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Div. I Girls' Hockey Final: Nine in a row

By ROGER BROWN
New Hampshire Union Leader

March 10. 2018 11:30PM
Hanover's Briland Laycock, left, and Sage McGinley-Smith pose after winning the state girls' hockey final 7-3 over Exeter at SNHU Arena in Manchester on Saturday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)



MANCHESTER - When the Hanover High School girls' hockey team departed for Saturday's Division I championship game at SNHU Arena, the Marauders didn't forget to bring their offense on the lengthy trip.

Hanover made life miserable for Exeter goaltender Izzy Day and the rest of the Blue Hawks by dominating in Exeter's defensive zone and securing another state championship with a 7-3 triumph.

It was a 1-1 game after 15 minutes, but Hanover took control by scoring five times in the second period and carried a 6-3 advantage into the third. Two of the five goals Hanover scored in the second came while the Blue Hawks were short-handed.

"Usually we're pretty tight with Exeter," Hanover coach John Dodds said. "It just got a little looser. They may have loosened up their defense a little bit. I think we just have too much speed when they're playing two lines and we're rolling three ... it can make it tough. I think it was mostly just winning some battles in the second period."

It was the ninth consecutive state championship for the Marauders, who have finished the season as the state's No. 1 team in 10 of the 11 years the NHIAA has awarded a state championship in girls' hockey. The Marauders outscored their opponent by at least two goals in each of their 10 trips to the title game.

Top-seeded Exeter (18-2-1) posted 12 shutouts in its previous 20 games. Hanover, which beat Exeter 4-1 during the regular season, is the only team that scored more than three goals against the Blue Hawks this season.

Briland Laycock scored two goals and assisted on another for second-seeded Hanover, which also received goals from Bryn Kable, Emma Tysinger, Hannah Curtis, Clara Boland and Natalie Morhun. Tysinger also collected two assists.

Hanover goalie Claire Yegian made 10 saves. Exeter received 20 saves from Day.

"In the second (period) the biggest thing that happened in terms of the tide of the game is we got in trouble in front of our own net," Exeter coach Geoff Taylor said. "We knew we needed to lock people down. You limit them to one opportunity per shot and then you have an opportunity to get out. In the middle of the game we weren't able to do that. They were able to own the mess in front of our net and pull away a little bit."

Junior forward Carissa Towlson had two goals and an assist for Exeter, which also lost to Hanover in last year's championship game. Towlson finished the season with 70 goals, and has 157 goals in her high school career. Her first goals Saturday came while the Blue Hawks were shorthanded.

Dakota Markey scored Exeter's other goal - her 25th of the season. Senior defenseman Ashley Keaveney had two assists.

Hanover went 15-0 against New Hampshire competition this season (the Marauders were 3-2-1 against out-of-state competition) and outscored its NHIAA opponents 126-7.

"The good thing is the last month (the scoring) has been spread out a little bit more instead of having one line do most of the work," Dodds said.

"Today we had goals from defensemen. We had goals from all three lines. We actually got our fourth line in today. I'm really pleased with the depth we've been able to create this year."

rbrown@unionleader.com


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