Sunday, February 18, 2018

Hanover Hockey Player Spotlight: Matty Gardner

(Bloggers note: Each week during the season we will feature a “Hanover Hockey Player Spotlight”.  This feature will be published on Mondays throughout the season)

Player:  Matty Gardner

Number: 19

Grade: Freshman

Position: Defense

Hometown: Norwich

Years on Varsity: 1

Youth Hockey Experience: I started playing hockey when I was four and lived in Rochester, Minnesota.  When I moved to Vermont I played for the Hanover Wild through Pee Wees.  I played Bantam for the Manchester Junior Monarchs and Vermont Flames and split-season Midget with the Vermont Flames.

Favorite Part of Playing for Hanover High: Playing for coach Dodds is awesome and being part of the Hanover tradition.

Best Team Hockey Moment: Winning the Pee Wee Tier I state tournament for Pee Wee Elite.

Best Personal Hockey Moment: When I was playing the Rhode Island Saints in Tier I Regionals I had a breakaway goal to win the game in the third period.

Favorite Sport Besides Hockey: Soccer

Favorite Professional Team: New England Patriots

One Interesting Fact to Share About Myself I've won our family's summer cornhole tournament on Martha's Vineyard for four straight years.


Blogs coming this week: Tuesday and Wednesday Concord game recaps; Friday Hanover Hockey Hair Spotlight; Saturday Bishop Brady game recap


Saturday, February 17, 2018


      Providing the bookends to the Marauder’s current eight game winning streak, the Manchester Memorial Crusaders came to Campion Rink for a Saturday night contest that saw Hanover improve to 14-1 in NHIAA play (17-2 overall) with a 9-1 win.  With the victory, Hanover maintains its first place lead on rival Concord, who will be coming to town in three days to determine first place in New Hampshire Division 1.

Harris has got it - no worries
      But first things first, as Hanover needed to take care of business against the Crusaders in a classic trap game leading into the big match-up coming up this week.  With very few students in the crowd owing to it being school vacation week, the energy was a little diminished at Campion, despite a new look starting line-up that featured Sy Oberting on the wing.  The real story of the first period, however, was Crusader senior goalie Chuck Degust who was pummeled from the opening shift but kept coming up big again and again to keep the Marauders off the board.  A dangler on the goal line that was barely missed by an outstretched Charlie Plottner and post saves on David Lehmann and Matty Gardner were the closet the Marauders came to going up on the scoreboard.  Even the vicious Hanover powerplay, despite getting two good chances, could not solve Degust and the period ended 0-0.

Goal for Duncan
      Whether it was the disappointing 0-0 score or the smell of pizza in the lobby from the previously concluded high school game, Hanover came out hungry to start the second period and continued to push into the offensive zone.  In a scrum on an own goal credited to Toño Correa on assists from Owen Stadheim and Oberting, the Marauders took the lead at 3:43.  However, just nine seconds later Crusader alternative captain Jared Chandonnet beat goalie Harris LaRock stick side high streaking down the right side to tie the score at 1.  As the Hanover fans started to become a bit uncomfortable with the 1-1 score as the clock ticked through the halfway point, it was LaRock, as he has done so many time this year, who kept the Marauders grounded.  He stoned two Manchester breakaways on uncharacteristic Marauder defensive turnovers to keep the game tied.  Finally, at 9:20 Plottner found the net on a nice back door feed from Peter Warhold to put Hanover up 2-1.  From then on the flood gates opened and in rapid succession Duncan Bailey’s ripper from the left circle (feeds from Gardner and Stadheim) and Cameron Woods’s short-handed breakaway (on a nice dump from Elias Zinman on a feed from Oberting) had Hanover up 4-1 at the intermission.

      The third period was much more of the same as five different Hanover players scored. In fact, with eight different Marauders finding the net on the evening, there was more wealth distribution tonight than would have been seen in a Bernie Sanders administration.*  First up was Oberting with one of his classic blasts from the left point (pass from Stadheim) through a screening Lehmann to make it 5-1.  Next game the shifty Zinman in the slot on a feed from Woods and Patrick Daly.  Rowan Wilson got into the action on a nice left-handed wrister from the high slot that sent Degust to the showers and brought in junior Matthew Scott.  Gardner then introduced Scott to the Hanover offense with a top-down wrister on a feed from Stadheim (his fourth assist in case you lost track).  Finally Plottner ended the carnage in front on passes from Wilson and Warhold.  Final score 9-1 with Hanover achieving their highest offensive output of the season.

Wilson found the net
      This win put the current Hanover victory streak at 8, with the Marauders outscoring their opponents 40-6 during that stretch.  On the year in Division 1, they have outscored opponents 69-17 in NHIAA play with contributions coming from everywhere.  LaRock continues to provide the stable senior leadership that is so critical, making 9 saves on the night but most importantly stopping key breakaways when the game hung in the balance in the first and second periods.

      The win also clinches a first round bye and a home game in the upcoming NHIAA Division 1 playoffs. 

      So the big elephant in the rink tonight was clearly the two games coming up this week against second place Concord.  Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 the Crimson Tide visit Campion and the next day Hanover travels to Everett Arena at 5:30.  If you haven’t already started to develop flu-like symptoms so you have to leave work early on Tuesday, now would be the time to start preparing your schedule for a 2:00 pm departure.  Make sure the illness lasts for a few days so you can get to the game on Wednesday as well.

*Please forgive the political humor but there is only so much you can do with a 9-1 game in mid-February

Friday, February 16, 2018

Hanover Hockey Hair Spotlight: Harris LaRock

(Bloggers note: Each week during the season we will feature a “Hanover Hockey Hair Spotlight” hairstyle of the week.  This will be published on Fridays)

Player:  Harris LaRock

Hair Nickname(s): This hair is too good for a nickname

The Story Behind the Hair:  I don’t know.  I just think it looks good.  Everyone does it for hockey but I just do it because I look good. 

Hair Product(s):  Weekends and no practice I go with the Dr. Bronner’s 18:1 all in one.  Days when we have morning practice I use whatever someone has next to me.  I’ll take whatever people can give me as long as my hair looks good.

Hair Primping Secret(s): I have first period off so after practice I go home and comb the sides back and make sure it’s looking good on the ends.  The secret is just that I don’t just take care of it in the locker room.

One Word to Describe Your Family’s Feelings about Your Hair:  I don’t think they really care. My older brother Addison two years ago wanted to get matching mullets but he didn’t get it so I was left hanging with my mullet.

Teammate Whose Hair You Would Most Like to Have: Hans or Rowan – they have good hair, especially Rowan.  He doesn’t do anything to his hair but it looks OK.

Rink Talk:  Leading all of NHIAA Division I goaltenders in goals against average and playing every minute of every game for the Marauders this year, we assumed Harris’s strut had everything to with his leading the team to a first place record approaching playoff time.  Boy were we mistaken.  After meeting for the hair interview this week, we now know that Harris’s confidence has nothing to do with his sterling play between the pipes and everything to do with the salad he is currently sporting around town.  Think you can leave your little brother hanging with a mullet this year Addison?  No chance now that Harris is bringing it with the Dr. Bonners 18:1. Hey Wilson, Williams, Seelig and Zinman and any of you other teammates who are getting shoutouts for great hair in the profile this year and are vying for team hair supremacy – while all of you guys are pulling out your notebooks during period 1, you know where your competition is?  He is at home, combing and primping and getting ready for his grand school entrance for period 2 because by the time you are a hockey playing high school senior, you have life’s priorities completely figured out – college, hockey, hair – and not necessarily in that order.  Social studies or salad? We all know which choice this senior savant has made. So despite being stymied all year in our attempt to find that telltale goalie quirk (i.e. Grant Snow kissing the pipes before every game) that all of the greats have, we now know that Harris’s quirk is taking care of that world class flow.  If the rest of the league was smart and wanted to beat the Marauders this year, forget about double-teaming Lehmann, instead just skate up to Harris in the first period and whisper this confidence-drainer in his ear “The split ends are killing the flow LaRock.” Great goalie, exquisite flow, even better kid – thanks for the incredible year Harris.  

Thursday, February 15, 2018


      While many high school boys on Valentine’s Day afternoon were off searching the local gas stations for last-minute $6 rose bouquets, the boys on the Hanover Marauders hockey team spent the afternoon taking on the Bishop Brady Giants in their first NHIAA game in 11 days.  Returning back to Tri-Town arena, the site of their first league game of the year against Londonderry, the Marauders skated off the rust in a 5-1 victory to go to 13-1 in Division 1 (16-2 overall).

Hat Trick for the Captain
      If we could customize conversation hearts for the 3-11 Giants in the first period, “Braxton McNulty” would be written in big bold pink letters.  The senior captain erupted for three goals to have the Marauders up 3-0 not even seven minutes into the game.  Each goal was on a prodigious blast from the point with assists going to Rowan Wilson x 2, Cameron Woods, Owen Stadheim, Charlie Plottner and Peter Warhold.  But make no mistake, these goals were all McNulty just ripping it in from the blue line in the face of some tidy Marauders screening.  Cam Woods finished the scoring on a scrum for the Marauders on assists from Duncan Bailey and Elias Zinman to make it 4-0.  A late Giant goal with a minute left on the period made it 4-1 at intermission with Hanover outshooting the home team 17-5.

3 points for Woods
      The early lead must have led to some complacency in the Upper valley boys, and perhaps a little more rust from the long layoff was still at play, as the second and third periods were a somewhat mundane affair.  The second period was notable for power play opportunities on both sides that went unfulfilled and the third saw only one change on the score in front with Woods netting his second on assists from McNulty and Patrick Daly.  Outshooting the Giants 41-15, Harris LaRock continued to be a stalwart in the nets for Hanover, which leads Division 1 in fewest goals allowed.

      With the win, Hanover cemented its hold on the top spot in Division 1 with a one game lead over the Concord Crimson Tide who sit at 12-2 after a big victory at Pinkerton tonight.  While Hanover will return home this Saturday night for the second of two this year with Manchester Memorial, all eyes will be on next week’s key home-and-home back-to-back contest with Concord.  As the final league standings come closer to finalizing with only two weeks left in the regular season, games like tonight’s affair are critical to put in the win column.  Nice work this Valentine's Day Marauders – make sure you hug your mom tonight.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Hanover Hockey Player Spotlight: Hans Williams

(Bloggers note: Each week during the season we will feature a “Hanover Hockey Player Spotlight”.  This feature will be published on Mondays throughout the season)

Player:  Hans Williams

Number: 20

Grade: Junior

Position: Forward

Hometown: Norwich

Years on Varsity: 3

Youth Hockey Experience: I played for the Hanover Wild from house Mites to Bantams.  I was born on a lunar eclipse on Christmas Day so it always felt like I was playing up a year.

Favorite Part of Playing for Hanover High: The boys.  This is unique to Hanover.  We have a long lasting legacy in this league.  We have always been the smallest school and always make the playoffs.  There is a pressure to live up that and we always live up to it.

Best Team Hockey Moment: The best is yet to come

Best Personal Hockey Moment: When I was playing Squirt White I had two goals on breakaways in a 2-0 win

Favorite Sport Besides Hockey: Soccer

Favorite Professional Team: Pittsburgh Penguins

One Interesting Fact to Share About Myself:  I write and record my own songs and play guitar.


Blogs coming this week: Wednesday Bishop Brady game recap; Friday Hanover Hockey Hair Spotlight; Saturday Manchester Memorial game recap

Friday, February 9, 2018

Hanover Hockey Hair Spotlight: Henry Bernard

(Bloggers note: Each week during the season we will feature a “Hanover Hockey Hair Spotlight” hairstyle of the week.  This will be published on Fridays)
Player:  Henry Bernard

Hair Nickname(s): Shaggy; Biebs

The Story Behind the Hair:  In sixth grade I had shaggy hair and wanted it to be just like Justin Bieber. I told my mom that I wanted to grow it out but we were going to visit grandma and she said I needed to look nice for grandma so I cut it.

Hair Product(s): Occasional 2:1 Head and Shoulders

Hair Primping Secret(s): I shower and then just let it go.  I don’t comb it or anything.

One Word to Describe Your Family’s Feelings about Your Hair:  Cut it

Teammate Whose Hair You Would Most Like to Have: Charlie – his hair just stays where it is and doesn’t have any complications.  I admire that about his hair.

Rink Talk:  We at rink talk have found a kindred soul in this sophomore goalie in our mutual admiration for Justin Bieber.  Prior to the hair interview, it was our belief that pre-teen girls, occasionally Selena Gomez, and we at rink talk were the only ones who loved the Biebs, so we were thrilled when Henry shared his admiration. But the goalies are always the players who have a reputation of being a little bit out there, and between the Bieb love and the only occasional use of hair products, Henry fits the goalie mold perfectly.  As our hero Justin once sang “Is it too late now to say sorry?” – nothing to be sorry about Henry.  Strong hair, great kid.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Hanover Hockey Player Spotlight: Toño Correa

(Bloggers note: Each week during the season we will feature a “Hanover Hockey Player Spotlight”.  This feature will be published on Mondays throughout the season)

Player:  Toño Correa

Number: 7

Hometown: Norwich

Position: Wing

Years on Varsity: 1

Year: Sophomore

Youth Hockey Experience: I lived in St. Paul, Minnesota where I started playing hockey until I moved to Norwich.  When I moved here in fourth grade I played for the Hanover Wild until high school. 

Favorite Part of Playing for Hanover High:  The guys.  We are always together and we get along really well.

Best Team Hockey Moment: Beating Trinity in our first game in the last minute when my line went out and scored the winning goal on Cam’s tip.

Best Personal Hockey Moment: Scoring my first varsity goal this week against Manchester Central. 

Favorite Sport Besides Hockey: Lacrosse

Favorite Professional Team:  Boston Celtics

One Interesting Fact to Share About Myself:  I plan to be the first Colombian NHL player