Boys’ hockey: Dominant third period propels Concord over Bow

  • Bow’s Dominik Jurcins (21) and Concord’s Brooks Craigue (3) position themselves in front of the net. Rich Miyara photos / NH Sports Photography

  • Bow goalie Mason Marquis makes a save on a shot by Concord’s Jordan Dustin (16).

  • Concord’s Alex Pelletier (4) checks Bow’s Dominik Jurcins (21) along the boards as the puck flutters by. Rich Miyara—NH Sports Photography

  • Bow’s Owen Webber (11) is chased up the ice by Concord’s Trevor Craigue (20) during Wednesday’s game at Everett Arena in Concord. The Tide won 5-1 behind a late flurry of goals. Rich MiyaraNH Sports Photography

Monitor staff
Published: 1/12/2023 9:22:49 AM

CONCORD – The Concord High boys’ hockey team played with fire at Everett Arena on Wednesday and narrowly avoided getting burned.

After treading water through the first two periods in a 1-1 tie with Bow, the Tide erupted in the third with four unanswered goals to come away with the 5-1 victory.

There was never a point in the game when it felt like Concord (7-0-0) was in severe danger of losing – the Tide outshot the Falcons (1-6-0), 39-15 – but it took a while to find their groove.

Brooks Craigue kicked off the scoring in the second with a power-play goal at 5:22 on the left side of the net, where he slipped the puck through Bow goalie Mason Marquis’ legs, but the Falcons’ Dominik Jurcins evened the score just under eight minutes later.

Whatever message was conveyed in the Tide locker room during the second intermission seemed to resonate. Dawson Fancher gave Concord a 2-1 lead 3:30 into the third, and then Carter Doherty, Trevor Craigue and Rowan Arndt each scored over the next 8:41 to put the game away.

The Tide will surely take the win, but there were still lessons to be learned.

“Give Bow credit: They played hard, they were scrappy and their goalie played good, but that can’t happen,” Concord head coach Dunc Walsh said. “You gotta come out every game and play from the start. In a game like that, the longer it goes 1-1, you tighten up, all the pressure’s on us. Third period, we played really well and dominated. We played when we had to, but that’s not a good way to play.”

It can understandably become easy to sleepwalk through games when you’ve won seven straight to start the season and have outscored your opponents 22-2 over the last four games. But for a Tide team that has championship aspirations, those lapses in focus could come back to bite them in the future.

On Wednesday, Concord escaped thanks to its third-period barrage.

“I think they felt a little desperate and said, ‘We gotta come out and do this,’ ” Walsh said of his team’s mindset entering the final period. “Got a couple quick ones, and they loosened up. Then they get a little confidence, and they play a little more loose.”

On the other side, the first two periods were a point of optimism for a Bow team that’s generally struggled all season, now in the midst of a four-game losing streak.

While Concord controlled most of the offensive zone time, the Falcons did an effective job getting in passing lanes and blocking shots, really forcing the Tide to earn chances.

“Overall, our guys came prepared and focused tonight to play,” Falcons head coach Tim Walsh said. “That’s the frustrating part. This is the best team in the league with the best player in the state. For just over two periods, it was a tie game. They need to see and understand that they can be a good team if they come ready to play and they do the little things: getting the puck out of our zone, getting it in their zone, not turning it over in the neutral zone, covering guys in front.”

But at some point, there was only so much Bow could do. Once Concord found its groove, their momentum was too swift to slow down.

“They made some great plays,” Bow’s Walsh said of the opposing Tide. “They made us pay for our mistakes. We didn’t make them pay for their mistakes.

“That’s kinda been the theme all year long. We haven’t made teams pay for their mistakes, but teams have been making us pay. That’s the difference in the game right there.”

Now both teams look ahead with different goals at hand: Bow hopes to use the early success in the game to find that belief and confidence that it can compete with anyone in Division I. Concord needs to learn that if you play with fire too much, eventually you’re going to get burned.


ERIC RYNSTON-LOBEL is a sports reporter for the Monitor. He graduated from Northwestern University in June 2022 with a degree in journalism and spent his last two years as sports director for the campus radio station, WNUR, leading coverage for nine different sports. A New York native, he's a diehard Yankees and Giants fan much to the displeasure of most of the newsroom.

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