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Wolfpack hockey turns corner with 2013 season

LACONIA — When the players of the Laconia-Winnisquam ice hockey team took to the ice against Moutonborough-Inter-Lakes on Saturday night, they did so with the knowledge that they could finish the season no better than the ninth spot in Division III – only the top eight teams advance to the post-season. The game still held plenty of significance for the Wolfpack, though, a fact which was evident in their play and the 4-2 victory that resulted for Laconia-Winnisquam.
Laconia-Winnisquam could have come into the game dispirited. The week started with them in the fight for the eighth playoff spot, but an overtime loss to Belmont-Gilford on Feb. 13. left the team drained for the next day's game game against Portsmouth, resulting in a 4-7 Valentine's Day defeat. But Saturday's game was held at the Laconia Ice Arena and against a local rival, one of the teams which had come to see Laconia-Winnisquam as an easy win in recent years. 
"They just wanted to win, especially the older kids," said T.J. Galligan, Laconia-Winnisquam coach. When the Wolfpack opened the season with a 7-1 win over Manchester West, it was the team's first win since the seniors were freshmen. That win was followed by an eight-game skid, one punctuated by a few blowout losses, a stretch which was finally halted with a victory over the now 1-14 Con-Val. Laconia-Winnisquam's third win of the season was their second game against Manchester West, a team which has only one two games this season. Until their win over Moultonborough-Inter-Lakes on Saturday, the Wolfpack had yet to beat a team with a winning record.
Laconia-Winnisquam took an early lead on a Dakota Tyno goal with 13:08 remaining in the first period. Tyno nearly scored a few minutes later on a breakaway opportunity, but the puck clanged off the top pipe. The Moultonborough-Inter-Lakes Renegades then began applying pressure on the Wolfpack but couldn't solve the talented sophomore goalie Brayden Harriman, who denied shots for all of the first and second periods and for half of the third.
Galligan said he knew at the beginning of the season that he had a solid young goalie – Harriman was the team's MVP last year, after all. Still, the coach has been shocked by the performance he's submitted this season. "Almost every game, he's been standing on his head good," said Galligan. Saturday night was no exception. Harriman stopped 34 shots, keeping the Renegades frustrated despite good scoring opportunities. Galligan said, "He was stuffing breakaways, taking away every hope they had."
Tyno, a junior, scored his second goal of the night, collecting his own rebound and scoring from behind the net, with 11:01 left in the second period. Matt Missert added to the Wolfpack lead with a goal at the beginning of the third. With 8:22 remaining, Tyno was again involved in a scoring play, feeding senior Hunter Karwocki to give Laconia-Winnisquam a 4-0 advantage. Ten seconds later, Moultonborough-Inter-Lakes finally managed to get on the board thanks to a Simon Campbell goal. Campbell scored again with a little less than seven minutes left in the game and which would prove the final goal of the night.
With one game left on the schedule – Laconia-Winnisquam hosts Kearsarge on Wednesday night – Galligan recalls a meeting with parents prior to the start of the season. After a couple of winless years, he didn't dare make grandiose promises. Instead, he told parents that the team would slough off its reputation as "goons," players that were only interested in hard hits rather than playing the game. Galligan focused on the development of basic hockey skills – skating, stick handling – and cut out the nonesensical penalties by sitting players who committed them.
"You want to get a stupid penalty, you're done for the game. There's other kids that work just as hard, and they're not getting stupid penalties." It took a few games, but Galligan stuck to his promise, and soon the team's culture changed.
"We've changed, we're getting better on all parts of the game," Galligan said. For him, the team's new approach to the game is an acheivement of a goal set before the first game of the season. A win such as the one over Moultonborough-Inter-Lakes makes that change evident, to Division III opponents as well as young athletes considering joining the Laconia-Winnisquam team. As Galligan put it, the win sends out a message. "We may have stunk in the past couple of years, but we're back. This program's gonig to keep trucking on."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 01:12

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LMS girls' A team picks up 3 wins

The Laconia Middle School girls' A basketball team won its three most recent games, including one against a team that had been previously unbeaten.
Playing on Feb. 7, Laconia beat Gilford by the score of 25-22. Laconia's leading scorers were Jerra Kirk with 9, following by Amelia Clairmont with7, Cheyanne Zappala scored 5 and Katie George contributed 4.
Added coach Chich Tautkus, "Helen Tautkus , Rylee Littlefield and Bella Smith had strong floor games with great pressure defense causing numerous turnovers. Abby Crowell and Allyssa Miner had solid rebounding performances."
The team's next game was on Feb. 12 against Moultonborough, which Laconia won by the score of 53-19.
Zappala was Laconia's leading scorer with 13 points, Rylee Littlefield scored 11, Kirk added 9, Lily Johnson scored 6 and Helen Tautkus scored 4. Coach Tautkus: "Great team victory for the Laconia girls. Bella Smith had another solid performance from the point guard position. She distributed many key assists to her teammates and came up with vital steals throughout the game."
The following day, the team traveled to Merrimack Valley for what would be one of their biggest wins of the season. Laconia won 46-40, lead offensively by Clairmont with 13 points, Smith scored 7, Helen Tautkus added 6, and Kirk, Crowell and Delia Cormier each scored 5.
Coach Tautkus said, "Since Merrimack Valley was previously undefeated, it was the best win of the year. Amelia Clairmont, Abby Crowell and Cheyanne Zappala played stellar defense for the winners. Helen Tautkus had numerous steals and assists for Laconia. Bella Smith and Rylee Littlefield also had solid games." Tautkus added that he, "could not be prouder of this group."

Last Updated on Friday, 15 February 2013 00:17

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Ice racers lapped Berry Pond on Sunday

Members of the Lakes Region Ice Racing Club enjoyed a beautiful day of racing on Berry Pond in Moultonborough on Sunday.
Northfield's Tim Chase in his Toyota MR2 continued his dominance of the 4-cylinder class, winning his 3rd and 4th 2013 feature events. Brian Jensen of Sandwich, driving his red, black, and white pickup finished second in both features.
DJ Mills of Wolfboro handily won the first Modified feature, but broken rear suspension took him out the second. It was looking like the sprint cars were going to win both features until Tuftonboro's Jake Williams got upside down in the snow bank while dealing with a lap car. Last week's winner Rick Martel of Moultonboro took the lead on the
restart and drove on to the checkers.
During the hot laps for the Junior Division, Moultonboro drivers Chris Taylor and Jackie Martel were involved in a crash, removing both cars from competition. Borrowing his sister Alicia's car, Taylor went on to win both features. Cody Brown of Center Harbor finished second in the features in his pickup.
In the V8 Stock division, Moultonboro's Matt Morrill driving the black, Morrill Excavation Monte Carlo, won both features. Tamworth's Danny Cook finished second in the first feature and Moultonboro's Adam Cahoon was the runner up in the second feature. Dylan Cook of S. Tamworth finished third in both events in only his third week of racing.
The Club's next event is scheduled for Sunday on either Lee or Berry Pond starting at 12:30. Check the club's
website at www.LakesRegionIceRacingClub.com or facebook page for the latest race/ice status, information about coming events, and for race photos and video

Last Updated on Friday, 15 February 2013 00:11

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Fay's Boat Yard Mite 1 team splits Sunday doubleheader

After a couple of postponed games because of the snow, the Lakes Region Youth Hockey Association Fay's Boat Yard Mite 1 team played two games on Sunday, ending the day with one win and one defeat. With three team members down they first faced the Dover Stars Squirt Team in the morning. Matthew Hale had two unassisted goals and Peyton Vachon had two goals with one assisted from Logan Stroud.Evan Guerin worked hard with brother and linemate Owen Guerin who was able to hit the back of the net to add the fifth goal for the Lakers. Kameron Young netted the sixth and final goal for the Lakers. Goalie Patrick Goodwin had 12 saves. The Lakers took the win in this game with a score of 6-4.
On Sunday afternoon the Lakers played the undefeated and 1st place NH Jr. Monarchs. Hale netted all three Laker goals with one assisted from Vachon against a tough Monarchs goalie. Liam Lichocki,  Zachary Spicuzza and Breanna Ricker worked hard to keep the Monarchs out of the Lakers end of the ice. Goodwin  had 13 stellar. The Monarchs were able to edge out the Lakers to take the win with a final score of 4-3.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 February 2013 00:08

Hits: 526

 
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