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Still hanging around: Raiders boys hockey continues push for playoff berth

  • Lebanon-Stevens-Mount Royal's Brian Daly, middle, celebrates with teammate Tristan Ouellette, left, after scoring on Spaulding in the third period, bringing the final score to 6-1 at Campion Arena in Lebanon, N.H., Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Lebanon goalkeeper Hunter Robb deflects a shot from Spaulding during the Raiders 6-1 win at Campion Arena in Lebanon, N.H., Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Lebanon's Trey Chickering tries to bring the puck back under control while under pressure from Spaulding's Ryan Ellis at Campion Arena in West Lebanon, N.H., Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. Lebanon won 6-1. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Correspondent
Wednesday, February 06, 2019

WEST LEBANON — The first step toward winning a championship in any sport is just to make it to the playoffs, where anything can happen.

The Lebanon-Stevens-Mount Royal boys hockey team got a much-needed 6-1 home win against Spaulding on Wednesday afternoon at Campion Rink as it pushes to secure the final NHIAA Division II playoff spot.

Currently, Lebanon and Kingswood are both tied for the ninth and final playoff spot with 6-6 records.

Raiders coach Jim Damren was pleased with the effort his squad has put forward, and likes their chances of making the postseason.

“We control our own destiny at this point,” Damren said. “I feel really good. We’re coming together. The young guys are contributing and the older guys are providing good leadership. I’m just very happy with our team.”

The Raiders clicked all around, but especially on special teams, as they were 3-for-3 on the power play and also added a shorthanded goal.

Jon Cloud opened the scoring just three minutes into the game when he put back a rebound that had bounced to him in front of the net, and the goal began Lebanon’s offensive barrage.

Freshman Christian Hunter scored his first career goal three minutes later, extending the lead for the Raiders, who scored two goals in each period.

Trey Chickering led the Raiders in scoring with two goals and one assist, and Brian Daly and Andrew Duany each added one goal apiece.

Goaltender Hunter Robb made 17 saves on 18 shots on net for Lebanon, which put 31 shots on goal.

Damren has been pleased with his power play of late as the Raiders have been heating up down the stretch.

“Our power play has been pretty lights out the last few games,” Damren said. “The guys are starting to find their way, starting to click.”

Raiders senior captain and defenseman Joseph Dupree also is starting to feel a growing confidence in his team, in part because the underclassmen have stepped up on a very young team that has only three seniors this season.

“I feel confident in our guys,” Dupree said. “When we are playing our game, no one can stop us. I think we can string together some wins and certainly make a push (toward the playoffs).”

Lebanon has a tough stretch ahead, with three of its five remaining games coming against teams placed higher in the standings, but it certainly will give the young team a chance to prove it belongs in the postseason.

Lebanon will travel to Portsmouth-Newmarket (6-5-2) on Saturday, which sits just above the Raiders in the standings.