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.
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