CONWAY — A little puck luck would go a long way to helping the Kennett High ice hockey team snap a three-game losing streak. The Eagles rallied from a two-goal first-period deficit to draw level with rival Berlin-Gorham at the Ham Ice Arena last Wednesday only to see the Mountaineers score the net three goals, including an empty-netter with under 30 seconds to play, for the 5-2 victory.
The loss, which keeps Kennet winless in 2020, dropped the hometown flock to 2-3 in the Division II standings.
The Eagles, to their credit, played well against Berlin-Gorham (3-1), especially due to a shortened bench with junior winger Colby Hall (knee injury) and senior defenseman Reilly Murphy (fractured fibula).
“I’m not a huge fan of moral victories,” Michael Lane, Eagles’ head coach, said. “It was a bit of a frustrating night because we didn’t necessarily get the bounces we needed.”
The Mountaineers had a two-goal lead before most people had settled in at the Ham, netting two goals inside of five minutes in the opening period. The Eagles never got rattled and slowly worked their way back into the contest and were rewarded midway through the period when senior Dom Jones blocked a B-G shot and raced the length of the ice to beat the visiting goalie with a well-placed backhanded shot.
Less than 3 minutes later, KHS lit the lamp again. John Trapela slid a pass back to Connor Tofflemoyer, who uncorked a laser into the back of the net to knot the game at 2-2.
Kennett carried that momentum into the second period and created a few solid chances to gain the lead, but the Mounties weathered the storm and turned things around on the power play. The Eagles got whistled for four penalties in a 3-minute stretch giving the team from north of Pinkham Notch an extended man advantage and the Mountaineers cashed in on a five-on-three power play.
Berlin-Gorham added a fourth goal early in the third period and then an empty-netter.
“I’ve got a ton of respect for Berlin,” Lane said, “but the reality is with the injuries we have, we’ve got to be perfect to beat them.”
Lane said junior goalie Bryson Wrobleski wasn’t far off from perfect in the nets for KHS.
“Bryson was fantastic,” he said. “He was in line to steal the game for us until we got the penalties.”
Lane added: “I thought (defenseman) Brady Shaw probably had the best game of his career. John Trapela and Trevor LaRusso have been really strong down the middle, while Dom Jones has been giving us a consistent effort.”
Kennett is scheduled back into action this Wednesday (6 p.m.) when Belmont-Gilford (3-0) comes to Ham Arena.