NHIAA Boys' Hockey: Hanover boys' hockey overpowers Trinity
GOFFSTOWN - A two-goal lead in Hanover's favor usually appears safe, but the Marauders were not about to take any chances.
Leading by a pair entering the third period, senior defenseman Will Smith, once settled inside the right circle, buried a shot far side at 2:45 to help secure a 4-1 triumph over Trinity of Manchester in a Saturday matinee at Thomas F. Sullivan Arena.
The victory marks the fifth straight for the Marauders, who improve to 7-3. The Pioneers drop to 1-8-1.
"We played Trinity a couple of weeks ago (a 3-1 triumph) and they came out in the second period of that game and pinned our ears back," said Hanover head coach Dick Dodds. "We talked today about not letting that happen again. Once they start to get momentum, it is hard to get it back. I think our kids are excited about what is going on here right now. We just want to try and keep it going."
Unlike the first period, in which it took the Marauders nearly the entire 15 minutes to register their first goal despite dominating the action, Hanover came out for the second with a take-no-prisoners attitude. Just 25 seconds in, senior forward Jake Acker, left all by his lonesome, buried a hard wrist shot from the right circle past Ethan Messner to make it 2-0. The Marauders soon pushed the advantage to three goals. Owen Stadheim, taking a lead pass from David Lehmann, skated in alone on Messner. Dangling the puck on his stick, the freshman went backhand to forehand before going five-hole on Messner.
"I didn't think we had the passion today," Trinity head coach Mike Connell said. "I thought we were sluggish. I thought Hanover did what they wanted to and we allowed it a little bit. We need to do a better job being prepared. We gave them too much time to move the puck. Against a team like Hanover you need to be into it the moment the puck drops all the way to the end."
Trinity did begin to show signs of life late in the period. Senior Tyler Chipman cut past a Hanover defender coming down the left side. Maintaining control of the puck, Chipman went high on Hanover goalie Gabe Loud to put his team on the board with under three minutes remaining. But the Pioneers did little following the score, as at times they stood around puck watching instead of attacking.
Trinity came away fortunate only to be down just 1-0 after the opening stanza. Much of that had to do with some solid goaltending of Messner. As Hanover controlled the majority of the play inside offensive zone, Messner, a sophomore, held his ground between the pipes, turning aside 18 shots of the Marauders' 19 shots. For the game, Hanover finished with 41 attempts on net while the Pioneers mustered 14.
The only goal in the frame came by way of a penalty shot awarded to Lehmann. The junior scored at 14:34.
"We were getting shots and cycling the puck well," said Acker, who also added an assist. "We didn't really get the scoring chances until the end of the period when we got the penalty shot. But we knew it would come so we just stuck to our game plan. Eventually it came."