DILLON SMITH darts around a Laconia-Winnisquam defender during action Jan. 10 at Ham Arena. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
January 16, 2012CONWAY — Kennett hockey coach Mike Lane did not expect his Eagles to have much trouble with Laconia-Winnisquam on Wednesday, Jan. 11, even though the Eagles were coming off a game the previous night against Bedford at Saint Anselm College.
The Eagle mentor was not far off the mark, as freshman goalies Josh Kondrat and Bobby Davis stopped all but one shot that came their way and the Eagles put 10 pucks in the net for a 10-1 victory at Ham Arena.
After goalie John Bishop made 36 saves the previous night in the non-division win against Bedford, Lane gave him the day off and gave Kondrat the starting nod in net. He played the first half of the contest and Davis finished up.
"A lot of the kids played last night, so it was nice to get the younger kids some ice time," Lane said. "We're going to have to ride Johnny (Bishop) a lot, so it's great to get the kids some time. They are the future of our program and that's important."
The youngsters and the veterans all got in on the action, as Kennett started early and never let down.
Cody Richard punched home a goal less than three minutes in on assists from Nick Massa and Justin Munck for a 1-0 lead and after Connor Todd, Dillon Smith, James Ellis, Matt Kelly and Munck continued with the pressure for another five minutes or so, Munck buried he puck on a shot from the circle with just under eight minutes to go in the period for a 2-0 lead. Freshman Robby Moody picked up the assist.
Nate Swift had a number of great chances turned away and Anthony LaRusso was also denied on a couple of bids before Gabe Lee rocketed home a rebound for a 3-0 lead. LaRusso and Moody got the helpers.
The Eagles took a penalty with 4:06 to go and the Wolfpack needed just 20 seconds to get on the board, as they fired a shot through traffic that snuck past Kondrat and into the net to cut the lead to 3-1.
However, 30 seconds later, after Todd had rung a shot off the post, Smith buried the puck for a 4-1 lead, with assists from Todd and Kevin Murphy and the Eagles took the 4-1 lead to the break, though they did have some quality power play chances in the final two minutes of the period and couldn't capitalize.
The Eagles got on the board quickly in the second, as Chris King fired a shot on net that found it's way to the twine for a 5-1 lead just 1:33 into the period. Smith and Todd got the assists.
Dane Rivera, James Gallo, LaRusso and Swift continued the offensive assault and the Eagles actually received an extended five-on-three power play chance, but despite some nice chances, did not put the puck in the net.
However, once the penalties were over, Moody rifled a shot through the five-hole of the Wolfpack goalie for the 6-1 lead. Murphy got the assist.
Murphy and Swift had a great shorthanded bid moments after the Eagles took a penalty and the Kennett kids closed out the period with the 6-1 lead.
Just 1:52 into the third, the Eagles sent the game into running time, as Lee went top shelf for a 7-1 lead. Moody and Gallo picked up the assists.
Todd added a shorthanded tally with 10:45 to go in the game and just more than two minutes later, Massa lit the lamp on an assist from Richard.
Swift tallied the game's final goal, scoring with three minutes to go on an assist from LaRusso to round out the final score.
"It's good to see good things out of the younger players," Lane said. "Robby Moody had a real good game back on the blue line."
Lane knew that his team might have a hard time getting up for the winless Wolfpack, but commended them for bringing their best effort.
"You feel for a team like that, but I thought our kids did a pretty good job," the Eagle coach said.
Kennett continued its fine play with a 5-0 win over the defending champion Somersworth Hilltoppers on Saturday in Rochester.
The Eagles will be in action on Saturday, Jan. 21, at home against Pembroke-Campbell at 3:30 p.m. and will host Kearsarge on Monday, Jan. 23, at 5:20 p.m. The boys travel to Laconia to take on Moultonborough-Inter-Lakes on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 4:30 p.m.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126