A huge “thank you" goes out to all who donated to the Ben Napert Memorial Fund. Don Piper and I are in the process of putting that money to good use in helping with the expenses of his passing.
Scores: Berlin boys’ basketball team lost to Colebrook 60-53 on Feb. 1; lost to Groveton 53-26 on Feb. 3; and fell to White Mountains 61-31 last Wednesday.
Gorham boys’ basketball team lost to Lin-Wood 48-45 on Feb. 4.
Berlin-Gorham boys’ hockey team lost to Lebanon-Stevens 3-1 on Feb. 1, but rebounded to take a home-and-home series from Belmont-Gilford 2-0 on Feb. 3, and 1-0 at Notre Dame Arena on Saturday night.
Berlin-Gorham girl's hockey team won a home-and-home series, Exeter 4-2 at Notre Dame Arena on Feb. 3 and 3-2 on the road on Saturday.
Just a reminder that the bulk of my game summaries come from communications from the respective coaches. If they don't correspond with me I can't report anything other than the scores.
The Berlin-Gorham girls’ hockey team finally got into the win column with a nice, well-played 4-2 win over Exeter at the Notre Dame Arena on Wednesday night. Coach Craig Bartoli mixed up his starting lineup slightly and it paid off early, when at 1:39 of the first period Sophia Schoenbeck and Grace Bradley teamed up with some nice passing to set up Jillian Hallee for a goal to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. Things went back and forth for another 8:32, until at the 10:11 mark the Blue Hawks tied things up at 1-1 which was the score when the period ended. Berlin-Gorham outshot Exeter 14-9 in period 1.
Second period action saw the Mountaineers score two goals, one at 7:19, when Becca Pouliot scored, set up nicely by a hustling Mickailey Walsh.
Berlin successfully killed off a penalty before Sydney Chapman scored an unassisted goal to put her team up by a 3-1 margin going into the break. B-G had a huge 15-4 shots-on-goal advantage in that period.
Exeter had gotten into some penalty trouble and at one point in time B-G had a two-person advantage to end the second and starting the third. Eventually freshman Ava Bartoli, who had played an excellent game up to that point, scored her first varsity goal, unassisted, to give the locals a comfortable 4-1 lead. They did get a bit lax defensively and allowed the Blue Hawks to score a short-handed goal late to cut the lead in half, but no more damage was done as the Mountaineers won their first game after losing the first four .
For the game the winners outshot the visitors 41-21 and hat's off to Blue Hawks' Zoe Greene who made 37 saves, while B-G Olivia O'Neil had a great game, stopping 20 shots, some of a difficult nature.
Saturday night, down south, Berlin-Gorham again beat Exeter, this time by a 3-2 score, one that could have been more for B-G save for Exeter's goalie Zoe Greene, who continued her superb net minding, making 51 saves. The Mountaineers did what they did in the first game against the Blue Hawks, scoring on the first shift with Mickailey Walsh lighting the lamp.
They followed that up with two more goals in the first period, Becca Pouliot on a power-play goal, and Sydney Chapman scoring on a rebound. From there on out it was the Greene show as no matter what B-G did they could not score again. Luma Berry only faced eight shots, and her six saves included a breakaway save and a couple of key saves late in the game.
Coach Craig Bartoli was pleased "With the way our defense, Pouliot, Ava Bartoli and Sophia Shoenback played as well as Jill Hallee who recently was moved to center."
Gorham's alpine ski team raced at King Pine last week and fared well. I will list the slalom places and times followed by the giant slalom. Hannah Fox finished in 10th place in the slalom with a combined time of 1:44.30 seconds, while Tori Demers was 13th in 1:52.29 in slalom and 11th in the GS, 1:08.29; and Alexa Pelky, 22nd in slalom in 2:17.40 and 18th in GS, 1:35.39.
On the boy's side of things Nolan York had a great day with two fourth-place finishes in slalom in 1:24.53 and 56.0 in GS, followed by Tristan Robertson, ninth, 1:36.32 and 10th, 1:00.15; Lex Mayerson, 11th, 1:37.23 and eighth, 59.29; Berlin's Hayden Munce was 13th, 1:42.23 and 18th, 1:04; Jake Bartlett, 15th, 1:47.18 and 13th, 1:01.16; Luke Olson, 17th, 1:49.17 and 19th, 1:06.23; Ethan Corrigan, 22nd in slalom,1:56.38; and Teegan Leclerc, seventh in GS,57.37.
Coach Robbie Munce was pleased with the performances of the teams, stating, "The boys are peaking at the right time and the girls have been creeping up in the standings with each meet."
States for both Gorham teams as well as BHS' Hayden Munce are scheduled to take place this week as you read this. This meet also featured a barbecue and I recall Melinda and I attended this particular meet two years ago, with perfect weather conditions, lots of good competition and camaraderie with the Gorham crowd and excellent food.
Berlin High's cross-country skier Cora Treiss had a seventh place finish at the Whitaker Woods Classic last Wednesday in North Conway. She competed against 37 other skiers and had a commendable time of 20:20. Her Coach Fred Treiss said, "she had a solid finish and due to the fluctuating temperatures above freezing, made for a challenge in the waxing process."
On Saturday, she competed in the White Mountain Regional HS 5K Skate with Lebanon, Kennett and White Mountains and even though it seemed she felt good and fast, she and her coach were not happy with the final results. She finished 15th out of 30 racers, with a time of 19:02.6, which was close to 5 minutes off the pace set by the winner, Ayla Weale of Lebanon.
The Berlin-Gorham boy's hockey had a busy week, going 2-1 with a 3-1 loss at Lebanon, and 2-0 and 1-0 wins over Belmont-Gilford.
In their first loss of the season, the visiting Mountaineers found themselves down 2-0 in the first 2:28 of the first period but were able to regroup and cut the deficit in half at 12:06 when Mike Cote deflected a pass from Brayden Riendeau into the net. There was no more scoring until at 14:35 Lebanon-Stevens-Mt Royal scored an empty-netter to seal the win. B-G Kolin Melanson had 18 saves and the Red Raiders' Tom Cromwell with 20.
Coach Mike Poulin said, "We had some good chances to score but couldn't find the back of the net. I was happy that when we were down 2 goals early, we didn't quit. We made them earn the victory."
In the first Belmont-Gilford 2-0 win, Griffin Melanson scored his first goal of the season as he crashed the net and scored off a Cote rebound. There was no more scoring until the 11:33 mark of the third period when Tyler Rousseau beat the defenders and walked in alone with a low-5 hole unassisted goal. The host Bulldogs' goalie Colin McGreevy had 34 saves and Anthony Pizzuto notched his first career shutout with 17 stops.
Coach Poulin again stated that, "We had many opportunities to score but didn't get to the net as often as I would have liked but it was a nice bounce-back win and I was pleased that we played with a better sense of urgency."
The home and home series with Belmont-Gilford resulted in a 1-0 win for Berlin-Gorham at the confines of the Notre Dame Arena. The one and only goal was scored by Carter Poulin, at 11:28 of period 1, with an assist going to Griffin Melanson. Poulin's wrist shot was perfectly placed high and to the glove side, with traffic in front. Both teams played relatively even hockey in that first period, and even though the Mountaineers outshot Belmont-Gilford, 9-2, the visitors had quality shots that were either blocked/deflected by the defense and twice hit the post.
Belmont-Gilford had the edge the remaining two periods in terms of intensity as they outshot the hosts 20-13, and had tremendous opportunities to score, but freshman goalie Kolin Melanson would not let it happen. In the middle period he had 11 saves, some of a spectacular nature and in the last 2 minutes and 6 seconds of the final period made three exceptional saves as the Bulldogs did all they could to tie the score but to no avail. He ended up with 22 saves, for his first varsity shutout and was named the White Mountain Community College player of the game for his performance.
Neither coaches, Mike Poulin and Berlin native, Jason Parent, were pleased with the performances of their players. Poulin felt they "played well in the first period but stop winning the battles, did not crash the net consistently as needed and basically hung on for deal life to the 1-0 lead and a win." Parent was "Happy with the way the guys battled but they couldn't but need to eventually find a way to put the puck in the net." Yours truly was very impressed with the way former Berliners, John and Dawn Guerin's son, Owen, only a sophomore, played throughout the game. He is a player to be reckoned with now and for the next two years to follow.
I want to send out my heartfelt prayers and condolences to the families of Wayne King, Luc Hebert, Russ Douglass, Wayne Villeneuve, Bob Lapointe, Billy Dupont and Joe Arenburg.