EXETER — Bedford survived a furious late rally by Goffstown to post a 12-10 victory in the NHIAA Division II Boys’ Lacrosse Championship on Tuesday night. The triumph gave Bedford its third straight title and its 61st straight win, believed to be the longest current win streak in the nation.
With 11:45 to go, the Bulldogs, who are moving up to Division I next season, were cruising with a 12-5 lead. But the Grizzlies clawed their way back into the game.
“That was stressful,” said Bedford captain Dan Colella. “I hit a pipe, Sully hit the goalie. But we hung on.”
“If we had a few fewer penalties. we would have been in a better spot,” said Goffstown coach Josh Lewis. “They (the Grizzlies) did exactly what they had to at the start of the game and were able to do it again in the third.”
Tyler Sullivan led Bedford with five goals and two assists. Colella had the final three goals that made the difference, plus four assists.
“He’s been so good for us all year long,” said Bedford coach Matt Guerard of Colella. “He hates to lose, he drove the team in the second half and his leadership showed.”
Jack Carney led the Grizzlies with three goals and two assists. Stephan Dubois scored two goals and two assists. Goffstown fell to Bedford in last spring’s finals as well.
It was 5-5 late in the second when Sullivan and Dakota Clark got two quick goals and gave Bedford the 7-5 lead at the half.
“It was close all game long. We didn’t have the energy at the start,” said Guerard. “We knew we had to come out swinging in the second half.”
And they did. The third period was all Bulldogs with four goals, and another in the fourth before Goffstown started its rally.
“I can’t express how proud I am of these boys,” said Lewis.