Hanover Girls Hockey Makes Quick Work of Guertin

Valley News Sports Editor
Saturday, March 12, 2016
West Lebanon — John Dodds wanted his Hanover High girls hockey team to come out with a strong start on Friday night, so his skaters obliged — twice.

The second-ranked Marauders scored just 10 seconds into their NHIAA Division I quarterfinal with No. 7 Bishop Guertin and answered a second-period Cardinal response in devastating fashion for a 7-2 rout at Campion Rink.

Matti Hartman won the game’s opening draw, raced down the left wing and fed Eliza Laycock for the opening goal. Most everything else went according to plan for the Marauders (16-1-2), who will meet No. 3 Exeter in a Tuesday night semifinal at the Plymouth State University Ice Arena.

Hartman provided a hat trick and two assists to cross the 80-point plateau for the season. Fellow senior Ella Williams added two key goals in a rare state tournament home game for the six-time defending state champions.

“It’s been a while … 2009,” Dodds said, looking at the one year on Hanover’s championship banner in which the Marauders didn’t win an NHIAA title. “It’s good. It felt like we hadn’t played in a while. I like the idea of an expanded field and playing another game. It gives more teams chances to get out there, and for us it gives us a chance to play at home one last time, especially in a year when we’re so short-shifted with home games.”

Dodds has had the NHIAA’s blessing the last two winters to trade games against weaker in-state foes for contests with strong out-of-state schools. Massachusetts opponents will give Hanover games, but won’t travel to Campion to play them, leaving the Marauders with just six home games out of 18 regular-season contests this winter.

Traditionally a seven-team tourney, the NHIAA expanded the girls field to eight in October, guaranteeing that the top seed wouldn’t have to wait two weeks to start its postseason in the semifinals. That became a moot point when Berlin-Gorham capitalized on its in-state slate to supplant Hanover atop the standings this year.

“It’s like any game: We emphasized being focused and ready to go right off the bat,” Dodds said. “They were ready. Usually they are.”

Goaltender Abby Houle played well for BG (8-9-0), her 35 saves highlighted by a superb glove grab of a Cate Wagner rebound attempt midway through the opening stanza. Unfortunately for Houle, Wagner won the ensuing faceoff to set up Williams’ first goal of the night at 6:20.

Hartman and Olive Scull posted back-to-back penalties late in the first period, and Guertin’s Krista Ferrari took advantage on the power play at 16 seconds of the second, converting her own rebound over the leg of Hanover goalie Cici Barton (six saves over 2½ periods). The Marauders responded with 18 consecutive shots and four straight goals — from Kelly Brigham, Hartman, Williams and Hartman again — for a 6-1 cushion at the second intermission.

Hartman completed her hat trick 17 seconds into the final period. Hanover outshot the Cardinals, 42-9.

“I think they got a little bee under their bonnet there,” Dodds said. “It was 2-1, they haven’t given up a lot of goals this year and they were mad. I’m glad they got charged up, because they’re not going to just walk through this tournament.”

Tuesday’s semifinal will mark NHIAA girls hockey’s first visit to PSU, which opened its facility in 2010 and which boasts a standard NHL-size skating surface. The state semifinals had been held at Concord’s Everett Arena in all eight previous tournaments.

“I know nothing about it, I’ve never seen it, but all I’ve heard is good things about it,” Dodds said. “I think it’s great that the NHIAA has given us a real neutral site for the semifinals. They did it for the boys a few years ago, and I think it makes a difference.”

Ice Chips: Hanover and Exeter will play the 5:30 p.m. game at PSU on Tuesday. The Marauders plucked the Bluehawks, 14-3, in their one regular-season encounter on Feb. 1. … Wagner finished with three assists while Brigham and Julie Montgomery recorded two each for Hanover. Laycock also finished with an assist. … Danish exchange student Freja Sturup relieved Barton in goal with 6:41 to play. The sophomore made one stop and surrendered a two-on-one goal to BG’s Grace Linnehan with 39.7 seconds left. … Houle’s stops included a penalty shot denial of Wagner with four minutes gone in the final period. Wagner drew the call by towing the Cardinals’ Danielle Chisholm from the BG blue line to the goal as the freshman hooked her from behind. … Eliminated from their state tournament on Wednesday, the Lebanon High boys enjoyed a lighthearted final workout prior to Hanover’s girls taking the ice. The Raiders’ Aaron Damren and Nate Chickering eschewed their usual practice gear for superhero costumes, with Damren dressed as Superman and Chickering as The Flash.

Greg Fennell can be reached at gfennell@vnews.com or 603-727-3226.

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