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Berlin pair skates at hockey showcase

Special to the Sunday News

August 06. 2017 12:07AM

Exeter forward Carissa Towlson skates in on Hanover goalie Celina Barton in the NHIAA Division I girls’ hockey finals in March. Towlson has particpated in this week’s prestigious Hockey Night in Boston tournament in Haverhill, Mass. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)

HAVERHILL, Mass. - Two hockey players from Berlin have raised their games and turned heads at the 23rd annual Hockey Night in Boston tournament.

Lauren Frenette, the junior goalie for the Berlin-Gorham co-op team, started on the first day of the tournament for Team Metro and made 10 saves in the first period, and allowed one goal in the second before being relieved in net in her team's 3-2 loss.

"I like playing in (the tournament)," said Frenette. "It's a higher level tournament, there's a lot of good girls here, it's challenging. I like playing with people who care and are passionate about it."

It was an adjustment to see players she hadn't seen before, Frenette said.

"I pay attention in warm ups and look at shots and where they might be coming from," Frenette said. "I look during the game where shots are coming from and focus on those areas."

Frenette had big shoes to fill during her sophomore year after the graduation of all-state goalie Chelsey Caron. Frenette has looked to stay sharp heading into her second season as a starter by playing summer hockey.

"It keeps my legs moving and I get to see a lot of fresh stuff," she said. "I get to challenge myself a lot and see a lot of talent out there."

Behind Frenette, the Mountaineers are looking to rebound from an 8-3 loss in the quarterfinals to Hanover this past winter, and the team has some key returners despite losing some leadership with a large graduating class.

One of those returners is Trinity Gendron, a defender with Berlin-Gorham, who found herself in an entirely new hockey experience in Haverhill.

"We lost a lot of our team. We lost five seniors," said Gendron, who was invited to play with team Minnesota this week at HNIB, which is being played at Haverhill Valley Forum. "We do have a couple of younger kids who will improve the team, and new players will help."

Minnesota had seven players drop out late, leaving the team scrambling to find participants. The team added players from as far away as Washington state, along with a few from Massachusetts, and Gendron.

"They needed more players, and they asked me," she said.

Gendron assisted on a goal to help lead Minnesota over Eastern on the first day of the tournament. But, more than the result on the ice, Gendron has been able to learn from playing with athletes across the country she otherwise wouldn't have the chance to compete with.

"It's really fun getting to know other people and learn different styles of hockey," said Gendron.

There's quite a way to go before Berlin-Gorham opens its season on Dec. 12 against Manchester Central, but it can never be too soon to start preparing for the players in the HNIB tourney, which runs through Sunday. More than 200 players from 15 states are participating.

"I love playing in the summer," said Gendron. "It gets my stick work really good and I'm able to get better."

That sentiment was echoed throughout New Hampshire representatives in the tournament, including Emma Upton of Amherst, who attends High Mowing School and plays club hockey; Meagan Haynes of Stratham, who attends Lawrence Academy; Kara Luby of Wolfeboro, who attends Brewster Academy; Carissa Towlson of Kensington, who plays at Exeter High; Alyssa Civielli of Newmarket, who goes to Portsmouth Abbey; and Kristina Allard of Kingston, who is a freshman at Sanborn High School and plays club hockey.

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