After suffering a humbling and lopsided defeat in its second to last game of the 2015-16 regular season last week, the Londonderry High ice hockey squad regained its footing and ended the campaign with a shutout victory on its home ice.
The Lancers’ second to last regular season game was entirely forgettable from the standpoints of the local icemen and their fans.
The LHS skaters took an 11-0 throttling on the chin from the tough Bedford High Bulldogs at Saint Anselm College on Wednesday, Feb. 24, and as a result saw their five-game winning streak end and their Division I record slip back closer to the .500 mark at 9-8.
Bedford made its D-I record 14-2 with its fourth straight victory that night and tallied the 10th win in its last 11 matches.
“Bedford is a phenomenal team, but we couldn’t keep thinking about that loss. We had to forget it and just move on,” said coach Dan Legro.
And that’s exactly what Legro’s Lancers did, returning to the winning track with a 2-0 blanking of the Salem High Blue Devils at the Salem Icenter last Saturday night, Feb. 27. The Icenter is the home facility for both the Lancers and Blue Devils.
The regular season-ending victory – on Senior Night – gave Londonderry its sixth win in its last seven games and a solid, 10-8 Division I record on the cusp of the tourney. Salem, meanwhile, finished up at 6-12 with a weak 1-7 record in its final eight contests.
Bagging the win was pleasing for the local icemen, but it didn’t come easy, primarily due to the strong play of Salem goalie Paddy Capsalis.
The first and second periods were scoreless despite the fact that the Lancers put 11 shots on Capsalis in period one and 18 more in stanza two.
Londonderry finally netted a goal on its 38th shot of the night on Capsalis with 5:15 to go in the third period when Patrick Maloney set up Nick Donnelly alone in front of the Blue Devils’ cage.
It then became a 2-0 game with just 1:32 showing on the game clock when Maloney was set up on a goal of his own by Troy Muldoon.
The victorious Lancers finished the productive evening with a 40-16 advantage in shots on net, with LHS keeper Cody Baldwin stopping every Salem blast to help his side bag its sixth shutout of the D-I season.
“I’m glad we were able to get the seniors a win on Senior Night, and I’m glad we were able to have a winning (regular) season rather than just a .500 season,” said Legro.
Despite the Lancers having completed their regular season, other D-I squads entered this week with one or more games yet to play. So at Londonderry Times press time the locals were still waiting to find out where they’d end up in the D-I tourney standings and who they’d play in round one Wednesday, March 9.
Caption: Andrew Morrissette and the Lancer ice hockey team closed out their regular season wth a shutout win over Salem. Photo by Chris Pantazis