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January 25. 2014 7:39PM

NHIAA hockey roundup: Central skates past Nashua North to snap streak


Manchester Central's Devon Sprague(8) carries the puck as Nashua North's Tim Paige pressures during the first period of their game Saturday at Conway Arena in Nashua. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

NASHUA - The Manchester Central hockey team got the second half of its season off to a nice start on Saturday with a 6-3 win over Nashua North at Conway Arena.

The Little Green snapped a two-game losing skid and improved its standing in the jockeying for playoff positioning. Central is 6-3-0.

Nashua North dropped to 6-4-0.

"It's a good win," said Central coach Brian Stone. "They're right there with us in the standings and you want to beat the teams near you."

The teams are vying for one of first-round byes available for the first-round of the Division I tournament. Both are toward the back end of the top seven at the moment.

The Little Green jumped in front with a pair of first period goals.

They doubled their lead to 4-0 early in the third period and then held on.

Ian Beliveau made 23 saves for the win.

"He was solid," Stone said. "He's our backbone."

Cody Lappas opened the scoring. He made a nice move to get around a defenseman just inside the blueline and moved in on goalie Jake Genest and beat him with a shot to the glove side 3:29 into the game. Noah Duplessis had an assist on the play.

Central captain Tim Tetrault came in from right side and put a shot past the goalie to make it 2-0 with 4:11 left in the first period. Parker Anderson assisted.

The Little Green made the most of their shots in the period: they got their two goals on three shots.

"We really took advantage of our opportunities tonight," Stone said.

Central killed off three North power plays in a scoreless second period. The final power play was shortened when the Panthers took a penalty with 14 seconds left in the period.

Central's Devon Sprague ran the lead to 3-0 with a power play goal just 49 seconds into the third period.

It was his first of two goals in the frame.

"He had good a game," Stone said. "He's a natural goal scorer".

Nashua won its first five games of the season then lost three straight. The Titans got back in the win column with a 6-1 victory over Bishop Brady of Concord a week ago.

The Titans play their next three games on the road, starting at Exeter on Wednesday.

The Little Green lost to Manchester Memorial, 3-2, last year in the Division I championship game in their first appearance in the title match since 1994.

Central plays Trinity of Manchester at home on Wednesday.

St. Thomas 3, Pinkerton 2, OT: Niall Foster scored with 4:36 remaining in overtime to help the St. Thomas Aquinas of Dover boys' hockey team post a 3-2 victory over Pinkerton Academy of Derry on Saturday at the Dover Ice Arena.

St. Thomas trailed 2-1 until Ryan Benedetto scored with 8:33 left in the third. Bailey Walsh (short-handed) and Ryan Christie scored for Pinkerton. Ty Turgeon also scored for the Saints.

St. Thomas improved its Division I record to 8-1-1 with the victory. Pinkerton fell to 2-5-1.

Memorial 2, Exeter 0: At Manchester, goals by Nick Burgess and Zach Pelletier helped Memorial raise its Division I record to 5-2-1. Bryce Jacob assisted on each goal.

Brandon McKenzie made 26 saves to record the shutout. Exeter fell to 1-6-1.

Kennett 5, West 2: At Manchester, Kennett scored three power-play goals in the second period and raised its Division III record to 4-2. Brad Canavari scored twice for the Eagles, who also received goals from Robbie Moody, Anthony Graziano and Robert Thurston. Kennett goalie Bobby Davis made 25 saves.

Brian Makin scored twice for West, which led 1-0 after one period. West goalie Eric Clark stopped 25 shots. The loss dropped West to 0-6.

Laconia-Winnisquam 7, Kearsarge 3: At Andover, Dakota Tyno collected two goals and three assists to help Laconia-Winnisquam improve its Division III record to 3-5 with this victory at Proctor Academy. Laconia-Winnisquam also received two goals from Matt Missert and 38 saves from Brayden Harriman.

Freshman Jakob Arnold scored the first two goals of his career for Kearsarge, which also received a goal from Ben Newbern. Kearsarge fell to 1-4. Kearsarge will play a makeup game at Berln on Monday.


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