LHS Icemen Build on Winning Streak, Then Falter vs. Astros

The Londonderry High ice hockey team continued to be just about the hottest entity in New Hampshire Division I during the middle of the week. But the week didn’t end anywhere near as well for coach Peter Bedford’s talented bunch in a battle with an old rival.

The Lancers advanced their Division I record to 13-2 and snagged their 12th win in a row in a 3-0 blanking of the struggling Nashua North High Titans at the Salem Icenter on Wednesday, Feb. 19. And were it not for North veteran goalie Jake Genest (35 saves) it would most likely have been even more of a roll for the Londonderry crew.

Senior forward Jason Parker gave the hosts the only goal they’d end up needing to best the Titans – who began the evening with a 7-7-1 divisional record after having gone winless in five of their previous six games – with 6:16 to go in the first period when he deflected a shot from the point by Ryan Kearney into the North cage. Mike Donlan also claimed an assist.

And the locals added an insurance marker with just 1:29 to go in the stanza when Curtis Harper set up Lucas Poulin. The seemingly omnipresent Eric Coburn also garnered an assist.

The two teams combined to put 26 shots on net in the middle period, but none found their way into the twine behind the keepers. Genest made 15 stops during those 15 minutes, and LHS goalie Mitch Schirch made 11 en route to his 26-save, shutout performance.

Schirch turned aside nine more blasts by North in the third period, and his teammates added to their lead with 11:23 showing on the game clock when Parker potted his second marker of the game at the tail-end of a 2-on-1 break. Nick Donnelly notched the lone assist.

Last Saturday, Feb. 22, it was on to a revival of the LHS/Pinkerton rivalry back at the Salem rink.

However, Londonderry’s epic winning streak came to a screeching halt that evening with a surprising, 4-2 loss to a rival Pinkerton squad that has itself become a tad warm of late.

The PA bunch rolled a modest undefeated streak up to four games (3-0-1) with the win, which featured a 29-save performance from junior goalie Brendan Murphy – a transfer from Minnesota – and got the Astros’ divisional record close to the .500 mark at 6-7-2.

The visitors claimed a 1-0 lead just 1:08 after the opening face-off, but the Lancers knotted the score four minutes later when Parker tallied with the assists going to Colby Austin and Matt Moriarty. And 1-1 was where the score sat after one stanza.

Pinkerton scored a pair of goals during the first five minutes of period two to snag a 3-1 lead, but Londonderry got back to within a goal with 4:57 remaining in the third period. However, the Astros answered two minutes later to get to the final score of 4-2.

Londonderry goalie Joe McGrath made 27 saves on the rather frustrating evening for the now 13-3 Lancers.

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