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Londonderry defense stands tall against Trinity

GOFFSTOWN — The highest-scoring team in Division I showed it can play defense.

“We’re not all about just scoring goals,” said Londonderry head coach Peter Bedford after two goals apiece from Jason Parker and Curtis Harper led the Lancers past Trinity 7-1 on Sunday afternoon at St. Anselm College’s Sullivan Arena.

Londonderry (8-2), currently in third place after extending its winning streak to seven, leads Division I in scoring with 47 goals. Harper ranks second in the division in goal scoring with 13.

But as Bedford said, Londonderry is more than a scoring machine. The Lancers have given up two or fewer goals six times this season and have allowed just five goals over their last three games. Mixing a potent offense with a solid defense is a good recipe for success in the playoffs down the road.

“Consistency, effort, it was all there today,” said Bedford. “Our forechecking and backchecking is what really pleased me from all of our four lines. We really went the 45 miles (minutes) and never let up.”

What won’t show up on the score sheet is the leadership displayed by Londonderry forward and captain Eric Coburn (one goal, two assists) following Trinity’s lone goal in the second period by Jack Collins.

“After Trinity scored, Eric skated to the bench and told our team that he coughed up the puck,” said Bedford. “He was telling the team he was taking accountability and that speaks volumes to me and the team about his role as captain. He’s a great leader and Eric is very passionate about wanting this team to succeed.”

Londonderry set the tone with a 2-0 first period lead. Parker swooped into Trinity’s end and unloaded a slapshot that deflected off the post and into the net past freshman Trinity netminder Curtis Wirbal. On the power play Coburn, skating down the right side, lured the defense toward him before sliding a pass to Harper in front for a one-time slapper and the two-goal lead.

Coburn made it 3-0 early in the second frame with an accurate high shot and proceeded to celebrate by impersonating Carolina quarterback Cam Newton with his Superman move. When Harper scored to make it 4-0 with 6:50 left in the middle frame, Trinity coach Mike Connell called time and inserted goalie Neil McCarthy.

“The timeout had nothing to do with Curtis (Wirbal, 19 saves). We just didn’t play well as a team today,” said Connell. “We’re struggling to score goals right now (10 goals over last five games). Some guys are over-thinking and others are just not in position. Overall we’re not playing with confidence. Once we find it again, we’ll be fine.”

City games tend to bring out the best in teams and Connell is hoping that’s the case when the Pioneers (6-3) battle Manchester Central (6-3) Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at JFK Coliseum.

Londonderry, which also got goals from Cooper Roy and Matthew Moriarty, is now 3-0 against the city teams. The Lancers look to move higher in the standings when they host second-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas of Dover at 4:40 p.m. Wednesday at Salem’s ICEnter.

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