Berlin/Gorham girls stay hot, win fifth straight 8-1

By Jean LeBlanc

BERLIN — Sophomore goaltender Lauren Frenette blocked 31 of 32 shots and senior captain Rylie Binette netted four goals, including her 100th of her career, helping the Berlin/Gorham girs' hockey team to an 8-1 victory over a very good Brady/Trinity/West hockey team Thursday. The win was the fifth consecutive for the locals improving their regular season record to 13-4 with just one game remaining.

"Brady is a very good team," said Coach Scott Valliere. "They have a young defensive core and goal tender, but offensively they are as good as all the top teams. Junior Sydney Herrington carries the puck as good as anyone in the division. Lauren was absolutely great all game long in goal for us, or this could have been a very different score and out come."

Senior captain Rylie Binette put the Mountaineers on top 1-0 with her 40th goal of the season and her 100th of her career. Shaeleigh Valliere picked up the assist just 4:15 into the game.

Binette 100A milestone was reached for senior Rylie Binette during the Mountaineers 8-1 win over Brady/Trinity/West. Binette scored her 100th goal of her varsity career and currently has 43 this season. The Mountie sniper will be recognized on senior night for achieving the 100 goal mark. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Winger Alyson Blanchette made it 2-0 with her 11th goal of the year from Binette with just 5:50 to play in the first period. That was followed up as the period was under a minute to play, when Valliere turned the red light on for the 14th time this season. The lamp-lighter gave the Mountaineers a three goal lead after 15 minutes of play.

Berlin pushed their lead to 5-0 during the second period. Binette picked up both net finders for the hat-trick and raising her season total to 42.

In the final session, Binette made it 6-0 from freshman Trinity Gendron, senior defender Emma Schoenbeck netted her third of the year from winger Kate Host, and with 2:03 to play, Valliere got her second of the night from Jill Lefebvre to make it 8-0.

The only thing left to do was to keep the shutout intact for Berlin's Frenette. Unfortunately, Brady scored a power-play goal with just 51 seconds left to play off the stick of senior Brianna Brack. Brack's goal was unassisted and a deflected shot off a defender to break the shut out, making it an 8-1 final score.

For the game, Emma Windser had 32 saves on 40 Mountaineer shots. Berlin's Frenette finished the 45 minutes of play with 31 blocks.

B/GHS     3 2 3   8

B/T/WHS 0 0 1   1

Scoring Summary for Berlin/Gorham Boys Hockey

(12-3-1) Berlin/Gorham 9, (8-8) Pembroke/Campbell 0
Goals Scored: First period — 6:41 PP Hunter Fauteux (12th) unassisted, :44 Noah Schoenbeck (fourth) from Fauteux and Leo Croteau. Second Period — 11:13 Cam Cochran (22nd) from Fauteux and Travis Lamontagne, 8:45 Owen Dorval (14th) from Croteau and John Arguin, 6:28 Ruel (ninth) from Fauteux and Cochran, 6:16 Ruel (10th) from Cochran and Schoenbeck, 1:48 PP Croteau (sixth) from Dorval and Schoenbeck. Third period — 13:53 Croteau (seventh) from Arguin and Dorval, 1:03 Brandon Gleason (second) from Sawyer Sanchagrin and Thomas Sullivan.

Saves: Pembroke/Campbell — Connor Locke 29, Berlin/Gorham — Trent Labrecque 26.

Commissioners place 'friendly wager' on hockey championship game

By Barbara Tetreault

BERLIN — A wager has been placed on the outcome of Saturday’s Division III Ice Hockey championship game between the Berlin Mountaineers and Kennett Eagles.

Carroll County Commissioner Mark Hounsell of Conway contacted Coos County Commissioner Paul Grenier of Berlin to suggest a “friendly wager” between the two commissioners.

“It is exciting that the two most northern high school hockey teams, the Berlin Mountaineers and the Kennett High Eagles, will compete Saturday afternoon for the State Championship,” Hounsell wrote.

Hounsell wagered a gallon of Carroll County produced maple syrup that the top seeded Eagles will prevail over the defending champion Mountaineers.

Never one to back down in the face of a challenge, Grenier quickly accepted the wager. The commissioner, who is also mayor of Berlin, put up a gallon of locally made Bisson’s maple syrup.

Grenier made it clear that he expects to win.
“I’ve never tasted Carroll County produced syrup. There is always a first time, even at my age,” he replied.

The two teams will meet at 12:15 p.m. at Southern New Hampshire University Arena in Manchester.

Hopkinton eliminates Berlin in quarterfinals in defensive battle 34-28

By Jean LeBlanc

BERLIN — Hopkinton's Cam Cyr and Zach Signor scored nine points each leading the second ranked Hawks' boys basketball team to a hard-fought 34-28 victory over the Berlin Mountaineers in the division III basketball quarterfinals in Concord recently on March 4.

The victory was the 18th of the year for the Hawks and advanced them to the semifinals to take on the No. 3 ranked Stevens Cardinals at (17-3).

The loss snapped an 11-game winning streak for the No. 7 seeded (16-5) Berlin boys.

The game had to be played at a neutral site because of gymnasium problems for Hopkinton. Right from the beginning, both teams played intense defense and slowed the game into a half-court battle. Berlin held a small lead over the first three check points at 8-6, 15-14 at halftime and 21-20 with eight minutes to play. Down the stretch, Hopkinton's ability to get to the free throw line was the difference, converting six more times than the Mounties.

"The quarterfinal game against Hopkinton was a defensive battle from beginning to end," said Coach Dave Morrissette. "Hopkinton is a big, physical team with experienced players. We wanted to control the pace of the game and make them work on both ends of the floor. To that end, we led at halftime by a score of 15-14. Our 21-20 lead was to our advantage as the pace of the game dictated patience and hard work. Foul trouble in the second half hurt us, but our boys settled in and played for six minutes without putting them on the line for easy hoops. Joey Fodor had a great night for us, leading all scorers with 12 points. His effort around the basket sustained us for much of the game. Evan Arsenault took care of the majority of the ball handling, as they extended pressure and threw half court pressure at us in the second half. We came up short in the end however, not because or our defensive effort, but we had trouble scoring."

For the game, the statistics mirrored one another except in a few key areas. Hopkinton shot 11-44 (25 percent) from the floor and 11-15 (73 percent) from the free throw line. Cyr and Cignor had nine points each to lead Hopkinton. The duo shot 6-7 from the charity stripe converting some big shots to extend the lead down the stretch.

The Mounties did out rebound Hopkinton 36-23, but had more fouls, 19-10, and more turnovers, 17-7. Berlin shot 10-42 (23 percent) from the floor and made just five out of the eight shots from the foul line, seven attempts fewer than the winners. Fodor had 12 points and nine boards, Arsenault nine markers and five assists, and Seth Balderrama five points and 11 boards, were the biggest offensive contributors for the Mounties.

"Our seniors, juniors, and entire team played a great defensive game," concluded Morrissette. "Our seniors will be missed. Isaac Balderrama, Andrew Coulombe, Sam Essig, Josh McBride and CJ Wedge have been terrific teammates and upstanding young men for the basketball program."