NHIAA Hockey: Memorial comes alive for first winBy ALEX HALL
New Hampshire Union Leader
January 08. 2018 10:17PM
MANCHESTER — Scoring was a problem for the Manchester Memorial boys’ hockey team in its first three Division I regular-season games.
Penalties were an issue but finding the back of the net was not for the Crusaders in their 7-6 victory over city rival Manchester Central/West Monday at JFK Coliseum. It was Memorial’s first win.
Memorial scored three goals over its first three games, all losses. Monday, senior captain Eric Langley had that many by himself, and classmate Patrick Goren, an alternate captain, tallied two goals.
“Your better players are going to step up and they did,” said Memorial coach Mark Putney, whose team built a 6-1 lead and held on. “They stepped up and they tried to pull the team on their backs.”
The Crusaders, who took eight penalties in the contest, led, 3-0, after the opening period and 7-3 entering the second intermission.
Central/West (0-5) did not go down quietly in the third period.
Central/West senior Sam Hebert, his younger brother, Will, a sophomore, and George Gatzoulis all scored over the final 8:22 but the Crusaders held off the third-period comeback. Gatzoulis’ second goal pulled Central/West within 7-6 with 2:32 remaining, but Central/West couldn’t get the equalizer despite pulling the goalie with about two minutes left.
“This is a hard-working team,” Central/West coach Eric Fischer said. “We have our moments where we fall apart a little bit … (but) every single time we get ourselves in a hole, we keep battling right to the end, (which) just shows a lot about this team for being a young team.”
Like the Crusaders, Central/West had trouble staying out of the box, taking five penalties.
Sam Hebert and Gatzoulis both finished with two goals. Gatzoulis added two assists.
Langley began his hat trick by stealing the puck from Central/West’s Jake Pellerin in the neutral zone and scoring on the breakaway 3:52 into the first period. Jared Chandonnet won his race with Central/West’s John McNichols to the loose puck and scored from the left circle 2:21 after Langley’s tally to build a 2-0 Memorial lead.
Matthew Guzzetta scored on a turnaround shot during four-on-four play with 56.7 seconds left in the first period to make it 3-0 Crusaders.
Gatzoulis’ power-play goal 2:16 into the second frame put Central/West on the board. Goren scored two goals — one while Memorial was short-handed — over the next 50 seconds to give the Crusaders a 5-1 advantage.
Langley scored the remaining two Memorial second-period goals to complete the hat trick. His third tally came during four-on-four play with 3:04 remaining in the stanza.
Keegan Hoag and Sam Hebert both scored for Central/West in the second period. Hoag recorded a power-play goal. Sam Hebert tallied his while Central/West had a five-on-three advantage.
Jordan Lamarre and Adam Richardson combined for 13 saves for Central/West. Matt Scott made 28 saves for the Crusaders.
“I think it’s important,” Putney said of the triumph. “We’ve got a tough schedule ahead of us but it’s nice to get a win, especially if it’s against an intercity rival like Central.”