Tide hockey overcomes rare two-goal deficit to defend Brian C. Stone Memorial Christmas Tournament title

View Photo Gallery
  • Concord forward Brooks Craigue battles against the Bedford defense in front of the Bulldogs’ goal during the third period on Wednesday night at JFK Coliseum in Manchester. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff photographs

  • Concord forward Dawson Fancher (10) takes hit from Bedford defenseman Maddox Muir, who drew a charging penalty on the play. The Tide’s Tyler Coskren scored on the ensuing man advantage. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Concord fans celebrate after the Tide’s second goal against Bedford, tying the game at 2-2. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Concord forward Colin Nelson (right) battles Bedford defenseman Maddox Muir in front of the Bedford goal during the third period on Wednesday night. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • The Concord High School hockey team celebrates near its student section at JFK Memorial Coliseum in Manchester after the Tide defeated Bedford on Wednesday night, 4-2, to win the Brian C. Stone Memorial Christmas Tournament title. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 12/30/2021 2:36:41 PM

Get more players involved? Check. Overcome adversity? Check. Play better? That’s a hard question for the Concord High boys’ hockey team to fully satisfy.

But the Tide certainly accomplished those other two feats, with freshman Trevor Craigue scoring his first career varsity goal in the third period – which proved to be the game-winner – to lift Concord to a 4-2 victory over Bedford in the Brian C. Stone Memorial Christmas Tournament championship game on Wednesday night at JFK Memorial Coliseum in Manchester. The Tide overcame a 2-0 deficit for the win.

Concord (2-0 in Division I) successfully defended its Stone Memorial title (the Tide also beat Bedford in the 2019 final, 3-2 in double overtime), winning four games without a loss and outscoring its opponents, 16-6, over the four-day tournament. But Concord also found itself at an unfamiliar place early on – behind.

The Tide has only trailed once this season – a brief 1-0 deficit to Hanover early in a game Concord eventually won, 6-3 – but head coach Dunc Walsh can’t remember the last time his squad has been behind by two goals.

After a scoreless first period, Bedford (2-0 in D-I) took a quick 1-0 lead when Brendan Thornton stole the puck on the Concord blue line and scored 23 seconds into the middle stanza. Matt Lapinsky scored a backhanded power-play goal (set up by Jack Dermody) at 3:17 after the Tide were penalized for too many men on the ice.

“(Bedford) was hungrier early on,” Walsh said. “They were winning the battles and outmuscling us. It looked like they wanted it a little more. Playing the same team two nights in a row is weird, but it was a completely different game.”

The Tide defeated Bedford, 2-0, in the final game of McDonough Division group play on Tuesday night, and Concord returned to that form later on Wednesday, with senior Tyler Coskren scoring a power-play goal off a cross-ice pass from junior Brooks Craigue (senior AJ Fennelly was also credited with an assist) with 5:16 left in the second.

Senior Cam McGonigle tied the game 1:29 into the third period, and Trevor Craigue knocked in a rebound off a long shot by senior Donovan Hayes 19 seconds later for a 3-2 lead.

“We told (Hayes) that (Bedford goalie Matt Desmond, 35 saves) was giving up some rebounds,” Walsh said. “Donovan is a reliable third-line center and has mostly been playing between two freshmen. He’s really stepped up.”

The game was chippy from then on, with the Bulldogs committing six of their eight penalties in the final 15 minutes, but Concord stayed disciplined (only three penalties all game). Defenseman Jack Shoemaker capped the scoring with another power-play goal on a nice wrist shot from the left circle with 6:58 remaining.

McGonigle and Coskren had the assists.

“Shoemaker has done a good job running the power play,” Walsh said. “He’s a good player, but he’s a sophomore; he wasn’t running the power play last year. We knew we had to come out in the third period and play hard, and we did. Our guys stepped up when we needed them, too.”

McGonigle had four goals and four assists throughout the tournament and was named to the All-Tournament Team, along with Tide goaltender Will Pegnam (19 saves against Bedford) and Shoemaker.

Trevor Craigue was named the Tournament MVP for his game-winning goal and played on the third line with Hayes and freshman Rowan Arndt, who scored two goals in the tournament, including his first varsity tally in Concord’s 4-1 win over Trinity.

Sophomores Dow and Dawson Fancher, who play on the wings with McGonigle at center, also played well throughout the tournament on the second line, demonstrating the Tide have three reliable scoring trios that can all play from behind.

“It was good to go down there and play good teams, and that’s what you want to do,” Walsh said. “They’re all competitive games. We’re looking forward to resting up for a couple of days. Four games in four days is a lot.”

Concord plays its home-opener at Everett Arena on Monday when the Tide takes on Trinity. The Pioneers went 1-2 in the tournament and haven’t played any regular NHIAA games.

Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301


© 2021 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy