The local adage that you simply throw records out the window when rival teams from Londonderry High and Pinkerton Academy face off was proven once again last Saturday, Feb. 8, when the Lancer and Astro hockey teams met on Pinkerton’s home ice at The Ice Den in Hooksett.
The streaking Lancers and the struggling Astros rolled into the game seemingly headed in different directions, with the LHS side having won eight consecutive games and Pinkerton having dropped three of its previous four contests and grasping a record that was well below the .500 mark.
But records be damned, the LHS contingent bounded out to a 3-0 lead, only to see 3-7-1 Pinkerton fight its way back in with two goals during the final eight minutes of the second period.
Londonderry wound up claiming a 4-3 victory in the contest, but the 10-2 Lancers definitely knew they’d been in a battle and that a rematch between the two squads could be every bit as riveting.
“There’s not a whole lot of difference between the first and 10th place teams this year, and I don’t think there’s a whole lot of difference between us and Pinkerton, other than the fact that we’ve been more consistent,” said LHS coach Peter Bedford.
LHS senior forward Curtis Harper scored three goals and assisted on one, his fellow senior forward Eric Coburn scored once and assisted on all three of Harper’s tallies, and their junior line-mate Cooper Roy was good for two assists as the top Londonderry offensive line notched a combined 10 points in pushing its side to its ninth consecutive victory.
Harper potted each of the Lancers’ first three goals – the first on a power-play with 3:05 left in the first period and the second two in the first six minutes of the second period – as Londonderry drove out to a seemingly-commanding 3-0 lead.
But Pinkerton sliced its deficit back to 3-2 with tallies with 7:15 and 1:54 left in the middle stanza.
Coburn made it a 4-2 game on Coburn’s goal a little less than five minutes into the third stanza, but the Astros got back to within a marker with just 1:32 left in regulation time. But 4-3 was where the final score ended up.
Londonderry finished the game with a 35-30 advantage in shots on net, with Lancers’ keeper Joe McGrath ending up with 27 saves.
And the LHS icemen bounced their winning streak up to 10 consecutive games this past Monday night, Feb. 10, with a 7-2 walloping of the Nashua South Purple Panthers at the Conway Arena in the Gate City.
Londonderry dominated play throughout most of the game – finishing with a whopping 50-17 advantage in shots on net – but it was still technically a game after two periods had been completed.
The locals enjoyed a 20-6 advantage in shots on in the first period, but they only got one of their shots past Nashua’s senior goalie A.J. Bender during those 15 minutes.
The tally was collected by Nick Donnelly in a short-handed situation just 1:40 after the opening faceoff, and Jason Parker had the lone assist.
The LHS lead grew to 3-0 during the first six minutes of period two, thanks to markers from Donnelly (assist to Alex LaPlante) and Lucas Poulin (from Curtis Harper), but Nashua got on the board and gained some momentum with a goal of its own with 3:07 left in the stanza.
But Harper grabbed the momentum back for his side on a power-play goal with less than a second left in the period, and he scored two more times in the third period to bag the hat-trick. After a third LHS goal in the stanza, Nashua tallied once more. The Lancers skated away with another lopsided victory to their credit.