Bow hockey wins tough game against Goffstown to advance to Division II semis
Bow senior forward Devin Barker (12) moves the puck up ice in the Falcons' 4-0 Division II quarterfinal victory over Goffstown.
Bow senior forward Chris Fournier battles for the puck in the Falcons' 4-0 Division II quarterfinal victory over Goffstown.
The Bow boys’ hockey team celebrated on the Everett Arena ice in the moments following a 4-0 victory over Goffstown that was far closer than the score showed.
For three periods yesterday, the Falcons bumped with the Grizzlies, banged with the Grizzlies and came away with a Division II quarterfinal win, one that fit exactly what Coach Tim Walsh was looking for.
“I’m really, really proud of the guys. It was a gutsy win. Goffstown played great,” he said. “Our guys stuck with it, stuck with it, stuck with it. It was just a gutsy win, which is kind of what we are as a team.”
The game was scoreless until late in the second period and a one-goal game until late in the third, and with little margin for error, the third-seeded Falcons aced the little challenges. They didn’t turn the puck over, they blocked shots and the defense, led by seniors Nate Corriveau and Tyler Herrick, consistently stifled No. 6 Goffstown’s attack before it could set up, reflected in Bow’s 27-17 advantage in shots.
It was gritty and blue collar, but with Bow now headed to the semifinals to face Dover, it’s the style that Walsh said wins out at that level – and if the Falcons (15-3-1) are fortunate enough, beyond.
“This is the way playoff games are won,” he said. “It’s not pretty, it’s not finesse. Sometimes you’ve got to win ugly, not that we won ugly tonight, but you’ve got to win with not necessarily pretty plays.”
The theme continued on the offensive side, allowing the Falcons to finally break through after both teams had limited the scoring chances through nearly two periods. Chris Fournier pressured Goffstown’s Nevin Houle, who tried to throw the puck down the ice along the boards but instead sent it right to Jake Rand, Bow’s top goal scorer during the season. Rand skated in and put a shot on net that goalie Ben Genest (23 saves) stopped, but Fournier, a co-captain, was in position to knock in the rebound and put Bow up at 12:43 of the second period.
“The goal was a typical Chris Fournier goal,” Walsh said. “He kept plugging away and he finally banged it in, that’s a Chris Fournier goal. … He’s got a knack for being around the net and putting in the loose pucks. You need guys like that.”
“It’s hard, but I’m a bigger kid, so it’s a little bit easier for me to get down there,” Fournier said. “It was just a huge momentum swing for us.”
The Grizzlies (13-6) got more aggressive in the third period, even icing the puck a handful of times as they looked for a quick-strike opportunity to tie the game. The Bow defense held, however, and the Falcons struck to make it 2-0 when freshman Chris Mead skated in and jammed the puck past Genest with 4:04 to play, capping an impressive day for himself and linemates Austin Beaudette and Derek Gallagher.
“I talked to them before the game. … I said ‘You guys would be the difference tonight,’ ” Walsh said. “And they really were. They got more of the scoring chances than anyone else on our team.”
Rand made it 3-0 with 2:17 left when he skated around Goffstown defenders and fired a wrister past Genest, and Beaudette capped the scoring with an empty-netter with 19.6 seconds to go. It was more than enough support for goalie Robbie Margeson, who stopped all 17 shots he faced.
“Robbie played great in net,” Walsh said. “First playoff win for him, and he’s done great. He did really well tonight.”
Goffstown did get several chances – including nearly a minute of a 5-on-3 advantage to start the second – and appeared to tie the game with 1:02 to play in the middle frame, but the official near the net immediately ruled the puck never completely crossed the line. Several Grizzlies were upset leaving the bench soon after, and Fournier saw a change in play later on.
“We knew we had the momentum once they got that goal called off,” he said. “That kind of seemed like it shut them down a little bit.”
Goffstown Coach Paul Roy admitted there was a deflation after the call, but wasn’t ready to use it as an excuse.
“Yeah, that hurt a little bit,” he said. “But good teams persevere through that stuff, and we didn’t get a (chance) after. Credit to them.”
(Drew Bonifant can be reached at 369-3340 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @dbonifant.)