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Manchester Central players, from left, Logan Pacheco, Tim Tetrault, and goalie Ian Beliveau, begin to celebrate their 3-1 win over Londonderry in the Div. I NHIAA Hockey Championship game at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester Saturday. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

Div. I Hockey Championship: Central ends title drought on the ice


MANCHESTER – For the first time since 1981, Manchester Central will hang an ice hockey state championship banner.

Fourth-ranked Central defeated No. 3 Londonderry 3-1 to win the NHIAA Division I boys' ice hockey championship at Verizon Wireless Arena Saturday. Central finished as runners-up to Manchester Memorial last season.

Senior Ross Lougee scored the game-winning goal for the Little Green (14-7-0) with 5:44 remaining in the game.

A big collision at the Lancers blue line left a loose puck for Lougee to pick up and he skated in deep on the left side before wristing a shot that beat Londonderry senior goalie Joe McGrath under the arm on his catching side.

Central added an empty net goal with 29 seconds remaining to make it 3-1 and give some breathing room. Senior Noah Duplessis got the empty netter and the celebration was on.

Central opened the scoring at 2:29 of the second period. Sophomore Nathan Potvin got the goal off an assist from classmate William Lyons. Potvin scored from the left wing boards, sending a shot on net that beat McGrath over the shoulder as Williams provided a screen.

Londonderry (16-5-0) tied the game at 10:46 of the second. Lancers senior Jason Parker picked up a loose puck at the Central blue line and skated in, firing a shot from the right circle that beat senior goalie Ian Beliveau under the blocker.

        

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