NHIAA tournament teams determinedBy JOHN HABIB
New Hampshire Union Leader
March 02. 2014 11:11PM
The tournament teams have been determined, but the first-round pairings for the Division I hockey tournament will be announced today by the NHIAA.
The final standings show St. Thomas (15-2-1) edged out Salem (15-2-1) for first place. The Saints beat the Blue Devils 4-1 in their only meeting on Jan. 11 at the ICEnter in Salem.
Londonderry nailed down third place with a 14-4 record. Manchester Central (11-7) managed to leap past Trinity (10-8) for the fourth spot. On Saturday the Little Green won their fifth straight game with a 2-1 decision over defending state champion Manchester Memorial at JFK Coliseum. At Campion Rink in Lebanon, the Marauders gained the 10th and final playoff spot with a 3-2 victory over the Pioneers.
Central will meet Trinity in the quarterfinals on Saturday at JFK Coliseum at a time to be announced later this week.
The NHIAA will have to determine the tie-breaker between Bishop Guertin of Nashua (8-8-2), Pinkerton Academy of Derry (8-8-2) and Nashua North (8-8-1), which all finished with a 2.00 rating.
Because each team didn’t play each other the same amount of games (BG and North met twice this year, Pinkerton played North and BG only once), the tie-breaker that should break the deadlock is quality wins against tournament teams. Unofficially, BG ended with six wins against tournament teams followed by Pinkerton with four and North with three.
Under that scenario, BG would get the sixth and final berth for a first-round playoff bye. The top six teams get a first-round bye and begin play in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
Pinkerton would end up seventh and North eighth. Unofficially Pinkerton would host Hanover Wednesday at the Ice Den in Hooksett and North would host ninth-ranked Memorial (7-8-3) at Conway Arena on Wednesday.
Hanover’s win against Central knocked Concord (7-11) out of the tournament. Hanover finished at 7-10-1 for the last spot.
“It was a great win for our team on Senior Night in front of our biggest crowd of the season,” said Hanover coach Dick Dodds. Hanover freshman goalie Luke Ratliff (32 saves) set the early tone when he stopped a penalty shot from Mitch Myers in the first period. The Marauders took a 2-0 second-period lead when Gus Lyons scored two goals a minute apart, the first one on a power play. Trinity answered with a later second period tally from Colby Fortin.
Jonathan Goff made it 3-1 with 5:20 left, beating Trinity freshman goalie Curtis Wirbal, who played solid with 25 saves.
Drew Merrick of Trinity made it a one-goal game with three minutes to play, but Ratliff held the fort when Trinity pulled Wirbal for the extra skater in the final minutes.
Pinkerton finished its season with a 10-4 win against Bishop Brady Saturday in Hooksett.
First-period goals by Gio Corsetto, Bailey Walsh, Ethan Landry, Tim Cronin and John Polichetti gave the Astros a commanding 5-0 lead. Ryan Monte made it 6-0 before Brady got goals from Bryon Welch and Shelby Harrington.
Monte and Ryan Day made it 8-2.
before Brady scored its third goal in the final minute of the second stanza from Harrington. Walsh and Landry each scored for Pinkerton in the last frame. Brendan Brack tallied for Brady to end their season scoring.