GOFFSTOWN, NH – Competing in a rematch of the 2019 New Hampshire Division-I championship game, the Trinity High School boys ice hockey team had two-time defending champ Bedford High School backed into a corner.
But the Bulldogs bit back.
With a little more than one minute remaining in Wednesday night’s contest at St. Anselm’s Sullivan Arena, Bedford first knotted the game, 1-1, and then scored the game-winning goal in overtime to earn a 2-1 triumph.
“(The win was there for the taking) tonight,” said Trinity sophomore goalie Colton Gooden. “There’s definitely stuff we need to work on, but Bedford’s a good team and we showed up tonight and gave them something to run for … it gives us a bunch of confidence. Hands down, we looked like a good team, but props to Bedford, they came out and played too.”
Though the Bulldogs (4-0) controlled the puck for the majority of the first period, Trinity’s blue line, backed by Goodwin, managed to keep the rabid Bulldogs off the scoreboard.
The Pioneers (1-4) came out strong in the second period, putting three quick shots on net before freshman defenseman Will Brauer lit the lamp off a Finn McDonough assist to put the underdogs ahead with 13:45 remaining in the frame.
“We were showing up in the places we should have been, but we were there late. We were always a step behind,” said longtime Bedford head coach Marty Myers. “I’ve got to give Trinity credit. They really skated with a lot of heart, a lot of passion. They beat us to a lot of pucks today, and normally we’re the team that’s beating other teams to pucks. Trinity really came to play, and that was a tough game for us today.”
Indeed, Trinity seemed to harness the momentum off the opening goal and carried the lead into the third period where they received a power play with about 12 minutes remaining in the game. The Pioneers, however, were unable to convert on multiple scoring opportunities, and Bedford, fresh off the penalty kill, began to gain steam.
The ice tilted back in favor of the favorites for the remainder of regulation, but it wasn’t until the 1:09 mark that Bedford’s Owen Roberto notched the equalizer off a helper from fellow senior captain Arhat Vaida.
Overtime saw the two teams each create several scoring opportunities, but it was Bedford’s Quinlan Kerr who was ultimately able to find the back of the net, scoring off a Dalton Roberto assist with 2:39 remaining to secure Bedford’s fourth win in as many tries.
The Pioneers won’t have to wait long to skate for revenge. They play Bedford again this Saturday at 1:30 p.m., a reality that didn’t escape Myers after the game.
“Because we share the same rink, we’re very friendly. You know, we know their players. They know our players. So it makes it a little bit of an in-house game within a game,” said Myers. “We were a little bit off today, but we play them again Saturday, so hopefully we have the same outcome but we do it a different way.”
CORRECTION 1/28/21 – 12:57 p.m. : The goaltender for Trinity is Colton Gooden, not Colton Goodwin.