By Jean LeBlanc.
BERLIN — Sophomore Trent Labrecque allowed just one goal in each of the final two games the Mountaineers played in the Peter Hall Christmas Classic, hosted by Kennett High School at the Ham Ice Arena last week, helping Berlin/Gorham boys' hockey team to wins over Dover 6-1 and John Stark/Hopkinton 3-1. Those two victories gave the Mountaineers a third place finish overall and improved their record to 4-1.
It was the first time in four years that the Mounties haven't brought home the championship trophy from the tournament.
Against Dover, Owen Dorval, Cam Cochran and John Arguin each had two goals in the victory. Dorval netted his second of the year at 2:27 of the first period from Cochran for the 1-0 lead.
The Mounties lit the light three times in the middle session to pull out to a 4-0 advantage. Dorval got his second of the game at 10:48 from Noah Schoenbeck, Cochran got his eighth of the winter at 11:31 from linemate Damon Ruel, and Arguin got his second of the year from sophomore Sawyer Sanschagrin at 12:50.
Berlin/Gorham extended its lead to 6-0 in the final period. Arguin scored just 2:22 into the period from Ruel and defender Travis Lamontagne. Cochran notched his second of the contest with just 3:37 left from winger Hunter Fauteux for the six-goal advantage, in what was the most lopsided scoreline of the tournament.
Labrecque's bid for the shutout ended with just 2:10 to play. Bryan Dunham got the goal from Alex Schumaker to make the final 6-1.
Labrecque had 26 blocks in the Mountaineer cage.
David Hermanson had 35 saves in the Dover goal.
"We played much better against Dover," said Mike Poulin, Mountaineers' head coach. "We shifted lines around and it worked. We got goals from our top two lines and Labrecque had 26 saves."
Berlin/Gorham jumped out to a 2-0 lead against the General Hawks, however, it was the stellar play of John Stark's Larsen Burak in goal that kept the game close (got peppered to the tune of 23 shots) in the first 15 minutes of play. Just 2:52 into the first period, the Mountaineers made it 1-0 on a Hunter Fauteux goal from Dorval and Schoenbeck. It was Fauteux's third goal this year.
Less than a minute later, Dorval put Berlin/Gorham up 2-0 with his fourth goal of the winter from Fauteux.
Play leveled off in the second period. The Mountaineers scored a shorthanded goal at 10:02 for a 3-0 lead. Defenseman Travis Lamontagne got his third goal of the year from Schoenbeck for the three-goal lead.
The General Hawks wanted to remain within striking distance and scored a power-play goal with just over four minutes to play in the second period. Noah Chapman scored from teammate Brett Patnode to cut John Stark's deficit to 3-1.
The Berlin/Gorham defense stepped up in the third period and limited John Stark to just eight shots on Labrecque. The Berlin netminder was solid for the second straight game in a row with the 3-1 victory.
"Great game for us," said Poulin. "We limited their offensive opportunities and had plenty of our own chances. We out shot them 43-24. It was a nice way to finish off the Xmas tourney."
Berlin/Gorham was back to regular season play, hosting Moultonborough/Interlakes on Wednesday. Results were not known as of press time.