Thursday, January 19, 2017

NH HS Division III Game of the Week

This week's most highly anticipated NH High School hockey contest was a Division III (Small School) matchup between the unbeaten Kennett Eagles and the 1 loss Belmont- Gilford Bulldogs.  Both teams are traditional powers as Kennett has won 3 state championships in the last decade and was a final four team in 2015-16.  Belmont- Gilford was a finalist in 2015-16 and took the championship in 2014-15.  Their only loss thus far was to Berlin- Gorham.

The Ham Arena in North Conway, NH, was jam-packed full of local Kennett fans, as each team took to the ice.  Early on both Kennett and B/G traded scores in the close- checking affair.

Belmont- Gilford started to pull away mid-way through the contest when Senior Forward Chaz Hackling scored.  Kennett would not be denied however, as their Junior class of Forwards (Doucet, Couture and McPherson) all had quality chances.

Senior Defenseman James Buckley potted a goal to extend the Belmont/ Gilford lead to 3-1 before Junior forward Hunter Dupuis would add an insurance goal late to make it 4-1.

Both teams played well, and this will certainly be a matchup to keep your eyes on.  Next up for Belmont/ Gilford is Laconia/ Winnisquam at 4pm Saturday.  Kennett looks to get back on track as they play at Kearsarge/ Plymouth on Saturday at 6pm.

Friday, January 13, 2017

New Hampshire High School Hockey- January Update

Happy New Year High School Hockey Fans!  Up here in New Hampshire our High School Hockey programs are off to a robust start in each division.  Here is where we currently stand...

New Hampshire D1 Poll

3Bp. Guertin2311
8Bp. Brady6130
9Manchester Central8120
10Nashua North/Souhegan913

Bedford, last year's champion is at it again.  The Marty Myers led squad has a great feeder system in the local youth hockey programs, and has adequately replaced their strong graduating class (Danato Tempesta, Nate John and others).  Currently leading the team are forwards #12 Griffin Gagne and #11 Jay Roberto.

Concord, who was a top 4 team and graduated All- State goaltender Ben Nelson in 2015-16.  Has started off strong and grabbed the first BIG Win of the year, beating Bishop Guertin 2-1 last week.

Londonderry, Salem, Pinkerton and Hanover (with Senior Forward Jensen Dodge leading the way) all are in the mix.

Big games this weekend include:
Friday, Pinkerton vs Londonderry
Saturday, Salem vs Bishop Brady

New Hampshire D2 Poll

5St. Thomas Aquinas4220
Bow and Windham, last year's finalists, are off to strong starts, but have recorded their first losses of the season in surprising upsets, when Windham lost to Portsmouth- Newmarket 3-2  on January 4, and Bow lost to Keene 3-0 on Dec. 21.

Keene has been building over the last 3 years in more ways than one...  The construction of Keene Ice center finally gives them an all-season place to play, and the team has been improving on the ice going from out of the playoffs, to in the playoffs, to now being Ranked #1!

Look for Spaulding and Goffstown to compete the top teams, and great efforts every night from Dover, and the Forward combo of Burke Ruel/ Andy Contrada in Kingswood.

Big games this week include:
Saturday, Dover vs Goffstown
Saturday, Bow vs Spaulding

New Hampshire D3 Poll

4John Stark/Hopkinton4310
5Somersworth/Coe Brown5310

Berlin/Gorham graduated 11 Seniors off the 2015-16 championship squad, but have started strong with a key win over Belmont- Gilford the first week of the season.  Berlin is led by Senior Power Forward Owen Dorval.

Where Berlin/ Gorham has experience, the young and hungry squad in North Conway (Kennett) has proven they are a force.  Led by outstanding Defenseman Kenzie Murphy and Connor Furtado, and Forwards Connor Doucet, Colby Couture and Michael Seavey, Kennett has started 5-0 and on Wednesday shocked Berlin/ Gorham with a 6-1 victory.  John Biggio has been solid in nets.

The top 5 teams (Berlin/ Gorham, Kennett, Belmont/ Gilford, John Stark Hopkinton and Somersworth/Coe Brown) appear to be a step above the rest of the field and will be jockeying for playoff seeding all winter long.

Big Games this week include:
Next Wednesday, Belmont/ Gilford vs Kennett