Londonderry can score goals and right now that's a good thing for its young and inexperienced defense.
Mike Donlan tallied three goals and Curtis Harper added two goals and two assists to lead the Lancers to their fourth straight Division I ice hockey win with a 7-5 decision over Bishop Guertin of Nashua Saturday at the Skate 3 Rink in Tyngsborough, Mass.
In other Division I action Saturday, Manchester Central blanked Manchester Memorial 3-0, Pinkerton upended Hanover 9-2, Exeter skated past Nashua South 3-1, St. Thomas Aquinas of Dover handed Salem its first loss, 4-1, and Trinity, behind three third-period goals, defeated Nashua North, 3-2.
Bedford stayed unbeaten in Division II with a 5-2 comeback win over Lebanon, and Dover beat Windham-Pelham, 4-2.
Londonderry (5-2) shares the league lead with Nashua North in goals scored with 31. "We have no worries on offense because we know we can score," said Londonderry head coach Peter Bedford. "We have two seniors on defense and we're hoping to tighten things in that area before the regular season ends."
Londonderry took control of Saturday's game with five second-period goals, three on the power play. Erik Coburn had one goal and three assists, Mark Leach had three assists, and Jason Parker added one goal and one assist. Coburn has 16 points in his last five games and has 18 overall with three goals and 15 assists. Harper has 11 goals and 18 points and Donlan has eight goals.
"Good to see Donlan and Parker scoring from our second line," said Bedford. "It makes it difficult for our opponents to defend us. Hopefully that trend continues."
BG (1-4-1) got goals from Jordan Caito, Evan Dalaker, Connor Donahue, Cam Hult and Tim Trudel. Londonderry goalie Joe McGrath stopped 18 shots and netminder Griffin Scanlon had 28 saves for the 1-4-1 Cardinals. Bedford acknowledged his potent offense has hid his team's inexperience on defense. "We've got a lot of hockey left to improve our defense," he said. "We've won our last four and we're starting to jell. Our goal is to host a first-round playoff game and reach the final four where anything can happen from that point on."
Londonderry travels to Manchester to face Central Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at JFK Coliseum. Under Bedford, now in his fifth season, Londonderry has qualified for the postseason three times, reaching the semifinals twice.
Exeter 3, Nashua South 1: After four consecutive shutout losses to start the regular season, the Blue Hawks (1-4) got into the win column behind a two-goal spurt in 41 seconds in the second period.
"Our bench erupted, parents were high-fiving and the kids finally got to relax," said Exeter head coach Jim Tufts. "It was like a kid in baseball looking for his first hit after so many at-bats. You start to squeeze the bat tighter. We've been competitive this season, but until Saturday we just couldn't find the net."
Exeter did finish 2-0-1 in the recent Salem Christmas Tournament, but were held scoreless against Bishop Guertin, Londonderry, Central and St. Thomas in the regular season. "We've still got a lot of hockey left to play and, because there's a lot of parity in our league, everyone has a chance to win on any given night," said Tufts.
Cam Johansson of Exeter tied the game at 1-1 with a power-play goal. The score, assisted by Evan Royer and Kyle Lorenz, came with 1:57 remaining in the middle period. Exeter took the lead 41 seconds later on a goal by Garrett Pietz, from Kody Heath. Pietz added the insurance goal with 3:28 remaining in the game. Andrew Stephens got the assist and sophomore goalie Bryson Desjardins gained the win with 27 saves. Owen McNulty gave the Panthers a 1-0 first period lead. Jacob Galgay and Steve Saucier each had an assist. Goalie A.J. Bender stopped 18 shots for 0-4-2 Nashua South. Exeter will host Salem on Thursday at 3:15 p.m.
Pinkerton 9, Hanover 2: In Hanover, Pinkerton (1-3-1) erupted for its first win behind a hat trick from Bailey Walsh and two goals from Gio Corsetto. Tyler Poole gave Pinkerton the lead (2-1) for good with a first period power-play tally. Goals from Mike Bellmore and Ryan Christie stretched the lead to 4-1 in the second period and Tim Cronin added a third period short-handed tally to complete the scoring. Pinkerton goalie Brendan Murphy stopped 20 shots for the win. Gus Lyons and Sam Carey each scored for 1-4 Hanover.
Trinity 3, Nashua North 2: At St. Anselm College, two third-period goals from senior Mitch Myers in the final 1:38 of the game, including the game-winner with 2.7 seconds left, lifted Trinity (4-2) past North (5-2). Trinity trailed 2-0 entering the final period. Jack Collins scored a power-play goal five minutes into the period to start the comeback.
Jon Searles and Joey Paige had given the Titans, losers of two straight, a 2-0 lead. Trinity freshman goalie Curtis Wirbal stopped 22 shots. The Pioneers threw 29 shots at Nashua North netminder Jake Genest, who stopped 26 shots. Myers has 13 goals this season.
"Mitch got a nice pass from Colby Fortin and got off a shot down the left side which deflected off Genest's glove and rolled in behind him for the game winner," said Trinity coach Mike Connell. "We outshot North 15-4 in the final period and we just wore them down. This is a confidence-building win for our team."
Trinity travels to Everett Arena on Wednesday to play Concord at 5:30 p.m.
St. Thomas 4, Salem 1: In Salem, the Saints (4-1-1) got goals from Niall Foster, Glen Wiswell, Zach Leavitt and Ty Turgeon. Zane Angelopoulos registered 27 saves in the win, handing Salem its first loss in six outings. Salem's third-period goal came from Kyle Nagri. Assists went to Alex Ring and Paul Antkoviak.
Bedford 5, Lebanon 2: In a Division II contest at Campion Rink in Lebanon, Bedford (6-0) rallied from a 2-0 first period deficit. Bedford scored three times in the middle frame behind goals from Asa Palker, Patrick Gagliardi (two assists), and Todd Glynn. Third-period goals from Jeremy Myers and Mike Dee completed the comeback win. Tate Singleton had both goals for Lebanon (1-3-1).
Dover 4, Windham-Pelham 2: Host Pelham-Windham couldn't solve Dover's Mitchell Welch, who scored an unassisted first-period goal and iced the game on his second goal with 11 seconds left. Kieran Lombard tallied the other two goals for 5-1 Dover. John Monahan had both goals for Windham-Pelham (4-2), including a third-period tally that closed the gap to one goal. Dover goalie Luc Ravenelle had 21 saves and Christian Bassi had 29 saves for Windham-Pelham.