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Junior hockey: Wolves celebrate first season in Laconia

LACONIA — The New England Wolves, appearing in the 2015 MJHL Playoffs, were eliminated on Sunday via a deflection goal in overtime by the Philadelphia Little Flyers Andrew Randazzo. The playoff appearance, and solid playoff showing, capped a terrific first season by the Wolves in Laconia.
In only their first season, the MJHL New England Wolves recorded 20 regulation victories. This number is the most by a Laconia-based, USA Hockey-affiliated Junior team since the 2004-05 season. Additionally, their 2nd place finish in the Francis Division of the MJHL and playoff berth, offers up a bright future for the Wolves in Laconia. "We as an organization have a multi-year commitment to the Laconia Ice Arena, and are excited about expanding our footprint in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Our kids and our staff aims to have an even greater involvement in the community next year, and continue to give back," said Wolves GM/Head Coach Andrew Trimble.
Final numbers on the season show Monroe, N.J. native Kevin Morello led the team in points with 51, and Wolves captain Dillon Smith (Madison, N.H.) led the team in goals scored, with 28. Two defenseman from Maine tied for the team lead in defenseman scoring with 23 points (Hunter Craig and Shawn Sullivan). Jeff Scimone (Boxford, Mass.), Mikhail Astakhov (Moscow, Russia) and Morello appeared in every game this season. Statistically, Zach Skop (Milford, N.J.) led the goaltenders with a 3.24 GAA and .916 save percentage in the regular season. Harley Eliason (Glasgow, Mont.) posted a .983 save percentage in the playoffs. Both Skop and Trimble were finalists for MJHL season awards (Skop for Goalie of the Year and Trimble for Coach of the Year).
Wolves Management would like to thank all the volunteers who contributed to the game day operation for all Wolves Home games including the LIA Staff, Brandon Combs, Chuck Taylor, Emily Clement, Zach Horne, Lisa Ricker, Kyle Laflamme, Joe Grasso, Jill Baron, Brycen Martin and Christy Dunn of Broadway North Dance Academy. A special thanks from Wolves Management goes to Assistant Coach Mike Potenza. "Coach Potenza contributes an incredible amount of time and effort to the program, and his ability to coach as well as set a good example was a key reason to our success. Thank you."
For all of the New England Wolves final season numbers go to www.atlantichockey.org/team_information.php?teamid=1875
For information on the American Hockey Institute organization, visit www.americanhockeyinstitute.com. Contact GM/Head Coach Andrew Trimble with ways to get involved and support the program by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Last Updated on Monday, 09 March 2015 09:18

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Junior hockey: Fighting Spirit top Maine Wild to advance to next round

After a hard fought three game series the Fighting Spirit have advanced to the next round of the playoffs. The Maine Wild proved to be a formidable opponent as they came to the Laconia Ice Arena and opened the series with a 4-1 win over the Spirit Wednesday afternoon. The Wild pulled away late and added an empty net goal to secure the win and take the 1-0 lead in the series.

The Spirit responded with a convincing 4-2 victory Friday night at the Laconia Ice Arena. Goalie Adam Higdon was sharp in net as he turned away 26 of the 28 shots he faced. The Spirit utilized the power play to pace their scoring, netting 2 goals while on the man advantage.

Saturday night was the third and final game which saw the Spirit clinch the series with a 4-3 victory. Newcomer Nick Bartholomew scored the eventual game winning goal for the Spirit and goalie Claes Endre made a game saving stop with a minute and change left. The Maine Wild let their frustrations take over and spent the last minute of regulation on the penalty kill.

The Spirit will take on the Cape Cod Islanders in the next round after they swept the 2nd seed New England Stars. The Spirit have matched up well with the Islanders this season and will no doubt have a tough series against them.

The schedule is TBA but be sure to check the Spirit website at www.fightingspirithockey.com or follow them on Facebook and Twitter for live updates.

Last Updated on Monday, 09 March 2015 09:14

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Ice Racing Club enjoys best racing of the season

The Lakes Region Ice Racing Club got another sunny Sunday for their weekly races, and with a reconfigured and smoother track, some of the best racing of the season.

14 year-old Brett Burns of Center Harbor won his first ever feature in the Junior division. When Trevor Greene's front suspension broke and he was unceremoniously towed off the track, Brett and Matt DeMond were left to race for the flag, with Brett coming out on top after Matt spun.

The 4-Cylinder RWD division was up next. 2014 Champion Tim Chase of Northfield led the way, out-distancing the field of "angry" pickups for the win.

Moultonborough's Alicia Taylor showed the way in the 4-Cylinder FWD division winning her qualifier as well as the feature.

A very racey Scott Burns, driving the #55 Scott Burns Landscaping car, made for some of the best racing of the day in the V8 Stock division. A last lap "slide job" on Ally Ripley of Center Ossipee gave Scott the win in the qualifier. In the feature event Scott and Tim Chase worked their way to the front and then battled side-by-side for the final 5 laps. Tim pulled ahead in the final turn as both racers powered towards the finish. Northfield's Tim made it a double winning the Stock feature adding to his win in the 4-Cylinder RWD division.

Tunk Berry of Center Ossipee and his sprinter were "on fire" again in the Modified division. Tunk and Jake Williams, in another sprint car, dueled in the qualifier with Tunk showing the way. Jake scratched from the feature with a broken hub leaving Tunk's sprinter with it's Matt Burns Automotive power, the fastest car in the feature race. In victory circle, second place finisher Jack Cook who drives a traditional modified and Tunk were discussing the merits of the 2 types of cars. They felt that the heavier modified might be a little better on a rough track, but they both agreed that the better power to weight ratio of the sprint car was a major advantage. Mike Horsch, Sunday's 3rd place finisher, is talking about moving from his very fast modified to a sprint car for next year.

The 2015 Lakes Region Ice Racing Club season is winding down. While the awards banquet is set for March 28, the Club is hoping for one more week of racing. Check www.LRIRC.com or their Facebook page for the latest race/ice status, information about coming events, and for race photos.

Last Updated on Monday, 09 March 2015 09:12

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Round-up: Gilford falls to Conant in championship

The Gilford Golden Eagles girls' magical season came to an end Saturday afternoon, falling to fellow unbeaten and top seed Conant, 55-33, in the DIII State Championship. The Golden Eagles finish the season 21-1. Madison Harris led Gilford with 11 points. After a perfect season, Gilford earned the second seed in the tournament and beat Newport, Somersworth, and Laconia to reach the finals.

Boys' basketball

Winnisquam fell just short in Berlin, 45-44. The Bears finish the season 15-5 after the quarter-final loss. Tim Harmon scored 12 points in the loss to (2) Berlin.

Gilford could not get past top seeded Pelham in the quarter-finals, falling 78-53. The Golden Eagles ended the year 15-5. Caleb Orton closed out his Gilford high school career with a 27 point night in the loss.

Hockey

Moultonborough-Inter-Lakes fell in the quarter-finals to Berlin, 10-1. The Renegades finish 8-10-1 on the season. Mike Daizell scored the lone goal for M-I-L.

Top seeded Belmont-Gilford is set to play (4) Kennett Wednesday evening t the Everett Arena in Concord. Game time is 7:30 pm The Bulldogs bested Kennett, 6-2. in the regular season. The winner advances to the DIII finals Saturday against Berlin or John Stark.

Last Updated on Monday, 09 March 2015 08:58

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