes four local players

LACONIA — The Laconia Ice Arena will be the home to the New England Wolves of the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League team this season. The Wolves begin their season tomorrow night at 6:30 against in-state foe The New Hampshire Monarchs. Tickets are $5 for adults and free for children under 12 and all youth hockey players who wear their jersey.

Head coach Andrew Trimble has plenty of experience in the hockey community. Trimble is the founder of Scoring Concepts, a company that holds hockey clinics and private sessions in New Hampshire. In addition to the clinics, Trimble was the assistant coach for the Laconia Leafs. Andrew led Kingswood to the playoffs each of the last two seasons as that team's head coach.

The Wolves focus is to develop local talent from the New England area with a few players from around the United States. Four players on this year's roster are from the Lakes Region. Former Belmont-Gilford defenseman Brogan Hurst and fellow Bulldog senior Andrew D'Amour will be in action along with a pair of Kingswood defenseman: Josh Grasso and Owen Richard. D'Amour will be playing for both the Bulldogs and the Wolves this season. "This is a good group of kids," Trimble said. "I know a lot of these guys and have seen them in action." The team is allowed two international players and have filled those spots with forwards from Quebec and Russia.

The American Hockey Institute operates the Wolves from Waterville Valley. The AHI's goal is to develop the players in hockey and academics. the players have to take at least one college course at the Lakes Region Community College or online to stay eligible for the team. The teammates who are not local are housed with families in Laconia and Belmont.

The Met league consists of 23 teams from Burlington, Vt. to Philadelphia, Penn. The Wolves play 45 regular season games up and down the coast. The Laconia Ice Arena will host 16 of those games.

The Wolves have partnered with Broadway North to provide a dance team for some added entertainment during intermissions. The Wolfpack dance team will be debuting Saturday night during the Wolves season opener.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 September 2014 07:09

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