Mark Quirk's High School Hockey: The puck stops with Glendye
GOOD HOCKEY starts with good goaltending, and when it comes to good goaltending in the state, Merrimack High School might have the best.
Brett Glendye isn't the only reason the Tomahawks are undefeated at 10-0, but he's a big one. He has given up only nine goals in 10 games and is posting a 0.98 goals-against average, the best for any regular goalie in the state.
He has three shutouts to his credit and has only given up more than one goal in one game this season, a 6-3 win over previously undefeated Spaulding of Rochester on Saturday. Glendye has a 0.953 save percentage.
"Those are pretty good numbers," Dover coach Steve Riker said. "If he keeps that up he'll be in Player of the Year discussions at the end of the season for sure."
Merrimack coach Kurt Mithoefer said Glendye is hands-down the best goalie in Division II and one of the two best in the state along with Ryan Slatky of Trinity of Manchester.
Glendye might not be as big as Slatky, but what he lacks in size he makes up for with smarts. Mithoefer said Glendye has a knack for being in the right place at the right time and just when you think he's down and out he comes back and makes a great save.
"He's one of those kids that just has a natural feel for the puck," Mithoefer said.
It also helps that Brett's older brother, Eric, is a good hockey player too. Eric was the leading scorer for the Tomahawks a couple of years ago and his offensive skills probably helped Brett hone his goalie skills.
"I think it certainly helps having a brother like that," Mithoefer said. "Having him come down and shoot on you helps develop quick reactions."
Riker and his Green Wave haven't faced the Tomahawks this season, but he knows Glendye and how good he is. He said Glendye possesses some of the most important traits for a great goalie.
"He's really consistent," Riker said. "He seems to show up and it looks like he's prepared every game."
Riker said Glendye has solid mechanics and is good at squaring himself to the puck. He considers Glendye one of the top three goalies in the state.
What the senior does next year is up in the air. Mithoefer said Glendye has some prospects to play in prep school, but might just go to college to pursue an engineering degree.
MAYBE the most dominant team in the state is in the girls' league, where Hanover is 11-0. The Marauders have outscored their competition 65-6, have seven shutouts to their credit and have scored at least nine goals in four games.
Hanover has won four of the five state titles since girls' hockey became a varsity sport, including the last three in a row.
STAYING on the subject of girls in hockey, Shelby Herrington isn't tearing it up for the Bishop Brady of Concord boys' squad but is certainly contributing. She is tied for fourth place in scoring on the squad with four points through 10 games. Herrington is the girl whose parents fought the NHIAA in court for her right to play on the boys' team and won earlier this season.
MAYBE the most puzzling team in the state is Oyster River of Durham. The Bobcats are unbeaten in their last seven games. The string started with four straight 1-1 ties. Two of those ties came against Spaulding and Bedford, two of the best teams in the league. The other two ties were against Pembroke/Campbell and Keene, which have a combined 8-10-4 record.
Their only two losses are to Merrimack and Dover, two league powers, and the Bobcats now stand at 5-2-4.
SCORING MACHINE Connor Jewett of Berlin recorded his 100th career point on Wednesday in a win over Hollis/Brookline. He added nine more points (7 goals, 2 assists) in a win over Laconia/Winnisquam on Saturday and now has 58 points this season. He is the first Mountaineer to reach the 100-point plateau since Travis L'Heureaux did so in 2006.
The Mountaineers are atop Division III with a record of 11-0.
Mark Quirk covers high school hockey for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.