MANCHESTER — Logan Vogel pictured the moment so many times while shooting pucks in his driveway as a kid. He did again during the bus ride to the NHIAA Division I boys hockey championship game on Saturday at SNHU Arena.
So when the senior forward had the opportunity to score the overtime game-winning penalty-shot goal for Bishop Guertin, he was nervous but plenty prepared.
After some encouraging words from classmate Austin Abbott and collecting himself at center ice, Vogel skated toward goal and went forehand to backhand to beat Bedford, 4-3.
The penalty was called after a Bedford player threw his stick from behind the play to block Vogel’s breakaway shot attempt 6:09 into the 15-minute, sudden-victory extra frame. Bishop Guertin coach Gary Bishop said the referees offered him either for Vogel to take a penalty shot or a power-play opportunity.
“I just kind of bent over and started breathing slowly — calm it down, trying to block out all the noise of everyone screaming,” Vogel said of the penalty shot, “and I just saw an open lane to the net, I got focused, went in slow and put it in the net.
“I’ve dreamt about that my whole life — scoring the overtime winner in a championship game.”
The state championship is Bishop Guertin’s first since 2015, when Vogel, a Nashua resident, was in the stands as an elementary-schooler. It’s BG’s seventh overall. The third-seeded Cardinals went 16-5 this season.
Fourth-seeded Bedford, which earned comeback victories over fifth-seeded Trinity in the quarterfinals and top-seeded Concord in the semifinals, finished with a 14-7 record.
Bedford senior forward Nick Hadley’s goal from the doorstep with 1:02 remaining in regulation after a cross-ice feed from Dom Tagliaferro forced overtime. Hadley’s tally came after Bedford pulled senior goaltender Evan Johnston for an extra skater out of a Bulldogs timeout.
Bedford coach Jon Garrity said his team never lost confidence despite trailing 2-0 after the first intermission and 3-2 entering the third period. The Bulldogs came back from 2-0 deficits in their previous postseason games and felt they had momentum in the third period, he said.
“It snowballs and it snowballs and we just started feeling that energy grow and grow on the bench,” Garrity said. “It would be nice if we had that right from the start at some point during this playoff run but it just builds and builds and it’s a belief system in each other and this family that is special.”
John Mantone led BG with a hat trick. He scored twice in the second period to give the Cardinals a 2-0 first-intermission lead. The senior forward from Nashua opened the game’s scoring 7:28 into the opening frame with a power-play goal on a wrist shot from the right point that beat Johnston (19 saves) glove side. Mantone, who also had a shot hit the crossbar in the first period, doubled Bishop Guertin’s advantage with 4:31 remaining before the first intermission. Mantone scored after Vogel won an offensive-zone faceoff in the left circle and dished the puck to him.
Mantone, who logged two goals and a helper in BG’s 5-3 semifinal win over seventh-seeded Londonderry, scored his third on a backhanded, counter-rush goal at 5:44 to build the Cardinals a 3-1 advantage.
Vogel and Mantone’s classmate and linemate Tim Kiely finished with two assists.
“We put that line together early in the year then took them apart and then put them back together,” Bishop said. “They work really well together. Johnny can shoot the puck. Kiely can skate, he handles the puck well, makes some great decisions. ... And then Logan’s Logan. He works his (butt) off the whole game.”
Bedford twice pulled within one in the second period.
Senior defenseman and captain Maddox Muir scored a four-on-four goal 2:04 into the middle period after Brian Riccio won an offensive-zone faceoff and fed him the puck to put the Bulldogs on the board.
Bulldogs sophomore defenseman Parker Gupta scored with 2:26 left before the second intermission — three seconds after a Bedford power-play opportunity expired — to make it 3-2 Cardinals after two periods.
Bishop Guertin went 1-for-2 on the power play and 0-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Cardinals junior netminder Brayden King, who Bishop said finished the season with over a .920 save percentage, made 25 saves.
“It was a crazy game,” Vogel said. “My adrenaline was going crazy but I’m just glad we got it done.”