Div. I hockey a scramble on final day
It's the final day of the NHIAA regular season boys' ice hockey slate and there are still some playoff positions to be decided.
There are four Division I games tonight: Trinity of Manchester at Hanover (Campion Arena in Lebanon, 7 p.m.), Manchester Memorial at Manchester Central (JFK Coliseum, 6 p.m.), Bishop Brady at Pinkerton Academy of Derry (Ice Den, Hooksett, 7 p.m.) and Londonderry at Salem (ICEnter, Salem, 8 p.m.)
Results from Thursday and Friday also factored in as top-ranked Salem (15-1-1) needed an overtime goal from Chris Lemay to beat No. 4 Trinity Thursday and No. 2 St. Thomas of Dover (15-2-1) beat Exeter 6-1 Friday.
Salem's win means that the Blue Devils are locked into the No. 1 seed for the playoffs, which begin on Wednesday with preliminary games as No. 7 will host No. 10 and No. 8 will host No. 9.
St. Thomas is secure as No. 2 and Londonderry (13-4-0) has the three seed in pocket. But the jostling from the four spot down to No. 10 will continue into today's action.
Both Hanover and Trinity have something to play for in their game, though the desperation from the Marauders will be higher.
Hanover (6-10-1) is on the outside looking in, but could elevate to the No. 10 position with a win. Concord (7-11-0) is currently in the 10th and final playoff slot, but has concluded its season and will have to wait and see what happens.
No. 5 Central (10-7-0) could catch Trinity (10-7-0) with a win over No. 7. Memorial (7-7-3), but the Crusaders could also move up a space to pass Bishop Guertin of Nashua (8-8-0) for sixth with a win.
It all adds up to that old cliche: the playoffs start now.
In Friday's 6-1 win over Exeter, St. Thomas blew open a close game with two goals in the final two minutes of the second period.
Glenn Wiswell and Aaron Garrison scored to give STA a 2-0 lead after one period and Ty Turgeon made it 3-0 with a power-play goal in the second. But Exeter's Ty Mezquita tallied to make it a game at 3-1.
But Zach Leavitt scored at 12:56 and then Nolan Lavallee scored in the final minute and St. Thomas led 5-1. Another Wiswell goal in the third closed out the win.