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Eagles pull away from Clippers, record 9-0 victory

RICKY GAUDREAU makes a save for the Kennett Eagles during second period action at Ham Arena on Saturday, Feb. 6. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
February 08, 2010
CONWAY — For the first 11 minutes of Saturday's Division III hockey tilt between Kennett and Portsmouth, it looked like the Clippers' defense was going to be able to hold off the high-powered Eagle offense.

However, with three goals in a span of just over two minutes at the end of the first period, the Eagles showed that a full 15 minutes of defense is needed to stop them in each period. From that 3-0 lead, the Eagles went on to demolish the Clippers 9-0 and earned Ricky Gaudreau his 16th career shutout.

"Every game as we go forward has a lot of emotion," said coach Mike Lane. "The kids did a good job of playing the game and that's not always easy in a situation like this."

The situation Lane referred to was the physical aspect of the game that took over as the Clippers got desperate for a goal in the final period and committed a number of unnecessary penalties.

Though the Eagles didn't score in the first 11 minutes, they had plenty of chances, with Griffin Meador, Bryan Lamontagne, Dillon Smith, Kevin Murphy and Connor Todd pummeling the Clipper defensive end with pressure. The Eagles, however, couldn't break through. Thankfully, Gaudreau more than held up his end of the bargain at the other end of the ice, turning away a couple of solid Portsmouth chances.

With both teams skating down a man with 4:01 to play in the game, the Eagles finally got on the board, with Murphy sliding a beautiful pass to Meador in front of the net. The senior calmly waited for the goalie to go down and lifted the puck to the top shelf for a 1-0 lead.

One minute and four seconds later, Lamontagne doubled the lead, as he walked the puck in to the face-off circle then flicked it over the goalie's shoulder for a 2-0 lead. Smith picked up the assist on the tally.

One minute and one second later, Smith scored his own goal from almost an impossible angle. Deep in his own end, the freshman defenseman drilled a shot past the goalie, off the far post and into the net for a 3-0 lead after one period of play.

The Eagles wasted no time in upping that lead as the second period came along. Meador hit Murphy with a great centering pass and the sophomore drilled it home for a 4-0 lead just a minute and a half into the period.

Five minutes into the frame it was Lamontagne lighting the lamp for the second time, as he drilled a slap shot from the farside blue line right past the shocked Clipper keeper. James Gallo and Gabe Lee picked up helpers on the goal.

Less than two and a half minutes later, Lamontagne picked up an assist, as Josh Potter knocked home the rebound of his shot for a power play goal with 7:37 to play in the period.

Two minutes later it was 7-0, as Cody Richard fed Murphy for another tally and the Eagles were well on their way to sealing the win.

With 3:17 to play in the period, Meador sent a shot through the crease and Murphy was waiting on the other side of the goalie, knocking the puck into the open net for an 8-0 lead, which stayed to the end of the period.

The penalty clock got a good workout in the third period, as both teams spent time in the box, with the Clippers getting the majority of the time, including one player getting tossed after mouthing off to the official.

Anthony LaRusso tallied the game's final goal in the last 10 seconds of the contest for the 9-0 win.

Gaudreau did his job, turning away everything the Clippers sent his way.

"We really carried the play," Lane said. "I thought from the opening faceoff, Taylor (Cyr), Chuckie (Smith) and Chris (King) really set the tone and the next line and the next line both followed up."

Lane noted that he thought it was Chuckie Smith's best game of the season, despite the fact that he didn't net a point.

"As February goes on, team stuff is more important that individual stuff," Lane said. "This was a night he didn't get a point, but he was key."

The Eagles opened the week with a solid 10-2 win over Moultonborough-Inter-Lakes on Wednesday, Feb. 3, in Laconia. Nick Kevlin got the start in net and picked up the win for the Eagles.

Next up on the docket for Lane's troops is Belmont-Gilford on Monday, Feb. 15, at 4:20 p.m. at Ham Arena. The team will then head to Laconia to take on the Bulldogs on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 6 p.m.

Martin Lord & Osman
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