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21st Francoeur/Babcock Tournament wraps up

The 21st Annual Francoeur/Babcock Memorial Basketball Tournament was held March 5-9 at Gilford Middle School. The winners have been announced following the final round games, played on Sunday.
Lou Athanas defeated Gilford, 26-24, in the junior division final. Leading scorers for Lou Athanas: Camden Kirker – 8 points, Nolin Stevens – 6 and Jacob Mello, 4. Leading Scorers for Gilford: Riley March, 13, Max Bartlett, 3. Sanbornton earned the third place finish, with Gilmanton finishing 4th.
In the senior girls' division final, Gilford defeated Lou Athanas, 30-15. Leading scorers for Gilford: Erin Hart, 12 points, Abby O'Connor, 6, and Shelby Cole, 4. For Lou Athanas: Isabella Daly scored 6, Sydney Ross, 3 and Sophie George, 3. Franklin took third place in the tournament and Belmont ended in fourth place.

In the senior boys' division final, Belmont defeated Gilford (30-20) to force an extra game. In the first game, Belmont's leading scorers were:
Aaron Simonds, 12 points, Nate Sottak, 10. Leading scorers for Gilford: Connor Sullivan, 9, Jonathan Mitchell, 6 and Andrew Flanders, 3.

Belmont again defeated Gilford in the second game of the senior boys' final. Leading scorers for Belmont: Aaron Simonds, 14 points, Keith Landry, 10. Leading scorers for Gilford: Jonathan Mitchell, 11, Connor Sullivan, 8 and Andrew Flanders, 3. In third place in the senior boys' division was Lou Athanas, Sanbornton ended in fourth place.

The Nathan J. Babcock Volunteer Award was presented to Tom Routhier. Denise Soucy Memorial Coaches Award was presented to Rod Roy of the Lou Athanas Senior Boys Team.

Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 09:36

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Bulldogs top Kennett in OT thriller

LACONIA — The Belmont-Gilford Bulldogs were a minute and thirty five away from repeating last year's unfortunate end to a season, until Brogan Hurst blasted a shot from the point that led to a rebound falling onto the stick of Andrew D'Amour. D'Amour buried the puck past the right pad of Kennett goalie Josh Kondrat (41 saves) to even things up at two goals apiece and eventually force a sudden death overtime period. Junior center Caleb Drouin won a face-off four and a half minutes into overtime, tiptoed through traffic and found the tiniest of openings between Kondrat's legs for the first home playoff victory during coach Jay Londer's tenure.

"I got the puck, felt someone slash me, shot five hole and it went in," said Drouin. "I had an overtime goal before in the regular season, but this is my biggest one yet. I didn't want to see the seniors lose tonight." Prior to the game, Londer was unsure how much ice time he was going to give the imposing junior. "Drouin was ill tonight, but when he is on his game he is so big and hard to stop," Londer said.

The Bulldogs were in the same position last season, playing host to Kennett in the quarter-finals. The Eagles took that game, beating the Bulldogs by the score of 6-3.

On Saturday night, Kennett opened the scoring in the second period with a Brad Canavari goal at the 11 minute mark. The Bulldogs responded less than two minutes later by a power play wrist shot from Hurst.

The game remained tied until Canavari tossed the puck toward the net and Dane Rivera redirected the shot just enough for B-G goalie Calvin Davis (23 saves) to lose sight of the puck until it was behind him for a 2-1 Eagles lead.

Kennett had a golden opportunity early in the overtime, but the goalie's best friend made an appearance and helped out Davis. Kennett controlled a face-off to the left of Davis and quickly shoveled a pass to a streaking Canavari who had the open net on the right side. Canavari took a backhanded shot behind Davis across the crease and off the opposite post. The rebound ricocheted out and play went the other way.

"It's great going to the semi's," Londer added. "I told the kids that we haven't accomplished anything at 15-5. We haven't accomplished anything until we win a playoff game."

The Bulldogs will face off against Souhegan at the Everett Arena in Concord on Wednesday at 5 p.m. The teams split the regular season, each team winning their home game.

Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 09:27

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Lakes Region Youth Hockey goes undefeated through tournament

The Lakes Region Youth Hockey Squirt Team had an outstanding weekend in the Tier III Granite State Tournament. The squirts went undefeated with a four game journey. The weekend was started with the Dover Stars for win number 1. Then the next game was a little hairy, facing off with the Berlin Sabres. After a hard fought game, the Lakers took the 2-1 win. Sunday semi-final was against Back Bay, and with another win the Lakers were on to the final hoe down with the Berlin Sabres.
The game didn't start off as well as expected with a 2 point difference after the 1st period. The Lakers continued to out skate and dominate the game and it paid off in the 2nd period, as the Lakers came tied up the score and then went ahead in the 3rd for a final score of 6-3. Each player on the Lakers skated their heart out: Carter Smith, Breydon Perry, Breanna Ricker, Dylan Flannery, Zach Gilbert, Max Paganini, Andrew Spicuzza, Evan Rollins, Zoltan Stefan, Patrick Goodwin, Kameron Young, Owen Guerin and Michael Sousa. The team is sponsored by Allan Gilbert Builders.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 March 2014 09:25

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Laconia Ice Arena to host junior hockey playoff series this weekend

LACONIA — The Laconia Ice Arena will be hosting a junior hockey playoff series this weekend. The AHI Fighting Spirit from Waterville Valley will be hosting the New England Stars in a best two out of three game series.The Fighting Spirit have the top seed in the Northern States Hockey League following a 31-4 regular season. The series is set to begin tonight at 6:30 p.m. Game two will be Saturday at 1:15 p.m. and game three is Sunday at 3 p.m. if necessary. Tickets will be available at the door. The Spirit will be headed Las Vegas to compete in the national tournament in the following weeks.

The Fighting Spirit will make Laconia its official home in the fall of 2014. The Northern States Hockey League consists of nine teams, which come from Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Mass, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 March 2014 09:23

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