Holiday hockey tournaments: Concord finishes 4th at Stone Memorial, Pembroke-Campbell wins Brady Sullivan

Belmont-Gilford’s Brayden Mercier (left) and Pembroke-Campbell’s Gavin Retkevicz (right) battle for the puck during the Brady Sullivan Christmas Tournament championship game at Merrill Fay Arena in Laconia on Thursday. Pembroke-Campbell won, 2-0.

Belmont-Gilford’s Brayden Mercier (left) and Pembroke-Campbell’s Gavin Retkevicz (right) battle for the puck during the Brady Sullivan Christmas Tournament championship game at Merrill Fay Arena in Laconia on Thursday. Pembroke-Campbell won, 2-0. JOSHUA SPAULDING / Salmon Press photographs

Pembroke-Campbell’s Cam Plumb carries the puck during the Brady Sullivan Christmas Tournament championship at Merrill Fay Arena in Laconia on Thursday. Plumb scored and Pembroke-Campbell won, 2-0. 

Pembroke-Campbell’s Cam Plumb carries the puck during the Brady Sullivan Christmas Tournament championship at Merrill Fay Arena in Laconia on Thursday. Plumb scored and Pembroke-Campbell won, 2-0.  JOSHUA SPAULDING / Salmon Press

John Stark-Hopkinton/Hillsboro-Deering’s Kip Hedquist (8) goes after the puck during the Brady Sullivan Christmas Tournament third-place game at Merrill Fay Arena in Laconia on Thursday. John Stark-Hopkinton/H-D fell to Kearsarge-Plymouth, 4-1.

John Stark-Hopkinton/Hillsboro-Deering’s Kip Hedquist (8) goes after the puck during the Brady Sullivan Christmas Tournament third-place game at Merrill Fay Arena in Laconia on Thursday. John Stark-Hopkinton/H-D fell to Kearsarge-Plymouth, 4-1. JOSHUA SPAULDING / Salmon Press

Kearsarge-Plymouth goaltender Owen Garzia makes a save during the Brady Sullivan Christmas Tournament third-place game at Merrill Fay Arena in Laconia on Thursday.

Kearsarge-Plymouth goaltender Owen Garzia makes a save during the Brady Sullivan Christmas Tournament third-place game at Merrill Fay Arena in Laconia on Thursday. JOSHUA SPAULDING / Salmon Press

Bishop Brady-Merrimack Valley-Concord Christian’s Roman Shtepa (24) handles the puck during the Brady Sullivan Christmas Tournament fifth-place game at Merrill Fay Arena in Laconia on Thursday. Shtepa scored in regulation and also netted the only goal of the shootout as the Brady Valley Kingsmen defeated Laconia-Winnisquam/Inter-Lakes, 4-3.

Bishop Brady-Merrimack Valley-Concord Christian’s Roman Shtepa (24) handles the puck during the Brady Sullivan Christmas Tournament fifth-place game at Merrill Fay Arena in Laconia on Thursday. Shtepa scored in regulation and also netted the only goal of the shootout as the Brady Valley Kingsmen defeated Laconia-Winnisquam/Inter-Lakes, 4-3. JOSHUA SPAULDING / Salmon Press

Concord’s Carter Doherty celebrates his goal during the second period of the third-place game of the Brian C. Stone Memorial Christmas Tournament at JFK Coliseum in Manchester on Thursday. Exeter scored twice in the third period to beat the Crimson Tide, 4-3.

Concord’s Carter Doherty celebrates his goal during the second period of the third-place game of the Brian C. Stone Memorial Christmas Tournament at JFK Coliseum in Manchester on Thursday. Exeter scored twice in the third period to beat the Crimson Tide, 4-3. RICH MIYARA / NH Sports Photography

Concord’s Jaden Haas (5) carries the puck up the ice during the third-place game at the Brian C. Stone Memorial Christmas Tournament at JFK Coliseum in Manchester on Thursday. Exeter defeated Concord, 4-3, to win the bronze.

Concord’s Jaden Haas (5) carries the puck up the ice during the third-place game at the Brian C. Stone Memorial Christmas Tournament at JFK Coliseum in Manchester on Thursday. Exeter defeated Concord, 4-3, to win the bronze. RICH MIYARA / NH Sports Photography

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 12-29-2023 12:08 AM

Modified: 12-29-2023 2:28 PM


MANCHESTER – The games don’t count in the standings, but there’s something to be gained from holiday tournaments. For the Concord boys’ hockey team, that knowledge came from a loss. For the Pembroke-Campbell hockey team, it came from a win.

The Crimson Tide dropped a narrow 4-3 decision to Exeter in the third-place game of the Brian C. Stone Memorial Christmas Tournament at JFK Coliseum in Manchester, while Pembroke Academy-Campbell claimed the Brady Sullivan Christmas Tournament title with a 2-0 win over defending Division III champions Belmont-Gilford.

Regardless of the outcome, both teams came away from Thursday night with awareness of what it will take to be successful moving forward.

“We’re always trying to win,” Concord head coach Dunc Walsh said. “It’s disappointing we weren’t able to win, but our effort was better … we played harder (than the previous game).”

After a commanding 9-0 victory over Goffstown in the opening round of the tournament, the Tide were forced to play for third place following a 3-1 loss to Hanover on Wednesday.

AJ Dow gave Concord an early 1-0 lead just 2:50 into the game, slapping a loose puck into the net after the initial shot from Dawson Fancher (named to All-Tournament Team) was gloved down by Exeter goalie Trent Fujitani (25 saves).

Less than three minutes later, Cam Keaveney poked a tying goal over the line through traffic and put Exeter up 2-1 with 53 seconds left in the first period when some miscommunication on a Concord line change gave him an open path to the goal.

Carter Doherty made it 2-2 with two minutes left in the second period when a long puck deep into Exeter territory took a favorable bounce off the boards and Doherty backhanded it inside the near post with Fujitani out of position.

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Joe Crowe scored twice for Exeter in the first 2:06 of the third period, on a goal nearly identical to Doherty’s score and a redirected loose puck into the net to make it 4-2.

Chad Lariviere polished off a three-on-one rush with an assist from Rowan Arndt to cut the Tide’s deficit to 4-3 with 10:33 remaining, but it wasn’t enough time to find an equalizer.

While goaltender Luukas Mayer turned aside 23 shots, Concord’s defense didn’t help him out much, leaving Blue Hawk skaters unmarked near the goal and failing to clear the puck from the zone.

“We gave up two soft goals to open the third; we’ve got to be better in our end,” Walsh said.

The other lesson from the tournament is a simpler one. To be successful in Division I this year, you have to play hard every night.

Concord had just defeated Exeter, 2-1, on Dec. 20 to improve to 3-0 in D-I regular season play but fell short in the rematch. On the other hand, 0-3 Hanover — which sent Concord to the consolation bracket — advanced to the tournament final before falling to Bedford, 4-2.

“It’s wide open this year. There’s eight or nine (contenders),” according to Walsh. “We’ve got a lot to work on to keep getting better.”

Concord returns to regular D-I play on Jan. 6 on the road against Pinkerton.

Bow finished in seventh place at the Stone Memorial thanks to a 7-4 victory over Goffstown. Billy Smethurst, Owen Webber and Luke Hartshorn all scored a pair of goals and Landon Wescott scored one to lead the Falcons.

Brady Sullivan Tourney

PAC secured its tournament title thanks to a pair of third-period goals in a 2-0 victory over the defending Brady Sullivan and D-III champion Bulldogs on their home ice at Merrill Fay Arena in Laconia.

Caden Mix scored with 8:50 left in the game off assists from Kaleb Couture and Casey Fuller, and Cam Plumb scored an unassisted tally 1:12 later to wrap up the scoring.

Garrett Bishop made 14 saves to secure his second shutout of the tournament. He also played in goal in PAC’s tournament-opening 9-0 victory over Laconia-Winnisquam/Inter-Lakes on Tuesday.

“Early on, we had some scares when B-G could have put a goal in, but Garrett turned them away,” PAC head coach Marc Noel said. “That would’ve changed the makeup of the whole game. He was stellar back there.”

Defense in general is a strong suit of PAC, which outscored its opposition 17-3 over the three-day tourney and has allowed just one goal a game in a 3-0 start in D-III play.

Noel credited seniors Patrick Chamberlain and Couture with leading that defensive effort, along with senior goalie Liam Cripps (First Team All-State goalie last year and played in a 6-3 win over Kearsarge-Plymouth in this tournament) and junior Bishop.

Noel also highlighted freshman defender Ivan Schaefer, who played “exceptionally well” in the final and provided depth along PAC’s blue line.

Noel knows he has a stellar defense, but for a program that is looking to turn a corner and go from good to great after last year’s program-high 15 wins and a trip to the D-III semifinals, PAC’s performance in this tournament could be the sign his players need.

“It’s a good confidence-builder for these guys,” Noel said. “That confidence is a big deal in order for them (going into the rest of the season).”

Elsewhere at the Brady Sullivan, Kearsarge-Plymouth claimed third place behind goals from Chris Rubbe, Magnus Nordhausen, Lincoln Manson and Nolan Fullerton in a 4-1 win over John Stark-Hopkinton/Hillsboro-Deering.

Hunter Eckner-Naylor scored for JSHHD.

Bishop Brady-Merrimack Valley-Concord Christian came back from a 3-1 deficit to force overtime, and Roman Shtepa scored the only goal of the shootout as the Brady Valley Kingsmen defeated Laconia-Winnisquam/Inter-Lakes, 4-3, in the fifth-place game.

John Shea, JP Harriman and Lukas Mondor scored for the Lakers, while Shtepa scored in the first period, and Brayden Hussey and Luke Bedard scored in the third to force OT.