NH girls hockey: Lee’s hat trick powers Hanover past Lebanon in state quarterfinal

Maeve Lee (Paul Stinson photograph)

Maeve Lee (Paul Stinson photograph) Paul Stinson photograph

Nora Bradley (Paul Stinson photograph)

Nora Bradley (Paul Stinson photograph) Paul Stinson photograph

Hanover High's Maeve Lee, center and wearing the captain's crest, is congratulated by teammates including Lucy Braga (5) after scoring against Lebanon during the NHIAA Division I teams' playoff quarterfinal on March 1, 2024, at Campion Rink in West Lebanon, N.H. Lee scored each goal during the Bears' 3-0 victory. (Paul Stinson photograph)

Hanover High's Maeve Lee, center and wearing the captain's crest, is congratulated by teammates including Lucy Braga (5) after scoring against Lebanon during the NHIAA Division I teams' playoff quarterfinal on March 1, 2024, at Campion Rink in West Lebanon, N.H. Lee scored each goal during the Bears' 3-0 victory. (Paul Stinson photograph) Paul Stinson photograph

Hanover High goaltender Eleanor Edson watches a shot sail past during her NHIAA Division I team's 3-0 defeat of Lebanon during a March 1, 2024, playoff quarterfinal at Campion Rink in West Lebanon, N.H. Edson made nine saves during a 3-0 victory. (Paul Stinson photograph)

Hanover High goaltender Eleanor Edson watches a shot sail past during her NHIAA Division I team's 3-0 defeat of Lebanon during a March 1, 2024, playoff quarterfinal at Campion Rink in West Lebanon, N.H. Edson made nine saves during a 3-0 victory. (Paul Stinson photograph) Paul Stinson photograph

Hanover High's Hannah Gardner (3) is surrounded by Lebanon foes, including Sara Forman (6) and Mirabella Orlen (7) during their March 1, 2024, NHIAA Division I playoff quarterfinal at Campion Rink in West Lebanon, N.H. Hanover won, 3-0. (Paul Stinson photograph)

Hanover High's Hannah Gardner (3) is surrounded by Lebanon foes, including Sara Forman (6) and Mirabella Orlen (7) during their March 1, 2024, NHIAA Division I playoff quarterfinal at Campion Rink in West Lebanon, N.H. Hanover won, 3-0. (Paul Stinson photograph) Paul Stinson photograph

Hanover High's Maeve Lee (4) skates away from Lebanon-Stevens-Kearsarge's Sara Forman (6) during their March 1, 2024, NHIAA Division I playoff quarterfinal at Campion Rink in West Lebanon, N.H. Hanover won, 3-0. (Paul Stinson photograph)

Hanover High's Maeve Lee (4) skates away from Lebanon-Stevens-Kearsarge's Sara Forman (6) during their March 1, 2024, NHIAA Division I playoff quarterfinal at Campion Rink in West Lebanon, N.H. Hanover won, 3-0. (Paul Stinson photograph) Paul Stinson photograph

By TRIS WYKES

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 03-02-2024 11:33 AM

Modified: 03-02-2024 11:41 PM


WEST LEBANON — Lebanon-Stevens-Kearsarge has its strongest girls hockey team in years. The Raiders, however, don’t have Maeve Lee.

Hanover’s star forward posted a hat trick during the Bears’ 3-0 defeat of its neighbor Friday in an NHIAA playoff quarterfinal at Campion Rink. Junior Nora Bradley had two assists and Eleanor Edson needed to make only seven saves.

A senior headed to Middlebury College for lacrosse, Lee appears to be saying goodbye to competitive hockey with a flourish. Her second-seeded team faces third-seeded Bishop Guertin on Tuesday at Concord’s Everett Arena.

“It’s like Maeve and Nora can read each other’s minds,” said Hanover coach John Dodds. “They’ve played together for three years and have had some gorgeous goals the last few weeks.

“Maeve put the team on her shoulders tonight and wasn’t going to be denied.”

Lee scored from close range during the first period and her second goal was a second-period play of subtle beauty. 

Skating down the left sideboards and wheeling along the bottom of the circle on her forehand, the center switched to her backhand as she entered the low slot. Goaltender Andy Lindquist slid off the near post, only to watch Lee flip the puck back inside that pipe.

An overflow Bears student section exploded in celebration. Lee said the large crowd raised Hanover’s intensity level and LSK did its best to match its arch-rival. Collisions were frequent and elicited roars.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Rivendell voters reject school budget
Starbucks store planned for Route 120 at Centerra
Enterprise: Upper Valley pet sitters discuss business growth, needs
A Life: Priscilla Sears ‘was bold enough to be very demanding’
2024 Upper Valley high school baseball guide
Canaan Elementary School has new principal

“A game like this is motivating for me,” Lee said. “It was such an exciting atmosphere. I don’t think I’ve ever played in such an amazing situation.”

Lee finished her hat trick midway through the third period, pouncing on a breakout turnover by the Raiders’ Mirabella Orlen in the high slot. Curving quickly into the left circle, Lee fired on Lindquist, who absorbed the initial blast before the puck trickled through her legs.

“Our experience and depth led to us spending a lot of time in their end,” Dodds said. “That tends to translate to goals.”

Hanover held a 22-9 shot advantage. Lindquist made 19 saves and hustling, physical Raiders forward Biff Maher was perhaps the second-best player on the ice. LSK coach Mike Sheehan said he couldn’t fault his seventh-seeded team’s effort.

“I asked them to leave everything on the ice and let (Hanover) know they’d been in a game and they did just that,” Sheehan said. “We have nothing to hang our heads about other than the fact we couldn’t score.”

Lee was on a Hanover state title team as a freshman, but Dodds said she’s clearly been frustrated by semifinal exits the past two seasons. He knows he’ll get savvy, all-out effort when No. 4 goes over the boards.

“She can dictate the play even when she doesn’t have the puck because she lets her teammates know when and where to put it,” Dodds said. “Her hockey IQ is off the charts and she’s a great finisher.”

Lebanon will graduate defenders Phoebe Ballard and Olivia Pollard and forward Lily Hoegler. Hanover will graduate Lee and feisty forward Rory Seelig.

Notes: Lebanon played without an injured Ballard and goaltender Kristen Garzia, who said she’s recovering from hip issues. Three other Raiders were also out of the lineup, although freshman defender Julia McGee is back from knee surgery… Pollard hopes to play for Keene State next season, which will be inaugurating its women’s hockey program under head coach Rob Taylor, a onetime Dartmouth College assistant … Toiling part-time at Campion Rink this winter is 2023 Hanover graduate Patrick Elder, now working for a U.S Army National Guard mortuary affairs unit. The group provides military honors at funerals throughout New Hampshire. Its members also hone their combat skills in Manchester … Former LSK forward Marissa Pickman, a Bradford, N.H., resident, recently concluded her senior season at Plymouth State. She had a goal and an assist in 62 career games, playing in 21 of the Panthers’ games this winter as they went 6-20. PSU is 19-60-3 the last four seasons… Onetime Hanover and Northeastern University star Matti Hartman, now a certified physician’s assistant at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, has assisted the Bears on a part-time basis this winter … Before he became a history teacher, Sheehan was a radio and internet play-by-play announcer for professional hockey teams in New Mexico, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.