NHIAA Hockey: Bedford gets elusive first victory over Bow
That is until now.
The defending Division II champion Bulldogs fought a gritty battle with the Falcons on Saturday and ended up on top with a 3-1 win at Sullivan Arena.
Bow beat Bedford twice last season, and that was certainly on the players' minds when they took the ice.
"We've played them four times in the last two years and never won," Bedford coach Marty Myers said. "Bow for the last two years had our number so we made it a point to make sure we rose to the occasion."
The win moves the Bulldogs to 6-1-1, while the loss drops the Falcons to 3-3-2. Its been a tough nine days for Bow, which faced the iron of the league and went 0-3-1 against Merrimack, Spaulding, Keene and Bedford.
Judging from its recent history against the Falcons, it was important for Bedford to get on the board first, which it did with a goal from Benjamin Philbrick with 3:20 left in the first period.
A shot by Brian Collins trickled through the pads of Bow goalie Connor Simpson (22 saves) and settled in the crease, where Philbrick stuffed it in the net for the 1-0 lead.
"We wanted to put the first one in," Myers said. "We wanted more than one, but we were happy with the one."
After nobody scored in the second period, it didn't take long for the Bulldogs to get some insurance in the third.
This time it was Collins, who followed a play all the way across the crease from left to right and tucked the puck in to make it 2-0 with 12:50 left to play.
The deficit didn't deter the Falcons at all. They kept grinding away and at 4:29 pulled to within a goal when Christopher Fournier scored to make it 2-1. Matthew Murray set up the score with a nice feed from the right side of the net.
The Bedford defense was solid after that and goalie Stevan Tempesta stopped everything else shot his way for the win.
Christopher Viola added an empty-net goal for the Bulldogs with 40 seconds remaining to put the game away.
"It's good to get that monkey off our back," Myers said. "We've got them again a little later and hopefully we can put it together again."