NHIAA Hockey: Memorial hangs on for win over Hanover
MANCHESTER - There seems to be a trend forming with the Manchester Memorial hockey team.
In the past two games the Crusaders have gotten out to a quick start, coasted through most of the game and then scored one late to put it away.
That's what happened on Thursday in a win over Manchester Central, and that's what happened again on Saturday at JFK Coliseum when Memorial knocked off Hanover, 4-2, in battle of Division I contenders.
"Teams adjust," Memorial coach Mark Putney said. "I thought we played a good, consistent game. We were able to maintain a couple periods of consistent play."
The Crusaders (7-1) led 2-0 after the first period and 3-1 midway through the second. The Marauders (3-3-2) hung around, however, and cut the lead to just one goal when Ben Acker scored with 4:55 left in the second to make it 3-2.
There was a lot of grinding and back-and-forth action in the third period with both teams getting their chances. The only squad to capitalize was Memorial, when Brady Sufat beat Hanover goalie James Montgomery (29 saves) on a tough angle from the right side to give the Crusaders some insurance with 4:25 left.
"That was all hard work," Putney said. "He came out of the corner with it. He got a good shot to the net. I'm not sure if he beat him short side or he made it through the five hole."
Like they did against the Little Green, the Crusaders jumped all over the Marauders in the early going.
They got on the board first when Jacob Boylan beat Montgomery with a wrist shot from the left slot to make it 1-0 with 8:44 left in the first. Then Adam Tack made it 2-0 less than two minutes later with the first goal of his high school career.
Nicholas Burgess made a good rush on the right side and put a shot on net that Montgomery saved with his pad. The rebound went out to Tack on the left side and the senior buried the rebound to make it 2-0 with 7:15 left in the first.
Hanover only needed 10 seconds to score in the second period and make it a 2-1 game on a goal by Joe Cravero.
It came off the opening face-off, which Shawn Cavallaro won. Cravero carried the puck into the zone with Cavallaro on his left and fired a shot to Memorial goalie Aaron Nicolas' glove side for the goal.
Kyle Broussard made it a two-goal lead for Memorial again when he lit the lamp with 8:56 left in the period.
The Marauders got within a goal one more time when Acker beat Nicolas (16 saves) with 4:55 left in the second, but they were held off the board in the third as the Crusaders secured the win.
"I think we got better playing against their style as the game went on," Hanover coach Dick Dodds said. "That's really what we've got to work on. They're physical, their fast. It's really fun to watch Memorial play."
Memorial won the game but lost another big piece to injury when forward Brendan Sullivan went down with 4:09 left in the second period. Putney said it seemed to be an injury to Sullivan's left shoulder and the junior was going to the emergency room to have it examined.
On Thursday the Crusaders lost team captain and top defenseman Colin Williamson, who suffered a dislocated shoulder in the game against the Little Green. He's expected to miss two weeks. And sophomore forward Andrew Putney is missing time with a concussion.