High Schools: Concord boys’ hockey team rolls past Brady, keeps playoff hopes alive
Concord's Bradley Murphy celebrates after scoring against Bishop Brady in the game between the schools on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at Everett Arena.
The Crimson Tide won, 9-2. (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
Concord's Annie Mullen looks for an opening during Concord's 3-2 victory over Bishop Brady-Trinity on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at Everett Arena. Mullen scored the game-winning goal.
(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
Concord's Adam Godbout weaves around Bishop Brady defense in the game between the schools on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at Everett Arena. Godbout helped Concord get a head start by scoring the team's first pair of goals.
(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
This Concord boys’ hockey team doesn’t want to be the first Crimson Tide squad to miss the playoffs since 1987. In order to keep its postseason streak alive, Concord knew it had to beat Bishop Brady in last night’s regular-season finale, and then hope for some help. Some of the assistance arrived before the game, and then the Tide took care of the Green Giants.
“We came out pretty pumped and we knew what was on the line,” Concord sophomore Bradley Murphy said. “And playing Brady, that’s a big rivalry, so we came out hard.”
Murphy scored four goals, senior captain Adam Godbout had two goals and an assist and the Tide (7-11) came away with a 9-2 win in a penalty-filled game. That win, plus Hanover’s 2-1 loss to Exeter earlier in the day, means Concord’s playoff hopes are still alive. If Hanover (6-10-1) loses to Trinity (10-6) on Saturday, the Tide is in. If Hanover wins, the Marauders are in and Concord is out.
“It was nice to score some goals. We haven’t been a team that’s scored a lot of goals all year,” Concord Coach Dunc Walsh said. “We still need some help, but we wanted to at least go out and do our part and get the win.”
Even if Hanover had beaten Exeter and eliminated the Tide from the playoffs, chances are good Concord would have shown some fight against Brady (0-17). Not only was last night’s game the 80th meeting between the teams (the Tide leads the series 58-20-2), but it was also senior night for the Tide and those seniors knew it could end up being the last game they play in a Concord uniform.
“It was the last game, well, we weren’t thinking it was the last game, but we just wanted to go out and finish strong,” Godbout said. “And now we have to hope for Hanover to lose so we can just bring that intensity into the next game.”
Godbout supplied the early intensity with two first-period goals. The first was a tipped shot from senior Hagan Otto at 3:02 of the first, and the second came on a power play when Godbout blasted one from the right point, assisted by Connor Beatty (three assists) and Matt Norris (goal, two assists), giving Concord a 2-0 lead with 6:30 left in the opening period.
“I was just trying to get the team fired up in the beginning,” Godbout said.
The Giants were outshot 11-1 in the first, but showed some life to start the second and cut the lead in half just 1:26 into the period when Andrew Chorlian pounded home a rebound off a shot from Shelby Herrington.
Brady had chances to tie things after that in the form of two power plays, but Murphy gave Concord a 3-1 lead with 6:09 left in the second with a short-handed goal. The Giants were trying to break out of their zone when a pass bounced off the referee’s skates and landed on Murphy’s stick. The sophomore gathered himself in the high slot and found the first of his four goals.
“I was thinking I needed to get it on net somehow, thinking maybe top left,” Murphy said. “But it bounced off a player and off the goalie and it went in, so I was pretty happy about that.”
The whistles were busy in the final six minutes of the second as five of the game’s 15 penalties were called in that span, including three at the end of the second that gave Concord 2:44 of 5-on-3 to start the third. And the Tide took advantage as Norris and senior Tim Weinhold (two assists) set up shop in the crease and Murphy scored on a pair of rebounds, the first 30 seconds in and the second 54 seconds in, to give Concord a 5-1 lead.
“Once we got that power play going, we pretty much cruised,” Walsh said.
Norris added another power-play goal at 3:21 of the third and then Murphy added his second shorthanded goal of the game with 6:22 left on the clock when he blocked a shot, took the puck the length of the ice and scored on a one-handed backhand shot with two Giants draped all over him.
Ethan Cole and Andy Cole added the final two goals for the Tide. Goalie Ben Nelson (10 saves) played the first two-plus periods for Concord before giving way to Jesse Bedard (six saves) early in the third.
Brady’s Brandon Starkweather, assisted by Brendan Brack, scored the game’s final goal with just under two minutes left.
Andrew Yvars finished with 26 saves for the Giants, who will close out their season on Saturday at Pinkerton Academy.
Concord’s season may be over, or it may extend into the playoffs.
“Hopefully we get to keep playing,” Walsh said. “But if not, at least they came out on the last night and did what they were supposed to do.”
Concord 3, Bishop Brady-Trinity 2
Tide senior captain Annie Mullen assisted on the first two goals and scored the game winner 19 seconds into the third period as Concord (6-12) closed its season with a win.
“That’s the ultimate battle between them and us,” said Brady-Trinity Coach Dan Earley, whose team beat the Tide, 6-3, on Dec. 21. “They’ve improved so much since the beginning of the season. I’m really impressed with them and their coaches.”
It was the sixth game in seven nights for Brady-Trinity (9-8), which will close out its season Saturday against first-place Hanover. Win or lose, the Giants are already guaranteed a playoff spot and will likely face Lebanon on Friday.
Mullen’s first helper last night came 5:19 into the first when she fed freshman Delana Erickson to give Concord a 1-0 lead. Brady-Trinity tied things up with just 28 seconds left in the period on a goal from Ann Margaret Disciscio, assisted by Colleen Earley. Kaleigh Otto put the Tide back on top early in the second, but again Brady-Trinity answered, this time on a goal from Earley (assisted by Athena Sirois) with 5:44 left in the second.
Mullen’s deciding goal, assisted by Otto and Erickson, came on a backhand shot just to the right of Brady-Trinity goalie Sarah Plourde (36 saves). Tide goalie Amandaline Tibbals finished with 23 saves and withstood some heavy pressure in the final minutes to preserve the win.
Merrimack Valley 58, Manchester West 33
The Pride (14-4) was able to honor its six seniors with a victory over the Blue Knights (1-17) on MV’s senior night.
After a close first quarter with MV leading 14-10, the Pride pulled away with a big 22-2 second quarter .
MV had 12 players score, with strong efforts from Cassidy Huckins (nine points), Erin Frost (eight points) and Haley Adams (six points).
Pembroke 42, Goffstown 41
The Spartans (12-6) came from behind to beat Goffstown (9-8) on senior night.
Down 37-34 going into the fourth quarter, Pembroke got just enough offense and played suffocating defense to pull out the one-point win, outscoring Goffstown 8-4 in the quarter.
Pembroke 58, Goffstown 48
Goffstown (4-13) stayed with top-ranked Pembroke for three quarters, trailing by just six points entering the final eight minutes of play, but the Spartans pulled away to finish the regular season at 17-1 with the No. 1 seed for the Division II tournament. No details were reported.