NHIAA Boys' Hockey: Londonderry skaters top arch-rival Pinkerton
Londonderry goalie Joe McGrath turns away a shot by Giovanni Corsetto of Pinkerton during Wednesday's game. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Eric Coburn scored two of his team's four goals to lift the Londonderry High School hockey squad to a 4-1 win over Pinkerton Academy of Derry in Division I action at the Icenter on Wednesday.
The Lancers had lost three of its previous four games before taking control of the Astros, who were on a three-game winning streak.
"You don't need any extra motivation when you play these guys," Coburn said. "It doesn't matter, you always want to beat your rival. It feels good and this was something we were looking to get to get us kick-started back on the winning track."
The Lancers improved to 8-4-1 with the win and Pinkerton is now 7-6.
Coburn scored what ended up being the game winner with 2.5 seconds left in the first period and then added some insurance with a power-play goal in the third period to make it 3-1.
Both goals came from right in front of the net, where Coburn likes to use his 6-foot-3, 200-pound body to his advantage.
The game winner happened after good pressure in the Pikerton zone. Curtis Harper put a shot on net Astro goalie Matt Marchman (22 saves) stopped, but the rebound went to Coburn on the right post and the junior forward stuffed it in to make it 2-1.
"It was a heads up play by (Harper)," Coburn said. "Good things happen when you get it on net and I was in the right place at the right time."
It was 2-1 after two periods of play and the Lancers put the game away with two power-play goals in the third. Coburn had the first at the 7:04 mark to make it 3-1and then Ryan Griffin rounded out the scoring with 1:45 left.
It was a strong performance by the Lancers against an opponent close to them in the standings. They also got a strong effort from goalie Joe McGrath, who gave up a goal on the third shot he faced but was perfect after that. He finished with 20 saves.
"Joe has really come into his own this year," said Londonderry assistant coach Paul Vanasse. "He's really focused and playing well with the guys in front of him."
Nick Donnelly got Londonderry on the board first when he lit the lamp at 6:28 of the first period.
The Astros scored next to tie things up on a goal by Dominic Corsetto, who was set up nicely by Devin Moore to make it 1-1 with 2:54 left in the first.
Moore picked off a pass in the Lancer zone and broke in on McGrath for a two-on-one with Corsetto on his right. He made the pass to Corsetto and the senior captain buried it.
Coburn then put Londonderry up for good when he struck for his first with 2.5 seconds left.
"They won all the puck battles," Pinkerton coach Casey Kesselring said about Londonderry. "We had two guys on one guy and he'd come out with the puck."