Nashua North takes 4-0 mark into South boys' ice hockey tiltBy JOHN HABIB
New Hampshire Union Leader
January 05. 2014 9:36PM
Nashua North is off to a 4-0 start, but head coach Danny Legro is not taking it for granted.
“It’s still early and we have so many good opponents ahead of us, so many bridges to cross,” said Legro. “The only game we’re concentrating on is the next one.”
On Saturday at the Conway Arena, goals from Jake Latham, Jon Wilson and Danny Leblanc lifted the Titans past Hanover, 3-1. “What impressed me the most about Nashua North is how smart they play,” said Hanover coach Dick Dodds. “They’re quick and skilled, but they anticipate what’s going to happen next.”
In other action Saturday in Division I hockey, Manchester Central blanked Exeter, 2-0; Trinity of Manchester skated past Nashua South, 7-1; Salem remained unbeaten with a 4-1 win against Pinkerton of Derry; Londonderry manhandled Bishop Brady of Concord 8-1; St. Thomas Aquinas of Dover upended Bishop Guertin of Nashua 4-2 and, defending state champion Manchester Memorial blanked Concord, 5-0.
Nashua North, which has five seniors on its squad, has outscored its opponents 21-8 this season. “Everyone on the team is contributing,” said Legro, who lauded captain Latham for his senior leadership.
“He’s got speed, the skills to be a very good goal scorer,” said Legro. Latham scored a last-minute first-period goal and Wilson scored his in the first minute of the middle frame. “Those goals deflated us a bit,” said Dodds. “Our team defense is not where I like it to be, but it’s coming. We’re going to get better as the season rolls along.”
Gus Lyons scored for Hanover in the third period. Wilson, Tyler Searles, Jon Searles, Tim Paige, Nick Johnson and Robert Lavine each had one assist for North. Hanover goalie Luke Ratliff had 21 saves and North goalie Jake Genest stopped 14 shots. North meets South today at 2:40 p.m. at Conway Arena in a make-up game.
Trinity 7, Nashua South 1: In Manchester, Mitch Myers continued his scoring surge with three more goals. “He’s picked up where he left off last year when he scored 17 goals,” said Trinity coach Mike Connell. “Right now we have three lines going well.” Connell’s third line of juniors Brian Madden and Mitch Dructor, along with freshman Tyler Chipman, has paid off. Chipman had two goals against the Panthers and Madden and Drew Merrick added the other tallies. Jack Collins, Cam Brown and Alec Robitaille each hit the assist column.
“Madden is starting to feel it a little bit on offense and Chipman is playing with confidence,” said Connell. “The third line is giving us a huge lift right now.”
Trinity goalie Neil McCarthy stopped 10 shots for the win. The Pioneers, behind McCarthy and freshman Curtis Wirbal, possess strength between the pipes. “Couldn’t be happier,” said Connell. “They’re both capable of making big stops in big moments.”
Trinity (3-1) heads to the Salem Icenter to play the 4-0 Blue Devils on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Salem 4, Pinkerton 1: In Salem, Ethan Landry gave Pinkerton the early lead, but Salem responded with second-period goals from Kyle Nagri and Paul Antkowiak. John Gray and Kyle Svenson tallied in the third period. Salem goalie Sam McDonald stopped 15 shots and Pinkerton goalie Brendan Murphy turned back 13 shots. Pinkerton is 0-2-1.
Central 2, Exeter 0: In Exeter, Central goalie Ian Beliveau notched the shutout with 15 saves. Central is searching for goals right now and until the offense comes around, Beliveau is being asked to hold the fort.
“He did it last year in a quiet manner and so far he’s doing it again,” said Central coach Brian Stone. Senior defensemen Tim Tetrault, Parker Anderson and Ross Lougee along with junior Jake Clark have given Central a strong wall in front of Beliveau.
Devon Sprague scored a first-period goal for the Little Green, and Clark added the insurance in the third period. “Never easy to beat a Jim Tufts team in Exeter, it’s a big win,” said Stone. Central hosts Bishop Brady Tuesday at 4:30 at JFK Coliseum.
Londonderry 8, Bishop Brady 1: Curtis Harper’s four goals and Eric Coburn’s five assists lifted the Lancers on Saturday at the Icenter.
Moultonborough/Inter-Lakes 3, Keararge 2 (OT): At Laconia, Cody Burns scored his second goal of the game 1:14 into overtime to push Moultonborough/Inter-Lakes (1-2) to victory on Saturday.
Dylan Sheehan had the other goal for the winning side. Will Aufranc (goal, assist) and Ben Newbern (goal) had the tallies for Kearsarge (0-2).