action:article | category:SPORTS21 | adString:SPORTS21 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » High School Sports

January 14. 2013 9:21PM

Mark Quirk's High School Hockey: Injury bug bites Memorial; Salem flexing muscles

IN SPORTS, coaches and players can control most aspects of the game, such as what happens on offense and defense.

One aspect they have little control over, however, is injuries, something that can make or break a season depending upon how serious they are.

Last week the Manchester Memorial hockey team was ravaged by the injury bug. In a game on Thursday against Manchester Central, the Crusaders lost captain Colin Williamson to a dislocated shoulder. And in a game on Saturday against Hanover, they lost junior forward Brendan Sullivan, also with a slight separation to his shoulder. Another forward, Andrew Putney, has also missed time because of a concussion.

Williamson is the team's top defenseman and Sullivan is the team's leading scorer with 12 points, ranking him eighth in Division I. Putney has four points on the season.

The Crusaders have now rattled off four wins in a row after suffering their only loss of the season in overtime to Londonderry on Dec. 22, and they are now in first place in Div. I at 7-1.

Fortunately for Memorial, it has a favorable schedule over the next couple of weeks that could help it get healthy in time for a big matchup on Jan. 26 against Salem.

The Crusaders have two games this week against teams that are a combined 6-9, Bishop Guertin of Nashua (4-4) on Wednesday and Exeter (2-5) on Saturday. Then they are off until the game against the Blue Devils, who are undefeated over their last seven games and have a record of 6-1-1.

Williamson could be back for that game and Putney could be back as early as this week. Sullivan was seeing a doctor on Monday to determine how serious his injury is.

______
NOT ONLY has Salem propelled itself to one of the top contenders in Div. I since dropping its season opener to the Cardinals, but it has done so against some of the toughest competition in the league.

The Blue Devils are 6-0-1 over their last seven games. They have strung together that stretch against teams with a combined record of 26-20-7 and only one of which has a record under .500.

The streak started off with a convincing 7-2 win over Londonderry, the Lancers' only loss of the season, and has included 7-2 and 6-1 wins over St. Thomas Aquinas of Dover and Exeter over the past two games.

One big reason for the success is goalie Nick Phair, who leads the league with a 1.16 goals-against average in 233 minutes played. He has one shutout and a .949 save percentage.

The team's leading scorers are Cody Soucy with nine points and Jake Pappalardo with seven.

______

THERE IS a big showdown in Div. II on Wednesday when undefeated Merrimack (8-0) hosts Dover (6-1-1) at West Side Arena in Manchester.

The Tomahawks have played only one team with a winning record, Goffstown, in the season opener. Their opponents have a combined record of 22-34-7. Merrimack has dominated its competition by outscoring it, 47-5.

"I think it's going to be a good test to see where we stand right now," Merrimack coach Kurt Mithoefer said.

The Green Wave is coming off its first loss of the year, a 4-0 decision against the Grizzlies on Saturday. They will look to rebound with the toughest test of their season to date. The game is at 4 p.m.
______
LATER in the week there could be a showdown between two of the state's undefeated teams in Div. III when Berlin hosts John Stark/Hopkinton on Saturday. They were both 8-0 on Monday.

The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Notre Dame Arena in Berlin and features two of the best forwards in the league, Connor Jewett of Berlin, who has 37 points in eight games, and international exchange student Simon Becka of John Stark/Hopkinton.

Mark Quirk cover high school hockey for he New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. He can be reached at mquirk@unionleader.com.


 NH Sports Angle Ľ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

GM: Twin State Speedway progressing with revival

Foot golf arrives on Seacoast

New Hampshire's Burns gets more than he could ever ask for

Pro runner's yoga class will raise money for clean Kenyan water

Menard wrecks as New Hampshire testing concludes

Lawyers try to bar Patriots from paying Hernandez $3.2M bonus

Pease Golf Course celebrates opening of lower nine holes

NFL rule could signal end of Justin Tuck signature facemask and that's a good thing according to UNH findings

NH man almost wins first $500k winner-takes-all open basketball tournament

Blue Jays move Dalton Pompey up to New Hampshire

Field set for 110th anniversary ĎClimb to the Clouds' car race

Contractors volunteer to complete renovations for 5th Annual Jericho ATV Festival

Dartmouth dismisses menís lacrosse coach

Jay Perrin looks to take his MMA career to the next level at Combat Zone 49

Dartmouth runner poised for long-term success on pro circuit

'Great Race' makes pit stop in Rochester

CHIP KELLY

Chip Kelly: Last practice not Fred Flintstone leaving work

Traffic jams expected with 30,000 fans at Epping dragway

Calgary Stampsí St. Pierre, complete with tattoos and plenty of brawn, not your typical NH wedding planner

Laconia man wins grueling 500-mile race in 9 days

NH native, famed NASCAR engine building, dead at 98

Dublin: Pesticides at golf club in question

10 school superintendents to race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to benefit education

Locke returns to the Show and rocks in 1-0 loss

Franklinís Sylvester gets the call from L.A. Dodgers

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   Ľ SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   Ľ ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!