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December 27. 2012 11:35PM

H.S. Sports Roundup: Hanover slips past Central in hockey


Central goalie Ian Beliveau gets a close-up view of a puck while down on the ice as Hanover's Andrew Huzienga moves in during Thursday's game. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
MANCHESTER - It required some extra effort, but the Hanover High School hockey team posted a 3-2 triumph over Manchester Central on Thursday night in the Bauer Christmas Hockey Classic at the JFK Coliseum.

The teams were tied after regulation and a five-minute overtime, but senior defenseman Mike Yukica netted what turned out to be the game-winning goal on a backhanded shot in the shootout.

"We have some younger guys who are still learning to compete at a higher level, but tonight I thought we showed we can compete with any team in the state," Yukica said. "Our energy was through the roof."

Yukica was Hanover's third - and final - shooter in the shootout. After he scored, Hanover goalie James Montgomery stopped a shot by Central's Devon Sprague to preserve the one-goal edge.

Hanover trailed 2-1 after 30 minutes, but pulled even on Yukica's power-play goal two minutes into the third.

"Mike is a terrific leader for us," Hanover coach Dick Dodds said. "He's very poised with the puck. We have a lot of young guys on the blue line and he's a stabilizing force back there. He does a lot of things well."

It was a 1-1 game until Sprague scored on a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle with 2:41 to play in the second period. The only assist went to Derek Franco.

Sprague scored the game-winning goal in Wednesday's 5-3 victory over Bedford.

Each team struck once in the opening 15 minutes. Central's Cole Anderson opened the scoring with an unassisted goal with 4:18 left in the first, but Hanover's Shawn Cavallaro answered when he scored on a backhanded shot from the slot with 56 seconds remaining in the period.

"We didn't play our A-game," Central coach Brian Stone said. "We had three penalties in the third period. You can't play short-handed for that amount of time."

Stone said he was confident entering the shootout.

"I was comfortable with the guys we put out there, no doubt about it," he said. "Their last guy made a nice move to put them up."

Hanover improved to 1-1 in Group A, which includes Bedford, Central and Spaulding of Rochester. The Group B winner will face the top team from Group A in Saturday night's championship game, which is scheduled to start at 7. Goffstown, Manchester Memorial, Merrimack and Trinity of Manchester are the teams in Group B.

Four games will be played today: Spaulding vs. Central, 2 p.m.; Merrimack vs. Goffstown, 4 p.m.; Hanover vs. Bedford, 6 p.m.; and Trinity vs. Memorial, 8 p.m.

Memorial 8, Goffstown 5: There was plenty of offense in Thursday's final game of the night, and Manchester Memorial provided most of it.

The Crusaders received goals from six players and raised their overall record to 5-1 by beating Goffstown.

Brendan Sullivan collected three goals for Memorial, which led 3-2 after one period and 5-3 entering the third. Nicholas Burgess, Andrew Putney, Bryan Syrene, Jacob Boylan and Ethan Pollock scored the other Memorial goals.

"We're getting close to 40 shots a game, and some good second opportunities," Memorial coach Mark Putney said. "It's creating a lot of offense for us.

"Defensively we're not giving up a lot of shots - and that's what I look at. We're limiting teams to very few good shot opportunities."

Trailing by two goals with 15 minutes to play, Goffstown made Memorial fans uncomfortable by scoring twice in a 36-second span to make it a 5-5 contest. The Crusaders regained the lead when Sullivan scored his second goal with 10:40 to play.

Pollock gave the Crusaders a two-goal cushion at 11:41, and Sullivan capped the scoring at 12:37. Sullivan has six goals in two tournament games.

"We told the guys it was going to slip away if they didn't go out there and start playing with more passion," Putney said. "Sullivan is clicking on all cylinders. This is no aberration."

At 2-0, Memorial is the only unbeaten team in Group B and can clinch a spot in Saturday's championship game by defeating Trinity of Manchester tonight (8). Memorial opened the tournament with a 6-4 victory over Merrimack on Wednesday. The four teams in Group A - Bedford, Manchester Central, Hanover and Spaulding of Rochester - are all 1-1.

Tyler Grinley scored twice for Goffstown, which also received goals from Connor Easton, Kyle Posluszny and Zachary Storro. Grinley's first goal came while the Grizzlies were short-handed, and his second goal was scored during a Goffstown power play.

"That's a good skating team and they'll do well in their division," Goffstown coach Paul Roy said. "You can get way with mistakes against some teams, but if you make two mistakes against Memorial the puck is probably going to be in your net twice."

Goffstown,which was coming off Wednesday's 2-1 loss to Trinity, will meet Merrimack today at 4 p.m.

"These are good games for us," Roy said. "We're improving on our weaknesses."

Merrimack 4, Trinity 2: Connor Powell scored twice to help the Tomahawks (5-1 overall, 4-0 in Division II) even their tournament record at 1-1.

Josh Roy and Ryan Downie also scored for Merrimack, which led 2-0 after one period and 3-2 entering the third. Roy had three goals in Wednesday's 6-4 loss to Manchester Memorial.

Jack Collins and Colby Fortin scored for Trinity (3-3 overall, 2-2 in Division I). The Pioneers were coming off Wednesday's 2-1 triumph over Goffstown.

Bedford 1, Spaulding 0 (forfeit): Spaulding, which beat Hanover 3-0 on Wednesday, was forced to forfeit Thursday's game against Bedford after it couldn't arrange transportation to JFK Coliseum. The teams were scheduled to meet beginning at 4 p.m. Officially, the game was recorded as a 1-0 Bedford victory.

Bedford opened the tournament with a 5-3 loss to Central.

BOYS' BASKETBALL

Lawrence, Mass., 65, Pinkerton 52: Senior forward Scott Bradley scored 16 points as Pinkerton of Derry fell to tournament host Lawrence, Mass., in the Greater Lawrence Christmas Tournament on Thursday night.

Lawrence took a 29-26 lead into halftime and pulled away behind strong performances by Tre'von Farley (18 points) and Kevin Fabian (16 points). The hosts improved to 2-0 in the tournament, while the Astros dipped to 1-1.

Andrew Lechner and Justin Scott each had eight points for Pinkerton, and Ken Welch (seven points) hit the only 3-pointer for the Astros.

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