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Bulldogs handle MAIL in penalty-filled affair, 5-1

by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

Belmont-Gilford forward Hunter Dupuis (8) holds possession of the puck away from a Moultonborough/Inter-Lakes defender in the Bulldogs' 5-1 victory in an NHIAA Division III contest on Feb. 8 at Merrill Fay Arena in Laconia. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
February 12, 2017
LACONIA Tempers flared late, but by then the final result had long been decided.

Thanks to a dominating 50-8 edge in shots on goal, Belmont-Gilford continued to roll on Feb. 8. The Bulldogs completed a season sweep of rinkmate Moultonborough/Inter-Lakes on the strength of a 5-1 victory in an NHIAA Division III contest at Merrill Fay Arena.

"Getting wins is always a good thing but I thought we left a lot (of goals) out there," said B-G head coach Dave Saball. "We missed the net, hit the goalie, had a lot of opportunities that if this was a closer game, we wouldn't have been able to get away with that."

The final few minutes of the third period was marred with penalties and questionable hits, leaving the referees scrambling to maintain order.

But the Bulldogs (11-1-1) were the winners on the ice, as they stormed out to a 3-0 lead after one period against the Renegades (5-8 with the loss). Ethan Becker notched a pair of first period goals for B-G, while freshman Nate Shirley made it 3-0 with a goal just 41 seconds before the intermission. Harrison Parent posted a pair of first period assists, while Hunter Dupuis, Alex Muthersbaugh and Miles DeFosses also added helpers.

Needing something to break their way for momentum purposes, MAIL got on the board just 1:10 into the second period on what would be their only shot of the frame. On the power play, senior sniper Mike Dalzell took a feed from classmate Collin Sheehan and buried a shot from distance that ricocheted off the post and past B-G keeper Bailey Defosie to cut the deficit to 3-1.

But B-G would respond with 9:24 remaining. This time it was senior defenseman James Buckley who got the goal, as the Bulldogs took advantage of a power play. Buckley's tally, with assists from Muthersbaugh and Parent, reestablished the three-goal cushion up 4-1.

It would stay that way into the third, when Buckley notched his second of the night and the clincher with 8:29 remaining. His power play goal, the team's third of the night, came with assists from Parent and Becker off a face off win, extending the B-G lead to 5-1. It was Parent's fourth assist of the night.

The victory was the second of the year for the Bulldogs against MAIL, as they also won a 7-2 decision back on Dec. 21. It was the Renegades fifth straight loss after a 5-3 start to the season, as they've played four of the division's top five teams during that five-game skid.

MAIL goalkeeper Hunter Sanders played well in the loss, recording a whopping 45 saves while Defosier made seven stops in the B-G net.

The Bulldogs have games on the schedule this week against Goffstown and Kearsarge-Plymouth, both on the road, while the Renegades play a pair inside Fay Arena against Somersworth/Coe-Brown and Laconia/Winnisquam.

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