MANCHESTER — Sophomore Owen Roberto provided both goals, including the overtime game-winner, for the Bedford High School boys’ hockey team in its 2-1 NHIAA Division I semifinal victory over Concord at JFK Coliseum.
Bedford will face the winner fifth-seeded Trinity, a 4-3 winner over Salem in Wednesday’s other semifinal, for the state championship Saturday at 5 p.m. at SNHU Arena. Saturday will mark Bedford’s seventh title-game appearance in the past eight years. The Bulldogs won three straight Division II titles from 2012-14 and won the Division I title in 2016 and 2017.
Roberto scored the game-winning goal via a rebound shot in front 4:28 into overtime. Alex Lobdell and Will Scott assisted on Roberto’s game-winning tally.
Roberto opened the game’s scoring with 7:14 left in the first period, when he went top shelf on Concord goaltender Parker Taylor (26 saves) from the left circle.
“Owen has a knack to be in the right place at the right time,” Bedford coach Marty Myers said. “He’s not the biggest kid on the team but he plays big in big games.”
Concord senior Derek Kelleher found the back of the net with 50.3 seconds left in the second period to knot the score at 1-1. Kelleher scored off a give-and-go with junior Matt Hauschild on a counter rush.
“We thought going into the third, we had the momentum and I thought we played pretty well,” Concord coach Dunc Walsh said.
Bedford (16-3-1) killed off each of the three penalties it took over the opening 7:25 of the third period.
“I think teams get momentum when they get power-play goals and I think teams get momentum when they kill off crucial penalties,” Myers said. “Having three (penalties) like that in the third period, believe it or not, I think that gave us momentum.”
Concord (15-4) finished 0-for-4 on the power play, mustering two shots on goal on the advantage. Myers said his team struggled on the penalty kill during the season but he has seen an improvement in the unit over the past few weeks.
Walsh said the Bulldogs pressured his team a lot when it was on the man advantage.
“We had four power plays and we didn’t take advantage,” Walsh said. “In the playoffs, in a tight game, you need to use the power play to your advantage.”
Bedford sophomore netminder Shea Guimont made 25 saves. Three of Guimont’s saves came during a Concord flurry in front of his cage around the nine-minute mark of the first period.
“Shea got us out of trouble early in the game and he got us out of trouble kind of late in the game,” Myers said. “Without Shea (Wednesday), I don’t think we’d be advancing.”
Trinity 4, Salem 3: Trinity High School boys’ hockey coach Mike Connell said about halfway through the season, the Pioneers began to believe they were a good team.
Trinity earned its opportunity to finish its campaign as the NHIAA Division I champion by outlasting Salem in the semifinals Wednesday night at JFK Coliseum.
Fifth-seeded Trinity (14-5-1), which has won eight straight games, will face third-seeded Bedford for the state championship Saturday at 5 p.m. at SNHU Arena.
Saturday will mark Trinity’s first trip to the Division I final since it defeated Hanover to win the title in 2011.
Trinity senior captain Jimmy Kosiarski scored what proved to be the game-winning goal via a rebound 2:57 into the third period, giving his team a 4-2 lead.
“He’s our captain,” Connell said. “He logs more minutes than anybody else, I think. He’s such a versatile player, which makes him such an asset to us that we can throw him on any position on the ice.”
Salem’s Austin Salvetti scored a power-play goal 6:27 into the third period, when he tipped in a Chris Wilson blast from the left point, to pull the Blue Devils within a goal.
Salem’s seventh and final power-play opportunity came with 3:40 remaining and the Blue Devils (11-10-1) pulled goaltender Brady Roux for an extra skater with 1:18 left but came up empty on both advantages.
Trinity junior goaltender Ryan Brewitt made 30 saves.
“I think we came on a little flat and turned it on a little bit,” Salem coach Mark McGinn said. “We had our chances. We just couldn’t bury it.”
Connell said his team drew a lot of penalties but he was pleased with how his penalty-kill unit performed against a formidable Salem power play.
“We got kind of lucky in a couple places (Wednesday) where the puck bounced our way...but I thought the guys did a great job of staying focused and making sure, when they got the opportunity, to get the puck out,” Connell said.
Pioneers junior Ryan Glass gave Trinity a 3-2 lead with his goal that came with 20.5 seconds left in the second period. The forward put home a rebound shot following a Kosiarski try with Roux (18 saves) down in the crease following a flurry in front of his cage.
Salem tied the game at 2-2 with 6:15 left in the second period, when senior defenseman Ryan Martin scored from the high slot off a feed from Aidan Chane.
Trinity scored twice over the final 7:54 of the first period to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
Trinity sophomore Anthony DiZillo, who finished with three points, scored a short-handed goal with five minutes remaining before the first intermission to break a 1-1 tie. The sophomore also assisted on freshman Jack Hutchins’ goal during four-on-four play that knotted the score at one goal apiece.
Salem opened the game’s scoring 2:44 into the first period, when Ryan Pappalardo tallied a power-play goal off assists from Salvetti and Anthony Survilas.
“As I told (the players) in the locker room, they don’t get anxious. They don’t get down,” Connell said. “The guys stay up. They’re having some fun and it’s great to see.”