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Fast start propels Eagles to another win

JOHN BISHOP gets in position to make a save against Moultonborough-Inter-Lakes in action Jan. 13. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
January 17, 2011
CONWAY — Before either goalie had made a save, the game was over.

The Kennett hockey team scored on its first three shots (against two different goalies) in the first 1:07 of the game and cruised to a 6-1 win over Moultonborough-Inter-Lakes on Thursday, Jan. 13, at Ham Arena.

The Eagles got a power play just 12 seconds into the game and needed just nine seconds on that power play for Connor Todd to give them a 1-0 lead, with Kevin Murphy and Dillon Smith assisting.

Twenty-six seconds later, Matt Kelly unleashed a shot from the blue line that found its way to the back of the net for goal number two, causing the MA-IL coach to replace his goalie.

The new goaltender met the same fate, as with just 1:07 gone in the game, Todd netted his second goal after some nice moves from Smith to get the puck in the zone and Kennett had a quick 3-0 lead and was well on the way to the win.

"It's been a tough start to the season so we're looking to see what everyone can do and improve every game," said Eagle coach Mike Lane. "At that point (up 3-0 quickly) you can really go out there and roll four lines and get those younger kids some experience.

"Down the road, those kids need to know how to do it," Lane added.

The Eagles actually continued their pressure after the three-goal onslaught to start the game, with Logan Spoor putting a couple of shots on net that were turned away.

The visiting Renegades finally got back down the ice and gave Eagle keeper John Bishop a few things to do, as the junior turned away a couple of solid shots.

Murphy, Brad Canavari, Justin Munck, Nick Massa and Smith all had good scoring bids denied at the other end as Bishop held up his end of the bargain in net. Kelly also made a nice crossing pass through the crease but nobody was home to tip the puck into the net.

The Eagles took their first penalty with 5:31 to play, but solid work by Anthony LaRusso, Spoor and Chris King helped kill off most of the penalty. However, the Eagles took another penalty with 4:15 to play in the period, giving MA-IL a five-on-three advantage for 44 seconds.

It was the Eagles who took advantage of the situation, however, as Smith and Murphy broke in two-on-one and Murphy buried the puck for a 4-0 lead.

Bishop made a couple of solid saves to close out both penalties and the Eagles got scoring chances from Gabe Lee, Munck, Todd and Cody Richard before the period came to a close with Kennett up 4-0.

The visitors finally got one by Bishop early in the second, but the puck clanged off the post and out. Murphy, Canavari, King, Spoor and Munck all continued the offensive attack. Massa also made a nice pass in to Todd, who was denied by the keeper. Lee and Dan Rivera also missed out on bids.

Smith missed connections with Murphy on a nice pass through the crease and Smith was also stopped by the MA-IL keeper on a breakaway following a great pass from Spoor.

Bishop made a big save off a turnover and Kelly had two scoring bids denied, but the Eagles finally got back on the board with 7:24 to go as Lee netted his first varsity goal, tipping the puck in off a great Murphy pass for a 5-0 lead.

After more Kennett pressure, it was the visitors who got on the board, as they slipped one past Bishop with 3:47 to play in the period to cut the lead to 5-1.

Kennett continued to control the game, moving the puck nicely in a power play over the final minutes of the period.

The Eagles maintained their control into the third period and turned it into a goal, as LaRusso rang the puck off the far post and in with 9:56 to play. The goal was set up by a solid hustle play by Richard.

Bishop closed the door the rest of the way and the Eagles were able to walk off with a 6-1 win, their second in a row.

"Everyone got a lot of ice time again," Lane said. "We're excited for Gabe, we've been trying to get him one for a while.

"It's nice to see hard workers rewarded for their work," Lane continued.

The Eagle coach also praised his keeper for a solid day between the pipes.

"It seemed everything was bouncing in on him," Lane said. "But he stayed back and stayed focused."

The Eagles also traveled to Portsmouth on Saturday, Jan. 15, and came away with a 3-0 win over the Clippers.

Kennett will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 22, when Laconia visits Ham Arena for a 4:20 p.m. game.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Alton School
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