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Div. I Boys' Hockey Final: Lehmann secures it

New Hampshire Union Leader

March 10. 2018 11:30PM
Hanover boys celebrate their victory over Bedford during the Division I Boys' Hockey State Finals held at SNHU Arena in Manchester on Saturday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER - Ever since his days as a mite watching the Hanover High School boys' hockey team play, David Lehmann wanted to win a state championship with the Marauders.

In his last game wearing a Hanover sweater, Lehmann finally experienced that moment Saturday at SNHU Arena.

The senior forward scored both goals for his team as the Marauders defeated Bedford, 2-1, to win their first NHIAA Division I championship since 2006 and eighth overall state title.

"It's amazing. It still hasn't set in," Lehmann said. "It's been the goal my entire hockey career."

Fourth-seeded Bedford (16-5) entered Saturday's contest as the two-time defending champion and with victories over the second-seeded Marauders (18-3) in both the regular season and the Manchester Monarchs Christmas Classic.

Saturday's victory marked the first time Lehmann or any of his teammates had beaten Bedford, he said.

Lehmann scored both of his goals in a 52.6-second span to give Hanover a 2-0 lead entering the third period.

Lehmann opened the game's scoring with 15.6 seconds left in the first period with a goal from the doorstep thanks to some help linemates Owen Stadheim and Joey Goff. Stadheim brought the puck up ice and threw it on net but Bedford senior goaltender Conner Laurendeau (24 saves) made the stop. Goff collected the rebound and dished the puck to Lehmann on a backhanded pass to set up the goal.

"You get that first one and all of sudden the kids, they might believe (before) but now they believe," Hanover coach Dick Dodds said. "Today, I think getting up made a big difference and it just helped us."

Lehmann doubled Hanover's advantage with a wrister off a feed from Stadheim 37 seconds into the second period.

"Joey Goff....he was moved up to our line late in the season and he has a ton of speed and a ton of size," Lehmann said. "Owen Stadheim is amazing. There's been so many goals where he's passed it to me and I've had an easy finish. Obviously, that happened on the second goal again."

Parker Roberto's rebound goal following a Jack Sylvain shot 2:35 into the third period put Bedford on the board. The Bulldogs mustered just three more shots on goal in the frame, however.

"We didn't do a great job of having quality chances," Bulldogs coach Marty Myers said. "We had chances. We had opportunities but they weren't like what we wanted."

Myers said playing from behind is physically and mentally draining on a team.

"Playing behind by one is tough. Playing behind by two, it's exhausting," Myers said. "Physically, it's exhausting because you're exerting and trying and honestly, it's mental..It took us awhile to get back in the game and that took something out of us."

Bedford tested Marauders senior netminder Harris LaRock (21 saves) with four shots on goal over the final five minutes of the second period and outshot Hanover, 7-4, in the first frame. Just as they did against Bishop Guertin of Nashua in their semifinal victory, the Marauders made a habit of blocking shots in front of LaRock and limiting Bedford to low-percentage shots.

"It's a great way to go out," Lehmann said. "Couldn't have asked for anything better."

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