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10 - March 4, 2011

by Marc Ayotte The Icenter in Salem was the setting for a crucial

Division III hockey game between Kennett High School and the Wolf Pack of Windham-Pelham on Wednesday, February 23. The result of the match-up had an important impact on the state standings and, in turn, the seeding for each team in the upcoming state tournament. Kennett came in with a fourth-place record of 11-3-1 against the Pack’s 11-4 mark, which was good for fifth place. Although the Wolf Pack was the quicker, more aggressive team throughout most of the game and carried the flow, they eventually fell to the defensively disciplined and more offensively opportunistic Eagles as they lost their final regular season home game by a 4-1 score. With a potential state tournament quarterfinals

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Eagles Soar Past Wolf Pack in Pivotal Game

Brian Barnard (#17) carries the puck up ice against Kennett

match-up between these two teams looming, the first few minutes of the contest saw each team feeling each other out. Then, exactly one third of the way into the first session, Kennett’s Chuckie Smith tapped home teammate Kevin Murphy’s shot. Murphy fired a wrist shot from just inside the left face-off circle that got past Pack netminder

Caitlin Re, but clanked off the crossbar and then the far post before the puck laid in the crease for Smith’s easy backhand tap-in. The Pack had their best opportunity of tying the game when Kennett coughed up the puck in their own end, giving Zach Malone a point-blank shot that was stopped by the 6’2”, 246-lb. goaltender Jonny Parkhurst. A minute later, Kennett nearly went up by two goals, but the Wolf Pack goalie made an outstanding glove save to ‘Re‘ject Murphy’s bid. W-P carried the flow of the game for the remainder of the period, but their offense was mostly kept to the outside by the Kennett defensive scheme. As the period closed out, Re made a couple more solid saves in keeping the Eagle lead to 1-0 after the first 15 minutes. Having taken a penalty with

only five seconds remaining in the first period, the Wolf Pack began the second period a man down. However, with one minute left on the visitor’s power play, Malone skated in on a shorthanded breakaway only to have his backhand attempt inside the left post stuffed by Kennett’s mammoth goalie Parkhurst. Two more Pack scoring opportunities ensued when Nick Morin hit the post to the glove side of Parkhurst, forcing the Eagle netminder to make an acrobatic cover of the puck in the crease.


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Picured above, Wolf Pack goalie Caitlin Re (#30) makes a spectular glove save on Kennett’s Kevin Murphy (#14); at right, Pack sniper Nick Morin (#8) whistles a wrist shot just wide of the short side post

Thirty seconds later, Wolf Pack sniper Nick Morin skated in alone, as his wrist shot aimed for the top shelf over the right shoulder of the Eagle goalie went sailing wide of the left goal post. After an unsuccessful Wolf Pack power play,

Kennett’s defenseman Anthony LaRusso, at 7:12 of the second period, put the Eagles up 2-0 when his backhand found the proverbial five-hole, beating Re. Less than a minute later, though, the Pack responded, as freshman Dustin Lubinger cut the Eagle lead in half with his 11th goal of the season and sixth in the last three outings. Seconds after, with matching penalties leaving each team still skating five on five, Kennett winger Cody Richard, with 2:11 left in the second period, regained his team’s two-goal advantage by beating Re. A last- second, nice blocker save by Parkhurst on W-P’s Morin brought the second stanza to a close, with the Eagles holding a 3-1 lead. The Wolf Pack was given every opportunity

to claw its way back into the game as Kennett proceeded to pick up a total of five consecutive minor penalties in the third period, virtually playing half the period shorthanded. At one point, W-P enjoyed a two-man advantage for a minute and 38 seconds. With nearly nine minutes of a man- advantage situation in the final period, the Pack was not only unable to get one past Parkhurst,

submitted by Patricia Dalton The U12 Manchester Lady Hurricanes, fresh off of the Rail City Championship three weeks ago, entered the State Playoffs as the number-two seed in New Hampshire. The Lady ‘Canes picked up from where they left off, winning their first game in round robin play versus Dover, 5-0. Jillian Valcourt got things going scoring the first goal of the weekend, with assists going to Kristen Perras and Taylor Dudek. The Lady ‘Canes would score two goals in each of the final two periods, completing their solid performance, with goals scored by Jocelyn Bessette, Gabby Willet, Shannon Lambert, and Perras. Assists on the goals were made by Maggie Fifield (2), Brittany DeCosmo, Lambert, and Dudek.

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In game two, the Lady ‘Canes lost a nail- biter to the Cyclones of Hudson, 1-0. The team played well, but it was just not going to be their day. The loss pitted them against the number-one seed Seacoast Lightning in the semifinal game on Sunday morning. The Lady ‘Canes came out flying and posted a one-goal lead after the first period. The combination of Perras to Valcourt struck again in the tournament, as Valcourt scored

they seldom were able to get a serious scoring opportunity on the Kennett post protector. Then, the killer: The Eagles’ Chuckie Smith netted his second goal of the night by means of the vaunted short-handed variety with 4:02 remaining in the game, sealing the win for the visitors. The win for Kennett moved them up a notch in the standings to third place at the time. A subsequent next night 9-1 drubbing of Manchester West solidified their hold on third place, yielding to a likely fifth-seed Wolf Pack vs. fourth-seed Belmont-Gilford first-round match-up in the Division III state tournament. As the standings existed on February 25, W-P will travel to Belmont for the quarterfinal contest with a 4 p.m. opening face-off on Saturday, March 5. The two state semifinal games are scheduled to be held at the Everett Arena in Concord, with 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. start times on Wednesday, March 9. The state championship game will be held on Sunday, March 13, at the Verizon Wireless Arena with a 12:15 p.m. face-off.

Lady Hurricanes Hockey Crowned Champs in OT

Congratulations to this year’s Tier II State Champions Manchester Lady Hurricanes, left to right: First row: Gabby Willet, Shannon Paquette, Brittany DeCosmo, Allison Beaudette, Maggie Fifield,

Taylor Dudek, Lauren Calnan. Jillian Valcourt. Second row: Danielle Dalton (Pelham), Ashlyn Brown, Kristen Perras, Shannon Lambert, Rosie Melanson, Jocelyn Bessette, Emma Wallet. Missing from picture: Coaches: Jeff Valcourt, Gordon Garrion, Crystal Parent, HC Glen Fifield, Ken Lambert

the first goal for the Lady ‘Canes in this semifinal game. Also assisting on the play was Rosie Melanson. The second period saw the momentum continue, as they stretched the lead to 2-0 with an unassisted goal by Ashlyn Brown. In the third period, the Lady



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‘Canes put the puck in the net three more times, winning the game with a score of 5-0. This was the second shutout of the tournament for goaltender Lauren Calnan, who was outstanding throughout. Goals came from Fifield, Lambert, and Valcourt, with assists from Alison Beaudette, Danielle Dalton (Pelham), Shannon Paquette, Lambert, and Valcourt. Advancing to the championship game,

the Lady ‘Canes took on the Hanover Wild. Both teams had tied their previous two games in season play. As expected, this would be another nail-biter to the end. Late in the first period, a Hanover player wrapped the net and scored the first goal of the game. The Lady ‘Canes did not panic and kept the pressure on throughout the second period. With a pass back to the point, Brown took a quick wrist shot through a screen in front of the net, beating the Hanover netminder through the five-hole. The second period ended in a tie, with both teams having equal opportunities to score with no prevail. The third period would come and go, as the game remained tied at one goal apiece. Moving into OT, the teams dug in and

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gave it all they had. The crowd was growing, as teams expecting to play found themselves watching this stellar event. The game would move to a fifth OT and when you thought it may never end, Perras intercepted a Hanover pass at center ice and broke through the defense, going one-on-one versus the Hanover goaltender. Looking left and shooting right, Perras beat the goaltender with her shot into the top corner. History was made for these young ladies, who are now NH State 2011 Champions. The U12 Lady Hurricanes will play the weekend of March 11 in Exeter and will be the New Hampshire number-one representative as they take on teams from Maine, Vermont (2), Rhode Island, and Connecticut (2) in Regional playoffs in hopes of advancing to Nationals in Anaheim, CA.

photos by Marc Ayotte

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