CAPTION: Veteran star Patrick Murphy and his LHS hockey teammates saw their record sit just under the .500 mark to start this week. Photo by Chris Pantazis. Full image below.
A pleasing victory over the Nashua South-Pelham contingent followed by a somewhat frustrating, 1-0 loss to the excellent Concord High contingent last week left the Londonderry High hockey squad skating into this week contemplating a Division I record which was once again a slim notch below .500.
The now 5-6-1 Lancers handed the visiting South-Pelham bunch a 5-2 defeat at the Tri-Town Arena on the afternoon of Wednesday, Jan. 31, but the locals weren’t able to tickle the twine with any of the 13 shots they put on the Concord cage at the Everett Arena in the state capital on Saturday, Feb. 3 in a tough, one-goal defeat.
In the pleasing success over a South-Pelham crew which began action with a 4-7 record, LHS coach Peter Bedford’s bunch bagged two unanswered goals in the first period, outscored its opponent by a 2-1 tally in the second, and walked away with a 5-2 victory which placed it right at the .500 mark in D-I at 5-5-1.
The victorious locals received multi-point games from Nate Andrews, Patrick Murphy, Anthony Federico and Jake Parilla in claiming the pleasing success.
The Lancers were dominant through most of the first period, out-shooting their guests by an 8-1 tally through the first seven minutes and grabbing a 1-0 lead with 8:37 left in the stanza when Andrews tucked home a rebound. Murphy and Federico garnered the assists.
It became a 2-0 contest with 2:15 to go in the period when Mike McCormick zipped home a wrist shot, with Parilla and Austin Cantosi claiming the assists.
That period ended with LHS grasping that 2-0 lead and a huge, 17-5 advantage in shots on net.
Londonderry also finished with a massive advantage in shots on in the second period (12-2), and its lead bulged to 4-0 on tallies from Murphy (assists to Federico and Andrews) with 10:48 to go in the stanza and Andrews on a power-play marker (from Federico and Parilla) just 2:20 later.
The Nashuans then snuffed out the Lancers’ shutout hopes a mere 40 seconds after that fourth LHS goal, and the score sat at 4-1 when the teams left the ice following stanza two.
Londonderry drove its lead up to 5-1 on a man-up tally from Federico – set up by Murphy – 4:29 into the third period, and the visiting side didn’t get into double digits in shots on net until 5:10 remained in the game.
The Nashuans potted their second goal of the day with 50.7 seconds left on the clock, and 5-2 was where the scoring would end.
The Lancers finished up with a 40-14 advantage in shots on net, with goalie Cam Donovan turning aside 12 blasts in making his contribution to the win.
Diminutive South-Pelham goalie Nate Serrentino stood up tall for his squad, making 35 saves. Were it not for him and his impressive play, Londonderry certainly would have finished with double digits in goals.
“I liked what I saw today at times, but there are still things we need to be working on,” said coach Bedford. “I’m glad we were able to get our fifth win here.”
But the locals absorbed their sixth loss in their tough league the following Saturday in that hard-fought, 1-0 loss to a Concord contingent which began play at 9-1 and with a six-game winning streak rolling.
The Crimson Tide netted the game’s only goal in the first period and then did superb work in minimizing Londonderry’s scoring chances the rest of the way.
The Lancers finished with just 13 shots on Concord keeper Spencer Burgess, with their best offensive flurry coming with a bit less than three minutes left in the final period during a power-play when they put three testing shots on the rival goalie.
This week’s slate had the Lancers set to play host to Exeter High’s Blue Hawks on Wednesday – weather permitting, after Londonderry Times press time – followed by a Saturday road trip to play the Nashua North-Souhegan entry in the Gate City.