High schools: Concord boys’ hockey improves to 10-1 with win over Londonderry

Monitor staff
Sunday, February 04, 2018

Shane Riley didn’t think it was his goal to score.

Since making the transition from defense to forward this season, his junior year, Riley is often found stationing his 6-foot-3 frame in front of the crease cutting off the goaltender’s sight lines.

That’s where he was in the first period on Saturday when the puck arrived on his stick. Without hesitation, Riley flipped a backhand shot toward the net, expecting it to bounce off the netminder where fellow Tide winger Kyle McKinnon was skating in for the rebound.

But no second chances were necessary. 

The puck carved a short arc over Londonderry goaltender Cameron Donovan’s shoulder and landed in the cage, giving Concord a 1-0 lead that it rode to the end against Londonderry at Everett Arena.

“I just tried to get it off as quick as I could,” Riley said. “I saw my winger Kyle busting to the net, so I just wanted to get it off as quick as I could and generate a rebound.”

Freshman defenseman Alex Forward made a strong play leading to the goal that earned him an assist. As the Lancers (5-6-1) tried to send the puck out of their end along the boards, Forward pinched down and sealed the wall, keeping it inside the blue line while freeing the puck away from a Londonderry skater.

Mike Stoddard also assisted on the play in getting the puck down toward Riley.

Riley is seeing the ice more often this season for the Tide (10-1) than he has in his first two. Coach Dunc Walsh was happy to see the junior score what ended up being the game winner.

“He works hard and is just a really good kid, so I’m happy for him,” Walsh said. “The kids really like him. He’s a good teammate, so the kids root for him hard.”

The goal served as a high point in the first period as the Tide outshot the Lancers, 9-3, in the frame. Londonderry didn’t test Tide netminder Spencer Burgess (13 saves) until almost 13 minutes had passed.

Londonderry increased its scoring chances in the second and third with five shots in each but couldn’t push one by.

While Concord seemed to have all the momentum, the Tide still had just one goal on the board and couldn’t afford to relax their game.

The Lancers took their best chance to even the score when they went on their first power play with 2:56 left in the game. They put three shots on goal and had two close looks with one shot ringing off the post. The other trickled through Burgess’ pads and sat inches away from the goal line, but Tide junior Andrew Paquette quickly swatted it away. 

Concord had its own power play chance earlier in the period but couldn’t score the insurance goal.

“It would have been nice to score a power-play goal with five minutes left to seal it, but that’s what we’re working on,” Walsh said.

Coming off six straight wins against the bottom six teams in Division I, Concord was looking for a test as the season narrows down toward playoffs.

Londonderry came in with a .500 record but the Lancers have consistently challenged the divisions’ top teams this season. They took third-place Pinkerton to overtime in January and haven’t allowed any team to score more than four goals.

“We knew we had to play well today,” Walsh said. “They were a hard team and they made us work and that’s what we want. We want good, competitive games.”

Concord hits the road Wednesday to face the Division I leader in Hanover, the first of two times they’ll meet in the regular season. Concord also has its second game with Pinkerton on the horizon Feb. 14. The Tide lost at home to Pinkerton, 3-2, in January.

The stretch will serve as a good test for Concord heading into the tournament. 

“We’ve just got to do our jobs and see how we stack up,” Riley said. “I think we’re a really good team. When we’re all on our game and we’re working hard, we can be successful.”

(Nick Stoico can be reached at nstoico@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @NickStoico.)


Salem 59, Concord 56, OT

Key players: Concord – Scott Lampron (18 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists), Tyler Bruns (15 points, 7 rebounds), John Kalisz (5 points, 9 rebounds)

Highlights/key moments: The Tide turned a seven-point deficit into a five-point lead with three minutes to go but had some turnovers allowing the Blue Devils to force overtime with the score tied, 50-50. Salem hit a key 3 in overtime which made the difference.

Coach’s quote: “It’s heartbreaking. It’s our third overtime loss of the season. Four of our losses have been by four points or less. The kids play hard. We’re waiting for that one night when the shots go. I was pleased with our effort. One of these days it’ll break through and we’ll get a couple wins in a row.” – Concord’s Dave Chase

Records: Salem 7-4; Concord 4-7

Belmont 61, Mascoma 36

Key players: Belmont – Aidan Rupp (17 points, 14 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 blocks), Matt Pluskis (14 points, 4 assists), Nate Sottak (7 points, 4 steals, 4 assists), Austin Garrett (5 rebounds)

Highlights/key moments: The Raiders jumped out to a 20-7 lead in the first quarter of Friday night’s game and turned up the defensive pressure in the third, holding the Royals to five points in the quarter to open up a comfortable lead.

Coach’s quote: “It was good to put a complete 32 minute effort together on the defensive end. I was proud of how the guys competed for multiple efforts every possession. Aidan Rupp continues to be a spark for us and is playing at an All-State level.” – Belmont’s Jim Cilley

Records: Belmont 7-4; Mascoma 4-9


Concord second
at NH Coaches Series Race No. 1

Key players: Concord – Nate Nichols (1st), Cam Brochu (10th), Ollie Spencer (14th), Gavin Graham (22nd), Eben Bragg (28th), Antonino Tomas (29th); Belmont – Zach Ennis (3rd); Inter-Lakes – Ian Daly (5th), Parker Caswell (31st); Kearsarge – Trevor Pauling (20th), Hunter Burns (26th), Ben Boulton (34th); Bow – London Warburton (24th)

Highlights/key moments: In a classic race between Nordic teams from all four NHIAA divisions and private schools, Concord’s Nichols proved definitively he is the fastest classic skier in the state, clocking a 5K time of 14:38 at Whittaker Woods in North Conway. Nichols’ victory was good enough to put Concord in second place (363), just 10 points behind first-place Kennett and sets the Tide up well for the skate race in two weeks at White Mountains. Team places are based on the combined scores of both races. Kearsarge (294) currently sits in sixth and Inter-Lakes (287) is eighth. Bow (271) and Hopkinton (222) are in 10th and 11th, respectively.

Coach’s quote: “(Nate) has been coming on strong all year. We knew he would be fast, but I don’t think anybody else knew how fast he was. We don’t often have all this competition in one place, but he was angling for first in the race. He started in the first wave (of skiers) with everybody he needed to beat. When you put in head-to-head with the other skiers he needs to beat, he’s going to do it.” – Concord’s Sam Evans-Brown


Kearsarge second, Concord third
at NH Coaches Series Race No. 1

Key players:Concord – Heather Deacon (4th), Katie Watt (21st), Brenna McNamara (22nd), Johanne Nichols (34th); Kearsarge – Lili Baer (6th), Marliese Baer (9th), Jenna Bears (17th), Marlia Richer (23rd), Jenna Cook (29th); Hopkinton – Emma Rothe (14th), Lilly Sabol (15th), Lillian Eckberg (35th); Inter-Lakes – Maya Weil-Cooley (18th), Alison Haight (37th); Bow – Brianna Boone (57th)

Highlights/key moments: Deacon was the top area skier, finishing fourth in a field of well over 100 skiers in Saturday’s classic race at Whittaker Woods in North Conway. Deacon clocked a 5K time of 18:47. ConVal’s Schuyler Michalak won in 17:56. The race was the first of two NH Coaches Series races, determining the best team across all NHIAA divisions and private schools. The skate race will be in two weeks at White Mountains. Team places are based on the combined scores of both races. Kearsarge placed five skiers in the top 30 and currently sits in second place with 351 points. Kennett leads with 375 points. Concord (331) is in third, Hopkinton (306) is in fifth and Inter-Lakes (282) is in seventh. Bow (204) is in 13th.

Coach’s quote: “As the team we’re probably a stronger skating team. We’re pretty happy about where we are. I’m excited for the next race in two weeks.” – Concord’s Sam Evans-Brown


Concord 59, Campbell 3
Concord 73, Goffstown 5
Concord 60, Pelham 6

Key players: Concord – Jack Sargent (3 wins at 120-pound matches), Ben Widmann (3 wins at 145), Isaac Habimana (3 wins at 152), Anthony Rosales (3 wins at 170), Hugh Gunnison (3 wins at 182), Noah Giffard (3 wins at 195)

Highlights/key moments: Six Tide wrestlers won three bouts and the Tide dominated all three matches to remain undefeated in dual meets heading into Wednesday’s matchup with defending champions Timberlane.

Records: Concord 17-0

Concord third, Winnisquam fourth,
Kearsarge seventh, John Stark ninth

Key players:Concord – Tristan Sharich (2nd in 195), Sagar Damai (3rd in 113), Daniel Rosales (3rd in 145); Winnisquam – Kobe Briand (2nd in 152), Michael Mitchell (3rd in 106), Damian Donahue (3rd in 170), TJ Robinson (3rd in 285); Kearsarge – Mason Benedict (2nd in 132), Reilly Moskalenko (2nd in 220); John Stark – Jeffrey Johnston (3rd in 220)

Highlights/key moments: Concord’s JV wrestlers competed in the inaugural Plymouth Tournament against other varsity teams. Natick, Mass. won 16-team tournament with 231 points. Host Plymouth (212), Concord (95), Winnisquam (89) and Newport (83.5) rounded out the top five. Kearsarge (63.5) finished seventh and John Stark (50) finished ninth.

Coach’s quote: “Concord wrestled tough and all wrestlers are excited for the Timberlane dual on Wednesday and JV states next Saturday.” – Concord assistant Nick Zeras