NHIAA Boys' Hockey: Crusaders power past Trinity
Manchester Memorial goalie Joshua Jacob and Bryan Syrene celebrate their 4-2 win over Trinity at the conclusion of their game at JFK Coliseum in Manchester on Saturday. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)
MANCHESTER - There's some good high school hockey in the Queen City this year, and on Saturday two Division I contenders went toe-to-toe in a showdown that didn't disappoint.
Manchester Memorial scored three power-play goals and Jacob Boylan contributed an empty netter that put the game away as the Crusaders beat city rival Trinity 4-2 at JFK Coliseum.
"It's a good rivalry," Memorial coach Mark Putney said. "They've got an outstanding goaltender and a few forwards. We knew it was going to be a battle."
Memorial (2-0) never trailed in the tightly-contested game that saw some heavy hits and spectacular saves. It led 2-0 after one period of play and 2-1 heading into the third.
The Crusaders got out to a 3-1 lead when Brendan Sullivan scored his second power-play goal of the game just 32 seconds into the third, but the game wasn't close to done at that point.
The Pioneers (1-1) pulled to within a goal when Kyle Valliere scored on the power play to make it 3-2 with 9:22 left in the game. Then with 5:02 remaining Memorial's top defenseman, Colin Williamson, was whistled for an interference penalty and the Pioneers went on the power play once again.
They had one great opportunity on that man advantage with a rush by Valliere, but Crusader goalie Joshua Jacob (23 saves) made the big save when he needed to and kept his team on top.
A couple minutes later Boylan scored the empty netter and the game was essentially over.
"Manchester has pretty good competition this year," Boylan said. "It's going to take a lot of hard work during practice. State championships don't win themselves."
The deficit could've been much bigger had it not been for Pioneer goalie Ryan Slatky, who finished with 36 saves. He stopped Boylan on a breakaway in the first period, and later in the same frame he robbed Nicholas Burgess of a goal with a glove save he made while on his back.
The Crusaders pelted Slatky with shots, 40 to be exact, and hoped for rebounds, which is what they got. The three goals other than the empty netter were all put backs.
"You're not going to score on the first shot, he's going to make the save," Putney said. "We tried causing some commotion in front of the net and getting some rebounds."
None of the six goals in the game came when the teams had the same amount of skater. Ethan Pollock and Sullivan both scored power-play goals for Memorial in the first period and Mitch Myers scored when Trinity had a two-man advantage in the second.
Sullivan's second came at the tail end of a double minor assessed to the Pioneers, Valliere scored on the power play and Boylan's tally came after Trinity pulled the goalie.
Both teams are back in action on Wednesday. Memorial plays at reigning champ Pinkerton Academy of Derry in a rematch of last year's title game and Trinity hosts St. Thomas Aquinas of Dover. The Crusaders' game is at the Ice Den in Hooksett at 7 p.m. and the Pioneers play at St. Anselm College in Goffstown at 7:30 p.m.