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Joyce Endee

Knights get best of Eagles in county showdown

KINGSWOOD’S JAKE VONTZ and Kennett’s Riley Lambert battle for the ball on April 14 in North Conway. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
April 19, 2010
NORTH CONWAY — Whenever Kennett and Kingswood meet, no matter the sport, it's always a battle and the April 14 boys' lacrosse game in North Conway was more proof of that.

Though Kingswood walked off the Kennett field with a 10-5 win in the second game of the season for both teams, there was plenty of physical play from the first whistle to the last.

Kingswood wasted no time getting on the board, as Derek Brockney drilled a shot past Kennett keeper Bryan Lamontagne less than two minutes into the game for a 1-0 lead.

Kennett's Gabe Lee and Kingswood's Colin Piper exchanged scoring chances, but the ball stayed out of the net. Kennett's Eli Mitchell also made a nice defensive shutdown on a scoring attempt by Brockney.

The Knigths were able to double their lead with 8:48 to play in the first period, as Tate Jozokos drilled a ball to the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.

Less than 20 seconds later, Piper made it 3-0 when he took a nice feed from Andy Hamill and put it in the net.

Josh Potter and Chris Andreani had scoring chances for Kennett, but Kingswood keeper Mike Bernier was up to the task and kept the hosts off the board.

With 6:52 to play, Brockney struck for his second goal, giving Kingswood a 4-0 lead less than midway through the first period.

Piper, Alex Boucher and Brockney all had more scoring chances for the Knights, but Lamontagne held his ground in the net.

However, with 3:07 to play, Brockney completed his hat trick with the Knights' fifth goal of the game, as Matt Boucher and Piper assisted on the tally.

Bernier shut down one Kennett bid in the final minutes to send the game to the first break with the Knights holding a 5-0 lead.

Hamill and Brockney looked to up the lead early in the second period, but they couldn't get anything in the net. However, Kennett's Chris Low also didn't have much luck, as his shot was blocked by a Knight defender. Lamontagne also made a number of great saves on Kingswood chances in close.

Kennett was unable to take advantage of a solid power play situation midway through the second period. Sam Walsh and Hamill actually had a couple of shorthanded scoring bids denied by Lamontagne. Bernier made one save on a shot from Low.

Kennett finally got on the board with 4:09 to play, as Ricky Gaudreau drilled a shot past Bernier to make it 5-1.

The two teams battled back and forth for another three minutes, as Potter had a chance for the Eagles and Matt Boucher for the Knights, but neither could find the net.

With 1:47 to play, Matt Boucher beat Lamontagne to make it 6-1, which is the way the first half would end.

Hamill scored Kingswood's seventh goal 1:15 into the third quarter and Kingswood controlled the play early in the frame, with Matt Boucher and Brockney each controlling the ball well in the offensive end.

The Eagles got back on the board with 7:54 to play in the period when Liam Duggan rifled a shot past Bernier to make it 7-2.

It didn't take the Knights long to answer, as Jozokos put one past Lamontagne 32 seconds later to make it 8-2.

Kennett had solid offensive pressure, as Gaudreau helped to control the ball in the offensive end. Kingswood's Jake Vontz did a nice job on defense to limit the Eagles' chances.

However, with 3:31 to play, Andreani cut the gap to 8-3 on the power play.

Jozokos hit Matt Boucher with a nice pass in close just more than a minute later and the Knight senior drilled the ball home for a 9-3 lead. Hamill and Matt Boucher had scoring chances in the final minutes turned away and Kingswood had a 9-3 lead after three quarters.

Andreani and Low had chances for the Eagles in the early portion of the fourth quarter, but the Eagles weren't able to get on the board until 5:48 remained in the game, when Duggan drilled a shot to the net to make it a 9-4 game.

Jozokos answered 47 seconds later to make it 10-4, but Low answered right back with a goal for Kennett to make it 10-5.

Brockney had a good chance for Kingswood and Potter, Andreani and Duggan had chances for Kennett, but the scoring was complete and the Knights had the 10-5 win.

"If we played the whole game the way we played in the fourth quarter, it would've been a completely different game," said Kennett coach Matt Haley. "We just couldn't do the basics."

He noted that his team's defense broke down in the first half, but picked it up in the second half.

"In the second half we started doing what we practiced and what they're supposed to do," Haley said. "That's why there was a difference."

"We're doing a lot of good things," said Kingswood coach Matt Jozokos. "We're trying to do a little more patience, that's taking a little time for them to develop."

However, the Knight coach, with a young squad, including a freshman goalie, still was pleased with his team's effort against a chief rival. But he was not entirely happy with his team's penalties.

"We talked about the rivalry and how there's going to be some physicality," he said. "But we did take too many penalties."

He was quick to praise his team's defense, however, for stepping up and not allowing the Eagles to take advantage of all the penalties.

"Today our defense stepped up in those places," he said.

More Knights

The Knights opened the season with a solid 10-7 win over Merrimack Valley on Monday, April 12, at The Nick.

The Knights led the whole way and did a good ball control in the fourth quarter, as they possessed the ball for eight or nine minutes in the final frame.

Brockney and Matt Boucher earned the coach's praise for solid games, while Tate Jozokos chipped in to the offense with four assists.

Kingswood will be in action on Friday, April 23, at Trinity at 4:15 p.m. The team will play Kennett at The Nick on Monday, April 26, at 4 p.m. and will head to Stevens for a makeup game on Wednesday, April 28, at 4:30 p.m.

More Eagles

The Kennett boys opened the season with a tough 11-3 loss to Derryfield in North Conway on April 12.

"They're pretty good," Haley said of the Cougars.

Kennett will head to Swanzey for a 4 p.m. game with Monadnock on Friday, April 23, and to Wolfeboro for a rematch with Kingswood on Monday, April 26, at 4 p.m. The boys will play a makeup game with Lebanon on Tuesday, April 27, at 4 p.m.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Garnett HIll
Varney Smith
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