MANCHESTER — Parker Roberto said the Bedford High School boys’ hockey team entered the NHIAA Division I championship game looking to prove its regular-season loss to Trinity was a fluke.
The senior forward helped the Bulldogs exact their revenge by logging a five-point game en route to a 7-0 triumph over Trinity Saturday night at SNHU Arena. Roberto scored three of Bedford’s four second-period goals.
Saturday marked Bedford’s sixth championship and seventh title-game appearance in the past eight years. The Bulldogs won three straight Division II championships from 2012-14, captured the D-I crown in 2016 and 2017 and finished runner-up to Hanover last season.
The fifth-seeded Pioneers (14-6-1) had won eight straight games entering Saturday, including a 5-4 overtime triumph over Bedford on Feb. 16.
“Before the game, we said we were going to go up a lot on them and we weren’t going to stop,” Roberto said. “That’s what our mentality was.”
Roberto scored twice over the opening 1:23 of the second period and completed his hat-trick performance with a rebound goal 7:47 into the middle frame that gave the third-seeded Bulldogs (17-3-1) a five-goal advantage. He also assisted on Quinlan Kerr’s first-period goal that opened the game’s scoring and Jack Sylvain’s tally, which came 46 seconds into the third period.
“Parker always gives us a good game,” Bedford coach Marty Myers said. “He always gives us great effort and, him being a senior this year, it was no surprise on his effort that he gave us today and really his production.”
Bedford’s other second-period goal came from Cameron Wasylak, who put home a rebound at the 6:33 mark of the frame to make it 4-0 Bedford. Alex Lobdell scored 1:05 into the final frame to cap the game’s scoring and force running time.
Bedford sophomore goaltender Shea Guimont earned a 17-save shutout. Sylvain and teammate Jake Sanclemente each logged two assists.
Bedford outshot Trinity, 15-3, over the opening 15 minutes, 31-12 through two periods and 42-17 overall.
The last time Trinity reached the Division I final prior to Saturday was when it defeated Hanover to win the 2011 state championship.
“I think it’s a big step forward for our program,” Trinity coach Mike Connell said of returning to the state title game. “You never know if you’re ever going to get back here again so hopefully what these guys have accomplished this year, they appreciate. I think they do.”
The Pioneers came up empty on their five power-play opportunities, all of which came in the second period.
Trinity’s best scoring chance came 3:14 into the game, when sophomore forward Cadin Booth saw his shot on a counter rush bounce off the post.
Bedford trapped the Pioneers in their own zone for long stretches and rarely let them settle into a rhythm when in the offensive zone.
“Bedford’s a very good team and they kept us pinned a lot of times,” Connell said. “We just couldn’t generate any offense early on and that hurt throughout the 45 minutes.”
Pioneers junior goaltender Ryan Brewitt made 35 saves.
Myers said each championship team is special for both the players and staff. What made this year’s title special, he said, was how the Bulldogs handled the highs and lows of the season.
“Our season was kind of up and down but the kids stayed strong and they wanted to finish strong and to their credit, they did,” Myers said.