Manchester Memorial's reign as the defending Division I state champion came to an end Wednesday.
Jon Wilson, Tim Paige, Jake Latham, Danny Leblanc and Joey Paige each scored a goal to lead eighth-ranked Nashua North to a 5-1 first round playoff ice hockey victory at Conway Arena.
“I thought our kids played as well as they could,” said Memorial coach Mark Putney. “In the second period we out-shot them 12-2 and had nothing to show for it. We caused traffic in front and took some shots that were labeled, but we just couldn’t get the puck into the net.”
North coach Danny Legro lauded goalie Jake Genest who stopped 27 shots for Nashua.
“Jake was focused, especially in the second period when Memorial was beating us to the pucks,” said Legro. “We scored three goals in the first period and I kept telling our players to play like we were behind. An early three-goal lead is not safe in our league. There are too many good teams who can rally late.”
Andrew Putney scored Memorial’s only goal in the first period, but North iced it in the third stanza, getting goals from Leblane and Joey Paige. Memorial goalie Aaron Schrum stopped 20 shots.
Putney and Legro both praised the officials for letting their teams play the game.
“They didn’t call one penalty the whole game,” said Putney. “They let the kids decide the outcome.”
“I thought both teams played with discipline and it was a good game, the way playoff hockey should be played,” added Legro, whose team moves on to play top-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Dover Ice Arena.
Memorial ends its season at 7-9-3. “Our kids played hard the whole year,” said Putney. “We’re disappointed we didn’t finish higher in the standings, but the effort from our players was always there.”