Manchester Memorial’s reign as the defending Division I state hockey champion came to an end Wednesday.
Jon Wilson, Tim Paige, Jake Latham, Danny Leblanc and Joey Paige each scored a goal to lead eighth-ranked Nashua North to a 5-1 first-round playoff victory at Conway Arena in Nashua.
“I thought our kids played as well as they could,” said Memorial coach Mark Putney. “In the second period we outshot them 12-2 and had nothing to show for it. We caused traffic in front and took some shots that were labeled, but we just couldn’t get the puck into the net.”
North coach Danny Legro lauded goalie Jake Genest, who stopped 27 shots for Nashua. “Jake was focused, especially in the second period when Memorial was beating us to the pucks,” said Legro. “We scored three goals in the first period and I kept telling our players to play like we were behind. An early three-goal lead is not safe in our league. There are too many good teams who can rally late.”
Andrew Putney scored Memorial’s only goal in the first period, but North iced it in the third stanza, getting goals from Leblanc and Joey Paige. North advanced to play top-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas of Dover on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Dover Ice Arena.
Memorial ended its season at 7-9-3.
“Our kids played hard the whole year,” said Putney. “We’re disappointed we didn’t finish higher in the standings, but the effort from our players was always there.”