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March 06. 2013 11:25PM

NHIAA Div. I Boys' Hockey: It's a city party in final


Central players celebrate the Little Green's second goal of the night during the NHIAA Division I semifinals on Wednesday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER — With the possibility of playing in his last high school hockey game looming large on Wednesday night, Ethan Pollock snapped out of a funk and answered the call.


The senior forward scored a hat trick in the third period to tie things up. Then Bryce Jacob netted the winner 9:07 into overtime as top-seeded Manchester Memorial rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat No. 4 St. Thomas Aquinas of Dover 4-3 in the Division I semifinals at JFK Coliseum.


Pollock scored his first at 3:54 of the third period, his second at 6:05 and tied it up with 8:17 left in regulation.
"In the locker room we just started talking and saying we aren't going to go out like this," Pollock said. "We just came together as a team, got three goals in the third and we weren't going to lose after that."


The win puts the Crusaders in the championship game on Saturday at Verizon Wireless Arena against city rival Manchester Central at 4:30 p.m. It's the first time two city public schools have played in the championship.


Glenn Wiswell scored two goals for the Saints (13-6-1) in the first period and TJ Boulanger added one in the second to make it 3-0 after two periods of play.


Then, after an inspirational pep talk during the second intermission, the Memorial offense kicked it into high gear. Pollock netted his three in the third and then Jacob got the game winner in the extra frame.


"I think reality was setting in with the seniors and the team," Putney said. "This is one and done and we didn't have to make arrangements to collect our uniforms."


Putney moved Jacob back to defense in overtime to give him a little more offense on the ice and it paid off. Jacob got the puck in the right face off circle and ripped a wrist shot over the shoulder of St. Thomas goalie Zane Angelopoulos, who was solid all night and finished with 40 saves.


"I got the puck coming off the boards," Jacob said. "I deked around the first guy, shot blocker side where I usually shoot and it just happened to go in."


Pollock picked up his first goal when he stuffed home the rebound of a shot by Brendan Sullivan during a scrum in front of the net. Sullivan also set up Pollock's second goal with a nice pass from the right side of the goal.


The third came on a shot by Jacob Boylan from the point. Pollock was camped in front of the net and redirected the puck past Angelopoulos to tie it up 3-3 midway through the third.


"Jacob Boylan took a shot from the point," Pollock said. "I was the only one in front so I just tipped it and it went right through his five hole."


The Crusaders (16-4) had the Saints on their heels at that point and took advantage of their best scoring chance in overtime to put things away.


The Saints got off to a strong start with goals from Wiswell at 7:05 and 10:33 of the first period to make it 2-0. Then Boulanger got his on the power play with 10:10 remaining in the second.


Memorial took charge after that and St. Thomas didn't get one by Crusader goalie Joshua Jacob again.


"It was a battle," St. Thomas coach Andrew Leach said. "That's the way the game goes. I can't take anything away from my kids. Nobody gave us a shot, we battled and we'll move on."



Manchester Central 3, Londonderry 1: Mitchel Fortin spent a good portion of the season on the bench recovering from a broken arm as his Manchester Central High School hockey team battled along without him.


Now he's a big reason why the Little Green still have a season.


The senior captain scored the game-winning goal as second-seeded Central knocked off No. 3 Londonderry in a gritty Division I semifinal contest in front of a lively crowd at JFK Coliseum on Wednesday night.


Fortin one-timed a pass from Cole Anderson that Lancer goalie Joe McGrath managed to slow down, but couldn't stop and the puck trickled in to make it 2-1 at the 2:00 mark of the third period.


Trevor Malmgren added an empty netter with two seconds left to ice the game and give the Little Green a berth into the championship game on Saturday at 4:30 at Verizon Wireless Arena. It's their first title game since losing to Hanover 11-0 in 1994.


"It feels good," Fortin said about scoring the game winner. "It's been a challenge throughout the year. It's just been a struggle. I watch my team go hard every day. I'm just really proud to play for Central. I love it."


Fortin broke his arm during a holiday tournament and didn't return to action until Feb. 16. The forward spent countless hours rehabilitating his arm and all that work paid off with one swipe of the stick that scored a spot in the title game for his squad.


"We know what kind of goal scorer he is. He can bang those home," Central coach Brian Stone said. "He's got a knack for it. It was great to get him back up there and see him get the game winner."


It was a hard-hitting affair that started out slow as both teams felt each other out in a scoreless first period.


Then both offenses came to life in the second period as they produced countless scoring opportunities and the teams scored goals 10 seconds apart.


It was the Little Green who got on the board first when Austin Sprague set up Trevor Malmgren in front of the Lancer net. McGrath made the save on the shot by Malmgren, but the rebound went right to Devon Sprague, who put the puck in the empty net to make it 1-0 with 12:55 left in the period.


"My brother was covered out front and I saw a guy streaking in from the point," Austin Sprague said. "I gave it to him, he had a good shot and the rebound went right to Devon."


Londonderry didn't take long to counter when Mike Donlan netted his team's lone goal just 10 seconds later to make it 1-1.


McGrath came up huge for the Lancers in the third period as the Little Green could have easily pulled away. He stopped a shorthanded bid by Noah Duplessis, a slap shot through traffic by Scott Robidoux, made a diving save on a shot by Tyler Stratton and then stopped a penalty shot by Austin Sprague.


McGrath finished with 35 saves.


"Central played a gritty third period," Londonderry coach Peter Bedford said. "We were tight, got a little bit sloppy and had miscues. Kids are funny. You don't know how they're going to respond."


Beliveau wasn't tested nearly as much as he only had to make 21 saves, but some were tough as he held Londonderry to just one goal.


Central took the lead for good on the goal by Fortin. It was set up with a long pass from the point by Cole Anderson. Fortin one-timed the shot from the slot to make it 2-1, and then Malmgren rounded out the scoring with the empty netter that sent the Little Green crowd into a frenzy.


"It's the best feeling ever," Austin Sprague said about going to the title game. "All four years we've been working for this."tournament and didn't return to action until Feb. 16. The forward spent countless hours rehabilitating his arm and all that work paid off with one swipe of the stick that scored a spot in the title game for his squad.


"We know what kind of goal scorer he is. He can bang those home," Central coach Brian Stone said. "He's got a knack for it. It was great to get him back up there and see him get the game winner."


It was a hard-hitting affair that started out slow as both teams felt each other out in a scoreless first period.
Then both offenses came to life in the second period as they produced countless scoring opportunities and the teams scored goals 10 seconds apart.


It was the Little Green who got on the board first when Austin Sprague set up Trevor Malmgren in front of the Lancer net. McGrath made the save on the shot by Malmgren, but the rebound went right to Devon Sprague, who put the puck in the empty net to make it 1-0 with 12:55 left in the period.


"My brother was covered out front and I saw a guy streaking in from the point," Austin Sprague said. "I gave it to him, he had a good shot and the rebound went right to Devon."


Londonderry didn't take long to counter when Mike Donlan netted his team's lone goal just 10 seconds later to make it 1-1.


McGrath came up huge for the Lancers in the third period as the Little Green could have easily pulled away. He stopped a shorthanded bid by Noah Duplessis, a slap shot through traffic by Scott Robidoux, made a diving save on a shot by Tyler Stratton and then stopped a penalty shot by Austin Sprague.


McGrath finished with 35 saves.


"Central played a gritty third period," Londonderry coach Peter Bedford said. "We were tight, got a little bit sloppy and had miscues. Kids are funny. You don't know how they're going to respond."


Beliveau wasn't tested nearly as much as he only had to make 21 saves, but some were tough as he held Londonderry to just one goal.


Central took the lead for good on the goal by Fortin. It was set up with a long pass from the point by Cole Anderson.

Fortin one-timed the shot from the slot to make it 2-1, and then Malmgren rounded out the scoring with the empty netter that sent the Little Green crowd into a frenzy.


"It's the best feeling ever," Austin Sprague said about going to the title game. "All four years we've been working for this."


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