Preview capsules for Saturday’s high school tournament action

Monitor staff
Published: 3/1/2019 6:33:37 PM

The following is preview capsules for Saturday’s high school tournament action featuring schools in the capital area:


Division I quarterfinals

No. 7 Bishop Guertin (11-7) vs. No. 2 Concord (14-3-1) at Everett Arena, 6:45 p.m.

HEAD TO HEAD: Concord swept the season series against Bishop Guertin, defeating the Cardinals, 3-1, on Jan. 16, and winning again, 5-4, on Feb. 16.

PREVIOUS TOURNAMENT GAMES: Bishop Guertin knocked off No. 10 Nashua South-Pelham, 11-2; Concord received a first-round bye.

NOTES: The Tide has skated well entering the tournament in search of its first state title since winning it all in 2010. Concord ended the season with two dominant victories over Manchester Central-West (9-0) and Bow (8-2), and carries some confidence into this matchup after sweeping the Cardinals during the regular season. Concord took early leads in both of those games as Kyle McKinnon was the main culprit, scoring three goals in the series. Concord has relied on its power-play unit all season long to spark the offense, and could make quick work of its opponent if the Cardinals aren’t disciplined, but the Tide’s focus will be on playing strong when it’s 5-on-5. If the defense slips up, Concord has the confidence in goalie Parker Taylor (39 saves in two wins over BG) to keep them in the game.

Division III quarterfinals

No. 8 Kennett (7-11) vs. No. 1 John Stark-Hopkinton (17-1) at New England College, 2 p.m.

HEAD TO HEAD: Stark-Hopkinton took both meetings in the regular season, outscoring Kennett, 9-1, in a pair of victories. The General Hawks beat Kennett, 5-0, on Dec. 22 and won, 4-1, on Jan. 19.

PREVIOUS TOURNAMENT GAMES: First tournament game for both programs.

NOTES: Stark-Hopkinton, the defending Division III champs, has compiled a 33-4-2 record since the start of last season. The General Hawks have been just about unstoppable inside the division with their prolific offense that averages nearly six goals per game and Stark-Hopkinton’s only loss this season came to Division II’s Goffstown, a narrow 3-1 defeat. But the General Hawks had little trouble with anybody else during a season in which the team posted eight shutouts behind goalies Jameson Bourque and Caysen Allard. Kennett’s biggest concern should be trying to contain senior Paul Molnar, a First Team All-State selection last year and an offensive force on Stark-Hopkinon’s top line. But the regular-season results suggest that even if Kennett can do that, the General Hawks are deep enough to overcome an off night from Molnar with the likes of junior forwards Benny Madden, Brett Patnode and an experienced defensive unit.

No. 7 Pembroke-Campbell (7-11) vs. No. 2 Monadnock-Fall Mountain (15-3) at Keene Ice, 1:10 p.m.

HEAD TO HEAD: Monadnock-Fall Mountain handed Pembroke-Campbell a 4-2 loss on Jan. 30 before beating them again, 8-1, in the regular-season finale on Feb. 23.

PREVIOUS TOURNAMENT GAMES: First tournament game for both programs.

NOTES: Pembroke-Campbell’s season featured dramatic ups and downs. The program never won more than three straight games during the year, was unable to collect a win over any of the teams in the tournament and suffered through some tough stretches, including losing seven of eight contests from Dec. 22 to Jan. 30. But that doesn’t make Pembroke-Campbell an easy out. It played Monadnock Fall-Mountain tough in its 4-2 loss and can rely on its experienced upperclassmen of Jayden Lamy, Nate Lamontagne, Tyler Girard, Nathan Carter and Kaleb Pelletier to keep the game close. Depth is an issue, but if Pembroke-Campbell gets overlooked and can make this a grind-it-out, low-scoring affair, an upset could be in the cards.

No. 6 Hollis Brookline-Derryfield (9-9) vs. No. 3 Belmont-Gilford (13-5) at Merrill Fay Arena, 5:15 p.m.

HEAD TO HEAD: The two sides split their regular-season contests. Hollis Brookline-Derryfield beat Belmont-Gilford, 8-2, in the second game of the season on Dec. 15, but the Bulldogs exacted some revenge on Jan. 14 with a 5-4 triumph over Hollis Brookline-Derryfield.

PREVIOUS TOURNAMENT GAMES: First tournament game for both programs.

NOTES: Belmont-Gilford was in the final four last season, returned only two seniors and came back this year with a better record under first-year head coach Jason Parent. The two teams enter the tournament headed in opposite directions, though. The Bulldogs started the season 0-4, including that lopsided loss to Hollis Brookline-Derryfield, but won 13 of its last 14 games to enter the playoffs red-hot. Hollis Brookline-Derryfield dropped a pair of games to fifth-seeded Moultonborough-Inter-Lakes to end the season and lost five of its last seven games coming down the stretch. Belmont-Gilford will have to rely a lot on young skaters in the playoffs for the first time, but the team does have some experience with forward Hayden Parent and senior defenseman Troy Gallagher, a Second Team All-State selection a year ago.

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