Bedford remains unbeaten, holds off Trinity, 4-3

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MANCHESTER, NH — Squandered opportunities and ill-advised penalties were too much for Trinity High to overcome in a 4-3 loss to Bedford High, Wednesday afternoon at JFK Coliseum.

Bedford (3-0) got a pair of goals from senior defenseman Maddox Muir, including a shorthanded goal with 2:58 left in the game, giving the Bulldogs a 4-2 lead.

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Trinity (1-2) answered back less than a minute later on Aiden Palmeter’s second goal of the game and buzzed the Bedford net looking for the equalizer. But Bedford goalie Evan Johnston (34 saves) made several stops in the final two two minutes, including tremendous stops on consecutive bids by Tyler Peltak.

“I heard a lot of ringing out there. We hit a lot of posts,” said Trinity Coach Mike Connell. “As for our effort, I can’t complain about that.

The game pit two teams with state tournament aspirations and was played with an intensity generally reserved for February hockey. Both clubs dished out their share of brutal hits and combined for 13 penalties.

Through the first two periods, the teams battled to a 2-2 tie, with shots on goal almost dead even.

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Sophomore Parker O’Toole gave Bedford a 3-2 lead with 10:17 to play in the game, converting a feed in front from Parker Gupta.

Trinity had opportunities to tie the game on back-to-back powerplays but struggled to put together a consistent attack. For the game, the Pioneers were 0-5 on the man advantage. Bedford’s penalty kill unit did an excellent job blocking shots, twice triggering shorthanded breakaways. On the first, Trinity goaltender Braeden Lubelczyk (27 saves) made a nice stop on a bid by Domminic Tagliafero.

A short time later, Muir blocked a shot from the point, controlled the puck and transitioned to the attack, He had a 2-on-1 but kept the puck himself, beating Lubelczyk to his blocker side.

Trinity has been playing without two of its key players due to injuries and Connell says his younger players are still working through a learning curve.

“We’ve got some young players out there, not just age-wise but experience-wise. We’re asking a lot from them,” said Connell. “We just have to get more disciplined in the way we play, we have to take less penalties.”

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Bedford drew first blood less than five minutes into the game on a goal by Nick Hadley. Trinity would answer late in the period on a brilliant individual effort by Sam Maurice. With Bedford on the powerplay, Maurice stole the puck at his own blue line, streaked down the left side and found the net just under the crossbar to tie the game.

Trinity grabbed its only lead midway through the second period on a breakaway goal by Palmeter.

That lead would last less than a minute, as the Pioneers handed the Bulldogs a powerplay opportunity and the visitors quickly cashed in. Right off the faceoff, Muir took a pass from Brendan Thornton and blasted a slapshot past Lubelczyk to tie the game, 2-2, with 6:01 to play in the period.

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About this Author

Bill Gilman

Bill Gilman is a veteran journalist with 35 years of experience covering community news and sports in New England. He and his wife have two grown sons and two perfect granddaughters.