Anybody who has spent any time watching really competitive ice hockey knows that it’s a grueling sport which requires great conditioning and plenty of intensity.
So the fact that the 2017-18 Londonderry High junior varsity ice hockey squad only had a total of 10 players – one goalie and nine skaters – much of the time and still won three of its eight contests is pretty darn impressive.
Coach Jim Cotter’s 3-5 Lancers’ consistent roster consisted of seniors Owen Stowell (a forward) and Ben Henson (defense), juniors Cole Ferguson (forward), Derek Felix (forward) and Matt Naso (defense), sophomores Mike Ziv (goalie) and Sam Seibert (forward), and freshmen Ethan Cohen (defense), Evan Cotter (forward), and Connor Paitton (forward).
When asked to look back on his hard-working crew’s best group efforts of the winter, coach Cotter said, “Our top performances came against the Bedford High JV team. We won one and lost one, but both games were very well-played.”
And in evaluating whether or not his Lancers lived up to the expectations he had for them, the LHS mentor stated, “The team worked very hard for each other and their school. Even though we had a small roster, this team fought hard every game.”
Cotter also served as an assistant coach under Lancer varsity mentor Peter Bedford during the big club’s 2017-18 season, which was quite a roller-coaster ride.
Bedford’s bunch finished its regular campaign with a 9-8-1 record and as the Division I seventh tournament seed. The varsity Lancers then faced off against the second-ranked Hanover High Marauders on that tough opponent’s home sheet in the D-I quarterfinals, and the Marauders ended Londonderry’s campaign with a 5-2 defeat. Longtime Hanover coach Dick Dodds’ Marauders would then go on to dispose of number six Bishop Guertin and number four Bedford in winning the state title.
The LHS varsity is waving goodbye to some eight seniors who will collect their diplomas later this spring, so there will be roster spots for the 2017-18 junior varsity players to snag if they’re up to the challenges later this calendar year.