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Bring on Berlin: Bulldogs top Kennett for ticket to DIII title game

Andrew D'Amour proved why he was named co-captain of the Belmont-Gilford Bulldog hockey team, scoring a pair of goals and the eventual game winner after going down with a leg injury. The Bulldogs advanced past Kennett High, 3-2, in the DIII hockey semi-finals Wednesday night.

D'Amour, having already scored his first goal, found open ice with an opportunity to take the lead before being dragged down by a Kennett defender. The play was broken up and the senior captain slid into the boards injuring his leg with seven minutes remaining. After missing two shifts D'Amour took to the ice and wristed a shot from the slot which was blocked by an Eagle diving in front. The rebound came back and the second shot found the back of the net over the glove of the Kennett goalie for game winning goal with 1:25 remaining in the game. "The best players have to play big in the biggest games, and that's what happened," said Bulldogs head coach Jay Londer.

B-G outshot Kennett, 9-5, in the first and had three power play opportunities to Kennett's none but could not capitalize and headed into the intermission down 1-0. "We struggled in early trying to get all the jitters out," continued Londer. Kennett scored on a shorthanded breakaway after a B-G mishap trying to clear the zone. Eagles Junior Nick Analdi picked up the loose puck and ripped it over the blocker of the B-G goalie with 14 seconds left in the first.

The Bulldogs rebounded after a sluggish start in the first period. Brogan Hurst tied things up on a slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle over the Kennett goalie, Josh Kondrat (34 saves). "We were getting tons of shots in and nothing was getting by. Josh [Kondrat] is a great competitor," Londer said. D' Amour gave the Bulldogs their first lead late in the second finding the back of the net over 12 minutes into the second. Less than two minutes later Kennett responded and even things at two before the second intermission.

Belmont-Gilford dominated the third period, peppering the Kennett goalie before D'Amour's game winner. The Bulldogs outshot Kennett, 37-18.

The Championship game will be played Saturday at 12:15 in Manchester at the Verizon Wireless Arena. (3) Berlin will take on the top seed Bulldogs.

Berlin punched their ticket earlier in the day, surviving a scare from John-Stark/Hopkinton, 6-5, in overtime. The Mountaineers squandered a 4-0 lead in the third. Down 5-4, Berlin scored the tying goal with the goalie pulled and 14 seconds remaining. The Mountaineers won a faceoff in the offensive zone and scored the game winner on a little flip over the goalies pads five minutes into ot.

B-G split the regular season with Berlin winning the first game 3-1 and the Bulldogs returning the favor 6-3 at home. "It's gonna be battle. They are super hungry for a title and they're fast and they are physical. It's gonna be a great game," Londer finished.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 March 2015 07:52

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Sanbornton, Belmont and Lou Athanas teams win in Francouer/Babcock tournament

GILFORD — Teams from Sanbornton, Belmont and Laconia won honors in the 22nd Annual Francoeur/Babcock Memorial Basketball Tournament held at Gilford Middle School which wrapped up Sunday.

Sanbornton won the Junior Coed division by defeating the Lou Athanas team 29-26 Sunday afternoon as Evan Lessard led the way with 12 points, Max Shosa led Lou Athanas with 10 points.

The Lou Athanas team, which had lost 35-26 to Sanborton on Saturday in a game in which Alex Nichols scored 27 points for Sanborton, rallied to beat Gilford 33-9 Saturday afternoon and then defeated Sanbornton 27-25 Sunday morning to force an extra game in the Junior Division.

Belmont won the Senior Girls Division with a 23-20 win over Laconia Sunday morning. They made their way into the finals with a 37-12 win over Pines-Sanbornton and a 26-14 win over Gilford. Isabella McDonald led Belmont scorers with 17 points in the three wins. Sierra Halligan tallied 28 points in four games for Lou Athanas.

Lou Athanas topped Gilford 42-26 in the Senior Boys Division final on Sunday as Logan Dee led the way with 16 points. Alex Cheek scored 10 for GIlford.

Lou Athanas defeated Sanborton 46-15 and Gilford 39-29 to earn a spot in the finals. Gilford, which had defeated Belmont 30-24 before losing to Lou Athanas, earned its way into the final with a 42-35 win over Belmont Saturday.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 09 March 2015 09:28

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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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