Pelham - Windham News 10 - February 25, 2011
by Marc Ayotte The Windham-Pelham (W-P)
Wolf Pack Claws Past Cougars in OT Thriller
Wolf Pack needed all 45 minutes of regulation and then some to out- claw a tough ConVal squad, 4-3, in Sunday night action at the Icenter in Salem. After a fortuitous rebound off the back boards on a wide Nick Morin backhand, Wolf Pack freshman Dustin Lubinger, stomach to the ice, watched his backhand sneak under the right pad and stick hand of Cougar goalie Parker Wheeler for the dramatic over- time home ice victory. With an 11-3 shellacking of Laconia-Winnisquam on Saturday night, the Pack’s weekend sweep moved them to within 16 one-hundredths of a point behind Kennett for the final home ice spot in the upcoming Division III playoffs. Only two games remain in the W-P regular season and their 11-4 record gives them a slim lead over Hollis-Brookline for fifth place in the standings. The action started with a
somewhat tepid pace, as the Pack’s Zack Malone had the game’s lone early scoring opportunity from the right face-off circle. Then, at 5:26 of the opening period, while on the power play, ConVal’s Hunter Joseph beat Wolf Pack goalie Caitlin Re high stick-side for a 1-0 Cougar lead. A short 44 seconds later, a Porter Carelli wrist shot from the left circle beat Wheeler to knot the score at one apiece. Minutes later with the Pack skating five on four, back-to-back scoring chances by Carelli and Morin were turned aside by the Cougar netminder. Halfway through the power play, a beautiful feed from behind the net by Malone set up teammate Dustin Lubinger as
Wrestling- continued from front page
Porter Carelli’s (#10) bid for a hat trick and game-winning goal slides through the crease
Python tri-captain Warren Greenhalgh (171) on his way to pinning Joe Tremblay of Newport in a quarterfinals match
In that Windham’s Gage Fenton came in as a third seed in the 145-pound division, Coach Darrin referred to his wrestler’s first-place finish as a pleasant surprise. With a very respectable, 25-9 record during the regular season, it’s not every year that a third seed walks away with the heavy hardware. With a quarterfinal win by fall and a semifinal 10-5 decision under his belt, Fenton, in response to his teammates’ chant of “Gage-Gage-Gage,” defeated his finals opponent from Bow with a dominant, 15-7 major decision. The first-place finish was the second on the afternoon for the Jaguars. The first medal of the
Brian Barnard (#17) gets stuffed by goalie Wheeler, and then gets tripped up by #3 of ConVal
he beat Wheeler for a 2-1 Pack lead with 2:56 remaining in the period. W-P continued to carry the play for the remainder of the period and as a result of a sparkling, 17-save performance by the ConVal goalie, the Pack held only a slim, one-goal lead after one period.
Both teams came out flat for the middle period before ConVal went on a power play with four and half minutes gone. The Cougars forfeited part of the man advantage when Carelli was hauled down from behind skating for a loose puck at the attacking end blue line. An apparent wakeup call had come to the Pack after they went one man down as the lines of Morin-K.Lu
binger-Carelli and Malone-D.Lu
binger-Barnard swarmed the opposing net for the last nine minutes of the period. Highlighting the offensive barrage was a near-miss, top-of-the-crease centering pass from Barnard to D. Lubinger and a Malone backhand that sailed over the crossbar into the netting above
the glass. Solid goaltending by the Cougar’s Wheeler kept the power play-like Pack attack scoreless for the period as the score remained 2-1 W-P heading into the second intermission. Third period play saw the Pack continue to control the tempo of the game. The execution of fundamental fore-checking and back-checking skills by W-P limited ConVal to only four shots on goal through the first two periods. Back- to-back quality scoring opportunities by Morin went unanswered, but then he and linemate K. Lubinger assisted on Carelli’s second goal of the evening at 3:47 of the period, giving the Pack a two goal cushion. With a dormant offensive display by the Cougars all night long, the only reason the score remained competitive was because of the outstanding 54 save performance between the
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pipes by goalie 38- Parker Wheeler. And as good and hot goalies can do, he kept his team in the game. Accordingly, at 4:27 of the final stanza, Cougar center Ryder Thompson pulled his team back to within one by beating Pack goalie Re glove-side. After D. Lubinger missed a great scoring opportunity on a short-side wrist shot to put the Pack up by two goals, a gutsy ConVal team then made efficient use of the limited shots on goal they had during the game. Hunter Joseph notched his second goal of the game as he clanked a shot off the post to beat Re and knot the score up at three with 5:18 remaining in regulation. Now playing with a little more urgency, the Pack scrambled to retake the lead, but when Morin’s backhand at the top of the crease with two minutes to play was stuffed by Wheeler (22 saves in the period), extra hockey was on its way. In the overtime session, Morin once again missed on an early great scoring opportunity. Seemingly, as if it were only a matter of time, the sustained Pack offense finally paid dividends. Two minutes and one second into the overtime frame, D. Lubinger slid a backhander past Wheeler for the scintillating Sunday night victory. The ’fab frosh’ duo of Carelli and D. Lubinger each netted two goals as they again demonstrated their scoring mentality and ability in the absence of injured seniors Alec Paradis and Colin Begin. In Saturday night’s action against Laconia-Winnisquam, the Pack, behind a 46 shot attack, beat up on the winless visitors, with goalie Brendan O’Connell picking up the ’W.’ Barnard scored two goals, as did Carelli. Producing a hat trick for the Pack was Sunday night’s hero, D. Lubinger. And certainly not to be ‘out-statted,’ tri-captain Scorin’ Morin recorded an impressive four- goal performance to go along with two assists for a six-point evening.
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day for Windham went to the second-place finisher in the 103 weight class. Jeff Armstrong, with a win by fall at 1:52 in the championship quarterfinals, followed by a tough 4-3 win by decision in the semis, found himself pitted against defending state champ Tyler Dustin of Plymouth. The formidable opponent was just too much for Armstrong to handle, and was
subsequently pinned at 1:47 of the match. Nonetheless, it was an outstanding showing at the states by the Windham sophomore wrestler.
throughout the season, the Pelham~Windham News found them to be a courteous and disciplined group of young men, which is a reflection, rest assured, of the coaching staff. Although there are many wonderful young male and female athletes competing throughout the state, the PWN would be doing a disservice if they did not acknowledge PHS’s own Josh Lynde (135) in particular. Granted he did not have a productive showing at this year’s states, but a more important role lies in wait for the now-Python senior. With plans of joining the Army ROTC and making the military his career – Josh is one of the most polite and respectful young men they have come across in a long time – our country will be well served by him.
Josh Medeiros, in Pelham blue, takes care of his Bow opponent with a :23 win by fall
Champions crowned, medals awarded, and yet one untold element of this year’s state tournament remains: The feel-good story of the 2011 state tournament, especially as viewed through the eyes of the host team’s fans and wrestling coaches.
Coming in second place in the 152 weight class
Also finishing with a second-place medal
for the Jags was sophomore Dylan Swiderski (130). At 20 wins against five losses on the season, Swiderski pinned his way through the quarterfinals and semis before being defeated by Pete LaRiviere of Bow in the championship finals. Another fine individual performance by a Jag wrestler helped solidify their team’s fourth-place finish in the team standings. Chris Ferri, in the 171-pound division, also
received an individual medal for finishing in third place. With a
3-1 record on the day, Ferri used wins in the championship quarterfinals and consolation semifinals to set up his appearance in the battle to claim third place. In the consolation finals, Ferri pitched a shutout by defeating Alex Lavalliere of John Stark, 6-0, to secure Windham’s fifth medal of the event. Wrapping up the medal parade for the Jags was Ben Gazzara, as he ended his day with a fourth-place finish in the heavyweight division. For the host Pelham team, Kevin DeAngelo wrestled very well with two victories on the afternoon. The first came just one minute and 12 seconds into his first match when he pinned his opponent. A loss by pin to Plymouth’s Zach Crane then dropped DeAngelo into the consolation bracket, where he pinned his Bow opponent in a semifinal match. In the battle for third place via the consolation finals, DeAngelo, after coming back to tie the score at three, ultimately fell by pin to John Stark’s Vaillancourt and finished fourth in the 140-pound division. One of the nicer stories on the afternoon
was Pelham’s own Rich Sullivan. The Python tri- captain, due to an injury sustained at the Gionet Memorial, missed about 10 matches during the tail end of the wrestling schedule. With his conditioning and technique being affected by the long layoff, Sullivan gutted out the injury that still hampered his mobility to try and capture the state title in his own ’house.’ After winning a ’blood time‘-delayed match in the quarterfinals and a quick pin win in the semis, Sullivan entered the championship match. Trailing 4-2 after four minutes, Sullivan dramatically tied the match with
Jaguar Gage Fenton picks up a championship semifinals 10-4 win by decision on his way to earning the 145 division state title
involved a quiet Python freshman. One hundred and three-pound Jared Boyden had a very successful first appearance at a state championship. All of Boyden’s matches were determined by pins and to the freshman’s credit, he was on the good side of three of them. His only loss on the day came to this year’s eventual state champ, Tyler Dustin from Plymouth. Boyden’s consolation finals victory over Thomas Knizewski of St. Thomas gave Pelham their first of five individual medals on the day. When asked how he felt after his win Boyden quietly replied, “I feel great,” also adding, “I couldn’t have gotten this far without the help of the coaches.” Having covered the Pelham wrestlers
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a two-point reversal with only seven ticks left in regulation. As cruel fate would have it, the senior Python did lose by a 6-4 decision in overtime, taking away the dream of winning the states in his own ‘house.’ Coach Riddinger summed up the gutsy effort by his senior wrestler: “The hardest part about a four-month season and having a small squad is the daily grind of wrestling hard in practice and trying to keep everyone healthy. Everyone is sore for one reason or another, but as a wrestler you deal with the aches and pains as best as possible. Some injuries occur and even taking a few days off is detrimental to your conditioning. A kid like Richie, who took almost a month off, then came back for the state meet, which is so difficult. If he wasn’t as good of a technical wrestler as he is, things could have gone much worse for him. The other factor was not knowing for certain how the knee was going to hold out. It takes a lot of courage to put those factors behind you and just go out and wrestle to the best of your ability.” And although he stood above the number ‘2’ on the medals podium, Sullivan’s determination, performance, and character certainly displayed the heart of a champion.
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