Central skaters defeat Concord
MANCHESTER — Concord's playoff chances were dealt a serious blow by Manchester Central Monday.
Central improved to 9-7-0 with a 4-1 win over Concord at JFK Coliseum, dropping the Crimson Tide to 6-11-0 for 11th place in Division I. The top 10 teams will make the playoffs.
"We needed (to win) today and Wednesday and now we need some help," said Concord head coach Duncan Walsh. "It's not in our hands now. We haven't won enough games the last couple weeks."
Concord will close out the season with a home game against cross-town rival Bishop Brady at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Everett Arena. Brady is winless at 0-15-0. Concord won 2-1 in an earlier meeting.
The Crimson Tide will need to win and hope that 10th-place Hanover (6-9-1) loses both its remaining games against Exeter (4-10-1) Wednesday and Trinity of Manchester (10-5-0) Saturday.
Manchester Central, meanwhile, now has a solid hold on the fifth-place seed and will finish up against Nashua South (2-11-2) Thursday and then sixth-place Manchester Memorial (7-7-3) Saturday.
"We've got to win out here," Central head coach Brian Stone said. "The kids knew that in the locker room, to see where we can position ourselves."
The Little Green came out strong to start the game, taking a 3-0 lead after one period and never looking back.
Parker Anderson opened the scoring at 5:03, blasting a slap shot from above the left circle to beat Tide goalie Ben Nelson along the ice.
Freshman Cody Lappas made it 2-0 at 10:26, chipping a shot over Nelson's glove after Devon Sprague drove the net and then passed it back to the low slot.
Colin Pacheco extended the lead to 3-0 at 11:02. William Lyons' pass from the blue line found Pacheco at the left post for the score.
"We usually don't get up on teams. It was good to come out and get on top," Stone said. "I was happy with the performance."
Sprague assisted on the first two Central goals and then got one for himself at 3:27 of the second period. Sprague carried the puck up the right wing side and then snapped a shot from the circle to beat Nelson high stick-side for the 4-0 lead.
Concord scored a power-play goal at 12:37 of the second to cut the deficit to 4-1. Central goalie Ian Beliveau made a great toe save on a point-blank shot from freshman Connor Beatty, but the rebound went to Beatty's stick for a second try and he roofed it.
The third period played out scoreless and Central skated off with the win.
"We got down early and they're a good team. We're not a team that's good coming from behind. We just don't score a lot of goals or generate a lot of offense," Walsh said. "We beat them in Concord three or four weeks ago, but they looked like a different team this time."