St.Thomas-Dover, Saturday Feb. 14th @ 7:20 PM at Campion

In a pivotal game for both teams, the STD Saints (who gave Concord their only loss thusfar, and shut out Leb for nearly six consecutive periods) came to Campion to attempt to earn a season split with us….which they did with a 2-1 win.  Yet another frustrating loss for us; our girls dominated the first (played mostly in STD’s end) and much of the third periods, with only one goal (Courtney) to show for the effort…creating many wasted or thwarted scoring chances.   A lull in our offense resulted from having to kill penalties in the second period.  (Uncharacteristically for Hanover, we had five minors to their one.)  Despite starting to get their legs, the Saints were denied a power play score, even with nearly two minutes of 5 on 3.  STD came on strong for parts of the third, handcuffing our breakout.  After they had earlier tied the game on a screened tip-in, with less than two minutes left in the third, STD’s right defender Sam Hippern got all of a slapshot from near the red line, beating Aviva (after an otherwise great game) high and long-range, for the game-winning goal.

With the somewhat surprising loss, the Marauder Girls drop to 8-5 (currently fifth place in NHIAA)…clearly an unfamiliar position.  The goal which not long ago was to finish first in the division, now becomes to re-discover that early season form, before the playoffs.  Every team brings their A-game against the defending state champs and it’s now obvious that just “playing well” won’t be enough, if it is neither up to full potential, nor reflected in results.  The road to Verizon maybe just got a little longer, but the Marauders have been there before….and should know how to get back.

Only three games left.  Next is  non-playoff-bound, but improved Exeter, away, on Tuesday Feb. 17th @ 6:50 PM at the Rinks at Exeter.