Previews of Local Schools’ NHIAA Playoff Matchups
High school tournaments today
Division III final
At Bill Ball Stadium, Exeter
No. 3 Bow (17-2-0) vs. No. 1 Belmont (19-0-0), 2:15 p.m.
HEAD TO HEAD: The teams did not meet during the regular season.
PREVIOUS TOURNAMENT GAMES: Bow beat No. 14 Hillsboro-Deering, 6-0, No. 6 Gilford, 5-0, and No. 2 Hopkinton, 2-1 in OT. Belmont stopped No. 17 White Mountains, 3-1, No. 8 Prospect Mountain, 1-0, and No. 4 Fall Mountain, 4-0.
NOTES: As if the prospect of dealing with a team that’s run roughshod through Division III wasn’t daunting enough, Bow has to deal with an angry Belmont squad, as the Falcons were the ones who cut the Red Raiders’ season short in the semifinals last year. This year, the Red Raiders are the ones chasing perfection, and they’ve done it with a stifling defense that has produced 12 shutouts behind goalie Kaleb Brace. Of course, teams don’t win 19 straight games on defense alone, and players like Pedro Perez, Jeremy D’Amour, Ashton Singh, Tom Kuntz, Austin Wilder and Joe Boles have led a potent Belmont offense that hit its stride in the semifinal victory. The Falcons, however, have the edge in experience, as they’ll be making their third straight appearance in the final and will be looking for their second straight championship. With 13 goals in three tournament games, Bow depends on getting its offense rolling, and getting players like Dan Crisman, Connor Rossignol, Corey Plumb, Ian Avery and Chris Ketchum going early. Crisman has been the offensive ace for the Falcons in the tournament so far, totaling seven goals, including both scores in the semifinal victory. He and his teammates will face a challenge against Belmont’s backfield, and the Division III title will likely go to the team that wins that battle.