B-G goalie Alex Conway makes a save during the first period of the Bulldogs’ 7-2 win over Pembroke/Campbell on Jan. 11. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
January 16, 2012HOOKSETT – Coming off a crushing defeat just three days earlier, the Belmont-Gilford hockey team rebounded just the way it hoped it would on Jan. 11.
Behind the scoring of their top offensive players, the Bulldogs got back to the .500 mark against Pembroke Academy/Campbell, earning a 7-2 win to improve to 3-3 overall in Division III play at Tri-Town Ice Arena.
The victory came after a 3-2 loss to undefeated Alvirne on Jan. 7, as B-G gave up a questionable goal with just 18 seconds remaining after rallying from a two-goal deficit in the third period.
"It's hard to lose with 18 seconds left so we just wanted to come back and rebound with a win," said B-G coach Jay Londer of the win over PAC. "We're fighting flu season so we were missing a couple of guys but we're trying to get our lines back in order and get things going for the rest of the season."
PAC actually got on the board first, as the hosts wasted little time taking a 1-0 lead when Cade Lacroix scored on a breakaway just 26 seconds into the first period to give his side a 1-0 lead.
"Not what you're expecting to happen right away, especially with your best five guys out there to start the game," explained Londer of the early hole.
But it was all B-G from there, as the Bulldogs tied the game with 8:36 remaining in the first. Ryan Davis got in alone on PAC goalkeeper Nick Berube, and while he initial shot was saved, the rebound landed on the stick of Steven Hickey behind the net. Hickey fed an open Brogan Hurst in front, and the freshman finished things off to knot the score at 1-1.
Davis would put B-G on top just three minutes later, as he scored with assists from Hickey and Riley Tebbetts. Junior Jeremy D'Amour capped off the first period strikes, as the Belmont sniper went the entire length of the ice for a highlight reel goal to put B-G up 3-1 after 15 minutes.
"(PAC has) a really good goalie so you've got to take his eyes away, move him around, go back to the fundamentals," explained Londer.
D'Amour scored his second of the night less than two minutes into the second period, as he again got free on a breakaway, this time lighting the lamp for a shorthanded goal to put the Bulldogs up 4-1.
B-G would get through the rest of the period unscathed, fighting off a 5-on-3 shorthanded situation late in the frame to preserve the three-goal spread.
"We were down a couple (defensemen) with the sickness so we had some other guys getting good ice and they stepped up in some spots," Londer said.
B-G scored three times in the third, as Hickey put back-to-back pucks into the net in just a six second span to give the visitors a commanding 6-1 lead with 11:43 left. After PAC cut into the lead with a bad-hopped goal, Hickey closed out the scoring with 8:22 remaining, finishing off his own personal third period hat trick for the 7-2 win.
While the victory put B-G at 3-3, the squad entered a stretch of three games against teams with losing records. Londer hopes the 'Dogs can get on a roll with big games against undefeated Souhegan and Kennett right around the corner.
"We need to get some wins, get some games like this to get some guys the chance to get rolling," the coach said. "What we need more than anything is confidence. The only way we're going to have a chance in the playoffs is to get three or four lines rolling so that's why we need the younger guys out there now playing more and more minutes to get ready."
B-G now has back-to-back home games, beginning with Saturday's tilt with Somersworth. The Bulldogs meet Laconia/Winnisquam on Jan. 25, with both games scheduled to be played at Laconia Ice Arena.