Hanover girls skate away from Lebanon-Stevens-Kearsarge

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Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 1/22/2022 9:31:19 PM
Modified: 1/22/2022 9:30:02 PM

WEST LEBANON — Yes, both Hanover and Lebanon-Stevens-Kearsarge entered Friday night’s NHIAA girls hockey clash at Campion Rink undefeated. But it became apparent right from the opening faceoff that the teams were not on equal footing.

Hanover opened the scoring just two minutes in and then pulled away in the second period, beating the archrival Raiders, 5-0.

“The last couple games, we had an awful lot of shots that missed the net,” Hanover coach John Dodds said. “And in the first period, we did not have a shot that missed the net. We certainly had our chances.”

Senior forward Kaye Lindsey scored the first goal for Hanover (5-0-0) on a shot that sailed past Lebanon senior goaltender Paige Hoegler’s shoulder, with the assist going to junior defense Kali McDonnell. It would be the start of a big night for both players — they each scored twice, with McDonnell adding another assist.

The scoreline could have looked even worse for the Raiders (3-1-0) had Hoegler not made 50 saves. Lebanon, already shorthanded, had its depth further tested Friday, using just eight skaters — five forwards and three on defense.

“The game plan is not to give them too many chances,” Lebanon coach Mike Sheehan said. “They’re a lot deeper than us. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. That’s where we got caught a little in the second period — we got caught on some long shifts that we couldn’t get the puck out or couldn’t get a whistle, and that’s when they burned us.”

Lindsey’s second goal came early in the second period, on an assist from sophomore forward Rory Seelig. Junior forward Mackenzie Liu made it a three-goal lead a few minutes later, converting a rebound after Hoegler made a pad save. It became 4-0 before the teams returned to their locker rooms for the second intermission on a power-play goal from McDonnell.

McDonnell added her second of the game and the season in the third, while the Raiders hardly had any good looks at the net.

Hanover came in having played just once since Jan. 4, while Lebanon was playing its first game since Jan. 8 due to various COVID-related postponements.

“Part of it is just getting used to each other again, getting their legs moving, generating puck speed and working on some of the things we’ve tried to work on in practice,” Dodds said.

The postponed games will result in a compressed schedule for both teams the rest of the way. For Hanover, this was the first of 14 games in 37 days to close the regular season, provided no more postponements or cancellations. Those include some lengthy trips — HHS heads to Beekmantown Central, in Chazy, N.Y. on Sunday, to BFA-St. Albans in northern Vermont next Saturday and to St. Mary’s in Lynn, Mass. on Feb. 5.

Lebanon’s schedule is even more packed. The Raiders, starting with Friday’s loss, will play 14 games in 34 days, and although they have no out-of-state road trips, their lack of depth could catch up with them quickly.

“That’s the message — bubble wrap, take care of yourself and we’ll see where the chips fall,” Sheehan said. “We might get worn down here over the next month, but it is what it is. “I’m proud of the girls we have. They’re busting their butts. They’ve come a long way since the beginning of the season, and that’s all I’m concerned with.”

Benjamin Rosenberg can be reached at brosenberg@vnews.com or 603-727-3302.

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