After losing five games in a row, including all three it played in the Blue Devil Christmas Classic in Salem, the Londonderry High ice hockey team improved its fortunes markedly last week by bagging two straight Division I wins.
The Lancers leveled their divisional record at 2-2 with a 4-2 defeat of the Nashua North-Souhegan squad in Nashua Wednesday night, Jan. 6. And then Saturday night, Jan. 9, the LHS icemen moved to 3-2 in D-I and got their school an important point in Ball Family Trophy play by defeating the rival Pinkerton Academy Astros by a 3-1 score in Hooksett.
Londonderry potted the only two goals scored in the first period of the game in Nashua, with Andrew Morrissette getting the first unassisted with 2:58 to go in the stanza, and then setting up a Merrill Neiman marker with just 1:06 left.
The Titans knotted the score at 2-2 with two unaswered goals in period number two, but in the third period Londonderry scored twice without an answer from its host to win 4-2.
Patrick Maloney tallied both goals for the Lancers, with the first being set up by multi-point man Morrissette a mere 2:01 into the third and the second coming with 52 seconds to go, set up by Mike MacKenzie and Colby Austin.
And the Lancers officially got a potential winning streak rolling with a second consecutive victory in the 3-1 defeat of Pinkerton on the road at Hooksett’s Ice Den over the weekend.
Both teams entered the game with 2-2 records in D-I, but Londonderry came out flying right from the opening face-off and played arguably its most energetic, spirited game of the season in tallying an impressive win.
The Lancers out-shot the Astros by a stunning, 38-15 margin and could have won even more decisively were it not for the 35-save performance of PA goalie Jordan Puzzo.
The first period was scoreless, but Londonderry enjoyed a 13-2 advantage in shots on net and definitely outplayed the Astros.
The Lancers busted the scoreless deadlock a little less than two minutes into the second stanza on a pretty goal, with Maloney setting up Nick Donnelly in the slot in front of the PA cage, and Donnelly lofting a backhander past Puzzo.
The hosts knotted the score at 1-1 with 5:40 left in the period, but the Lancers potted what proved to be the winning marker with 2:45 to go when Morrissette smacked home a rebound, with Nate Andrews notching the assist.
After two periods, the Lancers enjoyed a 30-8 advantage in shots on net and a 2-1 lead on the scoreboard.
And LHS bagged a big insurance tally with 5:55 remaining in the contest when Mike MacKenzie whipped a wrist shot wide of the PA net from the right wing, but teammate Troy Muldoon was skating past the left post of the cage and had an empty net to shoot at when the puck bounded off the backboards and directly to him.
LHS goalie Cody Baldwin only had to turn aside 14 Astro shots in the win.
“I feel good about this win. This is more like it,” said LHS coach Dan Legro. “This gives us an indication that things are starting to come together.”