By Lloyd Jones
CONWAY — The Kennett High ice hockey team rallied from a two-goal second period deficit to top visiting Sanborn 5-2 at Ham Ice Arena on Saturday afternoon, but got this week off on a tough note, falling 4-1 at home to Berlin on Monday.
The Eagles are now 5-4-3 on the season in Division III play while the Indians of Sanborn fell to 3-9-1 after dropping their fifth consecutive game. Berlin improved to 9-3 in the division with all three loses against non-division opponents.
In Monday's contest against the Mountaineers, KHS fell behind early and was never able to get back on level terms.
"It was a tough night for us," Michael Lane, Eagles' head coach, said. "We had a pretty good effort, but we've got to clean some things up. Fortunately, there's still time this season to do that, and I think we will."
Trevor Lebrecque keyed the Berlin offense on the night with two goals and an assist. Hunter Fauteux added a goal and two assists, while Evan Valliere netted the other Mountie goal.
Berlin took the lead 1:59 into the first period and added a second goal to lead 2-0 after the opening 15 minutes of play.
The Mountaineers made it 3-0 five minutes into the second period.
The Eagles were able to pull a goal back with 3:49 to play in the second stanza when Connor Doucet scored off a feed from Robert Thurston and Colby Couture.
Berlin added an insurance goal with nine minutes to play.
John Biggio made 24 saves for the Eagles, while Brenden Williams had 18.
Saturday's game also marked the fifth annual Skate with the Eagles, a show of appreciation by the team to all MWV Youth Hockey players, season-ticket holders and general admission patrons. Prior to the game KHS held its annual Business Appreciation ceremony to recognize a few business who go above and beyond in their support for the team.
"It turned out to be a great day at the Ham," Lane said. "We got to recognize a number of businesses who support us; we got the win in the game; and we had a huge crowd stay afterward to skate with the team. Things went the way we hoped they would."
It didn't look like that would be the case early on when the skaters from Sanborn came to play. The two squads skated to a 5-5 draw on Opening Night back on Dec. 19, and the Tribe looked to have Kennett's number.
Sanborn took the lead late in the opening period on a goal by Nick Frost.
Despite the Eagles out-shooting their guests 8-5 in the first period, the visitors led 1-0 at the intermission.
The Indians doubled their advantage 1:25 into the second period when Dalton McCann scored from Frost to cap a two-on-one breakaway.
Lane's troops didn't get rattled be being behind, and slowly took over the game and were rewarded for carrying the play with 6:30 left in the second period. Doucet lit the lamp. He took a pass from Connor Furtado, made a nice rush and finished it off by beating goalie Austin Conley.
The Eagles knotted the game at 2-2 with 5:19 to play in the period when Doucet scored his second of the afternoon with a shot from the top of the circle.
KHS out-shot Sanborn 10-3 in the period.
It was all Kennett in the third period. Dan Nusbaum scored what proved to be the game-winner with 7:36 left on a power-play tally with assists going to Nick Ansaldi and Mackenzie Murphy.
"Nusbaum was fantastic," Lane said. "It was a good team effort, but Dan been real strong on the blue line for us."
Ninety-two seconds later, Ansaldi added an insurance goal to make it 4-2. He played the puck to himself off the half-wall and beat Conley just under the crossbar.
Ansaldi closed out the scoring with an empty-net goal from Caleb McPherson with just 50 seconds to left.
The Eagles out-shot the Indians 12-2 in the third frame and 30-10 overall.
Biggio picked up the win in net for KHS, making eight saves over three period.
The Eagles were back in action Wednesday night when they travel to Kearsarge/Plymouth (6-5). Results were not known as of press time.
KHS is also scheduled to close out the week hosting Moultonborough-InterLakes (3-9) on Saturday (6 p.m.).
"It's a real big week for us," Lane said. "We've got a huge one with Berlin, and then they really don't get a whole lot easier. We go to Kearsarge/Plymouth, who we're in a battle with for a home playoff game. Saturday we play Moultonborough-Inter-Lakes, who are fighting for their playoff lives."
- Category: High School