With the stinging memory of losing an overtime game still fresh in its memory, the Londonderry High School ice hockey squad passed that awful sensation over to an opponent less than a week later.
The Lancers, who suffered a dramatic and frustrating overtime defeat at the hands of the rival Pinkerton Academy Astros in Hooksett in front of a big and spirited crowd on the afternoon of Friday the 13th, claimed their own overtime success last Wednesday the 18th on their former home ice at the Salem Icenter against the host Salem High Blue Devils.
The locals, who advanced to a strong 6-2 in tough Division I with the win – snagging their third success in their last four divisional contests – tallied a 1-0 lead in the first period but watched the Blue Devils knot the score at 1-1 in the second.
The third period was scoreless despite the fact that the Lancers enjoyed a 7-2 advantage in shots on net, and overtime was required.
The Londonderry crew had fire in its eyes and its bellies to start the extra stanza, and it won the game just 1:08 after that period began.
Murphy brothers Patrick and Bryan did the goal-scoring for the Lancers, with senior Bryan becoming the hero of the night by potting the winner.
The younger Murphy – a sophomore – started the evening’s scoring by notching his marker a mere 3:59 after the opening face-off. He collected a loose puck in the slot in front of the Salem net and rifled a low shot past Blue Devils’ goalie Paddy Capsalis.
Salem responded immediately by putting forth pressure on LHS sophomore keeper Cam Donovan, but the hosts wouldn’t knot the score at 1-1 until a little more than three minutes remained in the middle stanza at the end of a two-on-one rush.
After the teams failed to bust their deadlock in stanza three, the elder Murphy threw his teammates and their fans into high celebration mode by deciding the contest in overtime.
“I think we were pretty good throughout the game,” said LHS veteran coach Peter Bedford. “We limited their opportunities and played them tight, and Salem has been playing a lot of teams tough. And to rebound from that previous game (against Pinkerton) was big for us.”
Londonderry junior forward Patrick McKinnon contributed an assist to the successful cause, and goalie Donovan finished the night with some 20 saves.
The Lancers skated back into Division I competition this Wednesday, Jan. 25 in Nashua against the host Nashua North/Souhegan contingent, after Londonderry Times press time. That opposing squad went 1-5 in its first six games of the 2016-17 campaign.
Lancer junior forward Patrick McKinnon contributed an assist to his team’s dramatic overtime win over Salem at the Salem Icenter during the middle of last week. Photo by Chris Pantazis