Champs Show Their Stuff
Marauders’ Nonstop Attack Suffocates Guertin
Hanover’s Katrina Menard, right, gets trapped with Bishop Guertin’s Emma Lynch, middle, and Meghan Nanan, left, against the boards during their game at Campion Rink in West Lebanon last night. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »
A shot by Hanover’s Sarah Wagner, right, comes up against Bishop Guertin’s Amanda Giles, left, during their game at Campion Rink in West Lebanon last night. Wagner is backed up by Hanover’s Kelly Brigham, middle.(Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »
West Lebanon — Predictions of the Hanover High girls hockey program’s demise, or at least return to rest of NHIAA Division I, appear to be premature … so long as the Marauders dent the net.
In 3-0 win over Bishop Guertin last night at Campion Rink, Hanover did everything it could to wear it out.
Continuing an early-season theme, the Marauders (3-0-0 league, 4-1-0 overall) dominated the Cardinals (4-1-0) to the tune of an unofficial 54-1 edge in shots on goal. BG freshman goaltender Julia Pelletier kept the visitors in the game with 51 saves, a number of them of the hey-call-the-police-we-need-to-report-a-crime variety.
Even she couldn’t hold off high-speed Hanover forever. Eliza Laycock scored twice in the final 2½ minutes to back up a Kelly Brigham rebound goal from the second period.
“We knew it would be a tough test; we knew they had a new goalie, and obviously she can play,” Hanover coach John Dodds said. “Our strategy in that situation is to roll our lines, keep our pace up, be aggressive on the forecheck and just try to wear them down. I think we did a pretty good job of that.”
Any concerns about the three-time defending NHIAA champions centers on the offense. Yet, even with about 170 points of scoring lost to graduation or prep school, the Marauders’ attack could end up being their strength as a young core matures.
Laycock’s goals — her fourth and fifth of the young campaign — were directly attributable to the hustle of her fellow freshman linemates, Matti Hartman and Julie Montgomery. Hartman was particularly impressive last night, turning BG defenders into traffic cones with her skating, unfortunate not to solve Pelletier by herself several times over.
“One of the things about Matti is it’s not just speed, it’s how she can kind of break away,” Dodds said. “Those first four strides, she can be right by you.”
Much is also anticipated out of Brigham, who had a standout fall with the Hanover girls soccer team. Also a freshman, Brigham dinged the right goalpost early in the second period when she redirected an Emily Acker pass. Hanover’s first 28 shots didn’t elude Pelletier, but No. 29 did — a Brigham jam of senior Katrina Menard’s power-play blast at 10:00 of the middle period — to put the hosts ahead to stay.
“Kelly is a little ball of fire; she’s energy, and she plays hockey a lot like she plays soccer,” Dodds said of Brigham, whose goal was her first of the season. “I just love how she plays. It’s intense. She goes to the net probably better than anybody on our team.”
That will be a key element in Hanover doing more with its routine shot advantages. Discounting Tuesday’s 9-0 swamping of Exeter, the Marauders have frequently dominated foes everywhere but the goal tally, even in their 2-0 loss to Vermont D-I champ Essex at the BFA-St. Albans Holiday Tournament last week.
Pelletier did her best to extend that trend. The Cardinal freshman robbed Acker five minutes into the final period with a glove save in traffic, and she made another spectacular stop less than a minute later with a sliding leg denial of Montgomery on a two-on-one Laycock feed.
Laycock got in front of the net for a couple of dirty goals to give Hanover some comfort. Montgomery fed Laycock from behind the net for a crease jam at 12:27 of the third. Seconds after Pelletier stoned Hartman on a breakaway, Laycock made it 3-0 by following a Hartman bid at the right post with 19 ticks left.
Dodds won’t have to nibble his nails much if such resolve is rewarded more frequently in the future.
“I think they’re starting to learn what their identity will be,” he said. “I think they’re starting to develop some character along the way. They’re going to be a team that moves the puck well, has speed, and they will develop scoring.”
Watch out, New Hampshire, if they do.
Ice Chips: Katie Fenton and Kelly Gaudet shared the shutout in goal, with Gaudet recording the only save on a stuff try by BG’s Meghan Nanan in the opening seconds of the third period. … Gaudet, a senior co-captain, played only the third period as she continues a return to action from autumn hip surgery. … Campion Rink is now seeking donations to help defray the cost of propane for the heating units above its bleachers. It almost got one when a puck left the rink midway through the first period and nearly hit the donation bucket on the fly. … The Marauders’ Sarah Polidor, Caroline Howell and Grace Tecca sang the national anthem. … Hartman had a team-high 10 shots on goal for Hanover. Every non-goalie except sophomore defenseman Margeaux Baker had at least one. … The Marauders visit Bishop Brady-Trinity a week from tonight.
Greg Fennell can be reached at email@example.com or 603-727-3226.