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Hockey boys finish regular season with tie and loss



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Seniors (l to r), Craig Dias, manager Adam Hodgson, Austin Cornish, Dom Paradise, Tyler Rousseau were honored before Saturday's final home game of the regular season. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
March 03, 2021
BERLIN — The Berlin-Gorham boys' varsity hockey team finished the final two games of its regular season last week, with an away and home series against the Lebanon-Stevens-Mount Royal Red Raiders on Wednesday and Saturday. The two teams would skate to a 2-2 tie at Campion Arena on Wednesday, while the Mountaineers would drop the season finale by a score to 4-2 on Senior Night at the Notre Dame Arena.

On Wednesday, in the stalemate, the Red Raiders would get off to an early start, scoring just three minutes into the contest when a Hunter Christian goal would continue the trend of early offense for the Red Raiders against the Mountaineers this season. Mike Cote would tie the game at the eight-minute mark of the first period as he would crash the net with his stick on the ice positioned perfectly to tap home a rebound produced by the hard low shot of Griffin Melanson. Toby Cromwell would make the initial save but had little chance to stop the Cote goal. Brody Duquette was also credited with an assist on the goal.

The game would be played through the second intermission with the score still tied at one before the Red Raiders' Aiden Yates would give them the lead with just over four minutes left to play in the game. Carter Poulin, however, would send the game into overtime as he beat Cromwell to the short side on a goal assisted by Brayden Riendeau. Neither team would score in overtime, as Kolin Melanson would finish the evening with 25 saves, while his counterpart, Cromwell registered 33 saves in the tie.

On Saturday, the Mountaineers celebrated seniors Tyler Rousseau, Dom Paradise, Austin Cornish, Craig Dias, and manager Adam Hodgdon. Unfortunately, for these seniors, the pregame recognition would be the only fun the Red Raiders would allow them to have as they would outwork the Mountaineers on their way to a 4-2 victory. The Red Raiders would again score in the game's opening minutes thanks to Andrew Duany. Rousseau would tie things up just three minutes later on an unassisted goal on his senior night. However, before the first period was over, a pair of Red Raider goals, one of the shorthanded variety, by Yates and Griffin Auch would give the visitors a 3-1 lead at the end of one period. The Mountaineers made mistake after mistake during the opening period's final five minutes. The end result was a two-goal deficit and change in goal after the first period, as Kolin Melanson would come in to relieve Anthony Pizzuto after a less than perfect start to the game.

Following a scoreless second period, the Mountaineers would close the Red Raider lead to just one goal as Rousseau again would find the back of the net on a rebound goal assisted by Brayden Riendeau and Jonah Berthiume. The second Rousseau goal came with five minutes left to play in regulation and the Mountaineers looked poised to stage an epic comeback before the Red Raiders blocked a shot from the point and took the puck the length of the ice uninhibited. Paddy Mooney would beat Melanson with a forehand backhand breakaway move putting the Mountaineers on ice by a score of 4-2.

The Mountaineers enter the post-season with an impressive record of 11-2-1. However, coach Mike Poulin knows that the road to another state championship goes through the team they have struggled the most with this season, The Red Raiders, whom the Mountaineers played to a 1-2-1 record over the course of four regular season games. "We will definitely have to clean things up over the next week of practice before our first playoff game. But we have faced adversities throughout the season and I am confident in our veteran players' ability to lead us through the next few weeks of playoff hockey."

The Mountaineers got a first round bye in the NHIAA Division III boys' hockey playoffs before hosting Kearsarge-Plymouth this Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Notre Dame Arena for a game that can be viewed at nsnsports.net.

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