Girls’ hockey: Concord back on track, beating Manchester to snap five-game losing streak

Concord celebrates a goal from Evianna Raimo (second from right) that put the Tide ahead 1-0 against Manchester Central-Memorial-West on Wednesday.

Concord celebrates a goal from Evianna Raimo (second from right) that put the Tide ahead 1-0 against Manchester Central-Memorial-West on Wednesday. CHIP GRIFFIN / Photos By Chip

Hailey Pinette (15) tries to control a rolling puck for the Tide as Manchester goalie Chloe Gilroy prepares to make a save during Concord’s 5-1 win on Wednesday.

Hailey Pinette (15) tries to control a rolling puck for the Tide as Manchester goalie Chloe Gilroy prepares to make a save during Concord’s 5-1 win on Wednesday. CHIP GRIFFIN / Photos By Chip

Concord freshman Gracen Arndt (18) fires a shot on goal during Wednesday’s 5-1 win for the Tide over Manchester Central-Memorial-West.

Concord freshman Gracen Arndt (18) fires a shot on goal during Wednesday’s 5-1 win for the Tide over Manchester Central-Memorial-West. CHIP GRIFFIN / Photos By Chip

By ERIC RYNSTON-LOBEL

Monitor staff

Published: 02-14-2024 9:55 PM

CONCORD – It’s often the most elusive goal for any coach: consistency. There’s no easy tweak or schematic change that can turn things around. It takes time.

With now three games remaining in the regular season, Concord girls’ hockey continues to search for more consistent play, and perhaps Wednesday afternoon was the start of a turnaround after a 5-1 win over Manchester Central-Memorial-West to snap the Tide’s five-game losing streak.

The skid came following a stretch where Concord won five of seven games after an 0-2 start to the season.

“We’ve been in a drought, so we definitely needed it,” head coach Kate Billings said. “It’s good to get a win, and we were able to play our full bench today, so that’s also a positive.”

The Tide jumped out to a 2-0 lead roughly midway through the first courtesy of goals from junior Evianna Raimo (Abby Colby assist) and freshman Caroline Fortin (unassisted). Less than two minutes later, sophomore Hailey Pinette scored (Andie Moreira assist) to make it 3-0, and at the 10:05 mark, freshman Gracen Arndt expanded the lead to 4-0.

Arndt scored once more in the second period to make it 5-0 at the 1:20 mark. Manchester’s Ryleigh McNelly scored the lone goal for the visitors.

But while the win was reason to celebrate in the locker room, Billings noted that there’s still far more work to do, as Concord aims to qualify for the playoffs. The top 11 out of 17 teams in Division I make the tournament; the win moves the Tide into a tie for ninth.

“For our team, it’s a mental game and just trying to find what gets them going for each game,” Billings said. “You never know what they’re going to show up with to be honest with you, so it’s just trying to get them hyped for games and hopefully the consistency follows with us for the next few games.”

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Missing Dartmouth student’s body found in Connecticut River
Monitor bids farewell to Ray Duckler
Lawyers and lawmakers assert the Department of Education is on the verge of violating the law
“We are in a crisis” – Child care costs hit $32k on average
In the face of tragedy, Franklin softball seeks togetherness
Middle schooler charged with assault after school bus skirmish

She highlighted one word she’s harped to her team over and over: grit.

“The biggest term that we’ve been preaching is grit and just finding the players that are going to dig down deep for us,” Billings said. “Those are the players that are going to play more and get more ice time and hopefully win some games for us going forward.”