MANCHESTER — Hanover High School boys’ hockey coach Dick Dodds got the strong start he was looking for from his team on Day 3 of the Brian C. Stone Memorial Christmas Hockey Tournament Saturday at JFK Coliseum.
The Division I Marauders scored the game’s first four goals en route to a 7-1 triumph over Division II Goffstown to open Saturday’s slate of games.
Bedford (3-0) will face Concord (3-0) in the championship game Sunday at 4:15 p.m. The defending Division I champion Bulldogs have won the tournament, which is sponsored by Brady Sullivan Properties, each of the past four years, and haven’t lost a game.
The Marauders (2-1) led, 3-0, after the opening period and 5-1 entering the third.
John Hill, Cameron Woods (short-handed) and Auggie Oberting logged Hanover’s first-period tallies.
Hill put home a rebound at the 5:01 mark to open the game’s scoring. Woods’ short-handed goal came with 6:27 left in the opening period. Oberting scored off assists from Jack Gardner and Nick Lee with 2:14 remaining in the first period. Oberting’s tally came 10 seconds after Gardner saw his goal waved off for a high stick.
“Coming into this one, the first period against Bedford and Trinity (earlier in the tournament) weren’t our best so we really wanted to improve that, and I think we did,” Dodds said. “It’s important for us to play three periods because if we don’t, we’ll struggle to win.”
Dodds said each of his lines contributed in the triumph and his starting group of Woods, Patrick Daley and Jack Stadheim sparked the others.
Woods, a senior right wing, finished with two goals and an assist. Daley, a senior center, scored 30 seconds into the second period to build a 4-0 Hanover lead and logged two assists. Stadheim, a freshman left wing, and Daley assisted on Woods’ third-period power-play goal that gave the Marauders a 6-1 advantage.
“We just took our time with each play,” Woods said of his line’s success. “Instead of just rushing pucks right to the net, we tried to set plays up ... and just fought deep for pucks and tried to get to the puck before the other team did.”
Dodds said Woods, Daley and Stadheim make a great combination. The three have skated together since the season began.
“They’ve got great skill,” Dodds said. “(Daley) and (Woods) have played with each other for a lot of years, and (Stadheim) is only a freshman but he’s so smart and creative. They mix and match really well.”
Hanover also received goals from Casey Graham and Rowan Wilson. Marauders sophomore goaltender Ben Plottner made 14 saves.
Freshman Jack Wilkinson scored the lone goal for Goffstown (0-3) on the power play 6:47 into the second period, trimming Hanover’s lead to 4-1. Madeline Sage made 36 saves for the Grizzlies, who are 4-0 in Division II play.
Goffstown coach Ben Slocum said his team has areas to work on but saw improvement from its first game of the tournament to Saturday’s performance.
“I think the first couple games, we were kind of lackadaisical coming out,” Slocum said. “(It was) almost like we didn’t want to be here at points but then I think we started moving the puck around, started playing our type of hockey and started to come together a little bit better in the end here.”
Bedford 5, Trinity 1: For the second straight game, the Bulldogs capitalized on their second-chance opportunities to advance to their fifth consecutive tournament final.
One day after scoring four rebound goals in a 7-0 triumph over Goffstown, the Bulldogs recorded four of their goals against Trinity of Manchester (2-1) in the same fashion.
“It shows that the kids are hungry for the offensive opportunities,” Bedford coach Marty Myers said of his players. “Before they were shooting and kind of skating away. Now they’re shooting and they’re following their own shots and they’re putting themselves in position, if they’re not shooting, to get that second shot.”
Senior tri-captain Cameron Wasylak and classmate Connor Labrecque both scored rebound goals over the game’s opening 6:04 to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead after the opening period. Logan Plante added one of his own with 5:27 remaining in the second period to create a 3-0 Bulldogs advantage.
Labrecque logged his second goal of the game 28 seconds into the third period. Brett Niland collected his own rebound and scored 2:05 after Labrecque’s tally to make it 5-0 Bedford.
Shea Guimont and Mathew Desmond made a combined 21 saves while Shea Lucontoni and Brian Greer each tallied two assists for the Bulldogs.
Marc L’Heureux scored Trinity’s lone goal with 2:19 left off a behind-the-net feed from Anthony DiZillo.
Ryan Brewitt and Colton Gooden combined for 31 saves for the Pioneers.
Myers is looking forward to seeing how his team measures up against the Crimson Tide, who outscored Windham and Exeter 14-1 over their two regular-season games. Bedford entered the tournament 3-1 in regular-season play with victories over Londonderry, Manchester Memorial and Marblehead, Mass.
“You always want to play in as many games as you can and I’m glad we have the opportunity,” Myers said of playing in the championship game again this year. “I think it’s going to be a good final.”
Concord 9, Central/West 0: Seven players scored and sophomore goaltender Kevin Jones earned a six-save shutout for the Crimson Tide.
Matt Hauschild and Ryan Doherty both scored twice while AJ Fennelly, Donovan Hayes, Joey Ala, Tyler Coskren and Brooks Craigue each logged a goal for Concord. Ala, a sophomore forward, also notched four assists. James Shea tallied three helpers while Craigue and Coskren had two apiece.
The Crimson Tide led 6-0 after the first period, added three goals in the second and did not attempt a shot on goal in the third period.
Donovan Collins and David Hood made a combined 24 saves for Central/West (0-3).