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

Home » Sports » High School Sports

February 04. 2013 10:41PM

Mark Quirk's High School Hockey: Salem enjoying a Phair amount of success

ANY QUESTIONS about who will be the No. 1 goalie for the Salem boys' team seem to have been answered.

Nick Phair started the season in a battle with Sam MacDonald for the position, but it's Phair, a senior, who has been handed the reins over MacDonald, a sophomore.

Blue Devil coach Mark McGinn said MacDonald is capable of taking over the position if needed, but for now it's Phair's time.

"If you look over the history of how I coach, (Phair) is a senior and (MacDonald) is a sophomore; I give the benefit to the senior," McGinn said. "Next year it will be his game. It's no drop off; he's a very good goalie."

Phair leads Division I regulars in goals-against average at 1.38 and save percentage at .946. He has a record of 7-2-1.

Jacob Zimmerman of Trinity of Manchester has a 1.33 GAA but has started only three games and played 135 minutes. Phair has played 458 minutes.

Phair has given up more than two goals in a game just twice, against Manchester Memorial and Londonderry. He surrendered four in each of those.

One tell-tale moment of how Phair's season has been going came on Saturday. Salem was tied 4-4 with Londonderry in the third period, and the Lancers had a two-on-none break with less than five minutes left. Phair stopped the break, and the Blue Devils scored with less than a minute remaining to win the game and take over first place in the Division I standings.

"We've always had pretty good goaltending, which is fortunate," McGinn said. "We've just got to keep the shots down and stay out of the penalty box."

______

WHEN TRYING to figure out how he was going to replace the offense when he lost four of his top five scorers from a year ago, Hanover girls' hockey coach John Dodds didn't have to look any further than his own blue line.

This year, the defending champion Marauders are getting big contributions on offense from their defense, and at 13-0 they look poised to win their fifth title in the six years girls' hockey has been a varsity sport.

Dodds says Caroline Howell has emerged as one of the best defenders in the state and Margeaux Baker has stepped up her game in the offensive end. The team also returned Emma Malenka and captain Katrina Menard at the blue line.

"I really think we've got a couple of the best defensemen in the state," Dodds said. "And they're contributing on offense."

Hanover hasn't been blowing out the competition, which makes good defense even more important. It has three one-goal wins so far this season, including 3-2 over Bishop Guertin of Nashua, 1-0 over Oyster River of Durham and 3-2 over rival Lebanon, a game in which both Howell and Baker scored.

The Marauders also have been infused with some good freshman talent up front, including Kelly Brigham and Matti Hartman, both of whom scored in their 2-0 win over Lebanon on Saturday.

And it also helps that they are getting solid goaltending. Sophomore Katie Fenton has filled in admirably for senior Kelly Gaudet, who had surgery just before the season. Gaudet has played but still isn't 100 percent.

______

SOME good news and some bad news for the Manchester Central boys. The good news is captain Mitchel Fortin could get the cast off his broken arm as early as this week, and there is a possibility he could play for the Little Green again this season. They could also get defenseman Parker Anderson back soon.

The bad news is, Andrew Kehas is back on the injured list. Kehas suffered a concussion in a 10-1 win over Concord on Saturday, and coach Brian Stone said it was pretty serious. Will Lyons suffered a concussion in the game, as well, and will likely miss 10-14 days.

______

IT'S A BIG WEEK for the Bedford boys' team, which has games against two of the top four teams in Division II. The Bulldogs host Dover on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., and they are at West Side Arena in Manchester to play undefeated Merrimack at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

The Tomahawks are 11-0 and Dover is 7-3-1. Bedford is 9-1-1.

______

MANCHESTER MEMORIAL, considered the preseason boys' Division I favorite by many, has dropped two games in a row and will look to get back to its winning ways on Wednesday when it travels to Dover to take on St. Thomas Aquinas. The Saints handed the Crusaders an overtime loss last Wednesday, and then Memorial lost to Nashua North on Saturday.

The Crusaders out-shot their opponents 72-33 in those two games.

______

NASHUA NORTH is starting to roll. After dropping five in a row to some of the top boys' teams in the state, the Titans have put together a three-game win streak and are now 4-8. They started the streak with back-to-back 5-0 wins over Bishop Brady and Exeter and then downed Memorial 3-2 on Saturday.

North will be challenged to keep that streak alive this week against Salem and defending champion Pinkerton Academy of Derry, not an easy task for the Titans.
Mark Quirk covers high school hockey for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. Email him at mquirk@unionleader.com.


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

Goalie Danny Tirone to enroll at UNH for second semester after star's suspension for domestic violence

'Smoke' blows into New Hampshire with the law in his rear-view mirror

Man found unconscious at Winchester Speedpark Saturday

Too young to drive, but old enough for NHMS

Police examine speed, possible horseplay in golf cart fatality

Mass. man, 27, dies in golf cart accident at The Links at Outlook

Hanover's Sarah Groff competes in the women's triathlon final during the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Hanover Olympian in spotlight at Las Vegas Super Sprint

FHL makes it official, team planned for Berlin will play in North Adams, Mass. instead

Can NH soccer star Charlie Davies make a comeback?

Inside NIKEs secret sports lab; born in Exeter, now located in Oregon.

Concord Monitor decries gender pay gap in professional tennis

FHL franchise slated for Berlin may go to North Adams, Mass. instead

Eagles' Kelly says he learned his offense by studying defense while at UNH

Former Concord area youth baseball coach sentenced to 30 more years in prison

Maine boxer Brandon Berry making Fight to Educate history

Hudson family, classmates working to keep Alvirne soccer standout Raul Stedile in U.S.

Israel unrest moves meet for NH swim star

Race date for Oxford 250 moved from July to Aug. 30 next year

NH's Groff a highlight for U.S. at ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final

Maine fighters Lamour, Berry on New Hampshire boxing card

Q&A with Matt Bonner as he weighs free agency

Keene State mum on suspension of veteran track coach

Morgan Andrews speaks: Notre Dame star undeterred by U.S. U-20 World Cup snub

Mo'ne Davis, and why no one should laugh at the idea of a woman in Major League Baseball

Curt Schilling says smokeless tobacco caused oral cancer

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!