In what looks to be an exciting season for Ice Hockey fans of Manchester Memorial, the Crusaders have gotten off to a dominant 4-0 start for the 2011-2012 season. After winning a 1-0 game against rival Manchester Central on Dec. 14, they traveled to Londonderry to produce a 7-3 victory on Saturday, Dec. 17. They then traveled back to their local arena where they won 7-0 over defending state champion and cross-town rival Trinity High School on Monday, Dec. 19. Two days later, they faced Nashua South and won by another blowout score of 10-2.
Facing Trinity High School, senior forward James Fournier scored the first goal of the game at 3:18 into the 1st period. He was assisted by junior forward Matthew Tufts. Sixteen seconds later, junior forward Ethan Pollock scored the team’s second goal at 3:34. He was assisted by junior forward Jacob Boylan and junior defenseman Brady McNulty. Pollock would score again at 8:12, assisted this time by freshman forward Matthew Fitzgerald and sophomore defenseman Bryan Syrene. Syrene would himself score a goal early in the 2nd period at 1:04, assisted by Boylan. Then in the 3rd period, the Crusaders took advantage of Trinity’s numerous penalties to score three more goals on power plays with a 5-on-3 advantage. Senior forward and team captain Brady Bilodeau scored at 8:30, assisted by Tufts and Fournier. Syrene scored at 9:43, assisted by Fitzgerald. Then at 12:29, sophomore forward Brendan Sullivan scored a goal that was assisted by fellow sophomore forward Brady Sufat, to give the Crusaders an outstanding 7-0 victory. Senior goalie Tyler Fay, with the aide of his team’s extraordinary defense, did not allow a single goal for the rival Pioneers throughout the course of the entire game.
Two days later, the Crusaders hosted Nashua South at an earlier 4:00 P.M. start. Brendan Sullivan scored the first goal of the game at 7:33 in the 1st period, assisted by Ethan Pollock and Brady Sufat. Less than three minutes later, Brady McNulty scored at 10:25, assisted by Bryan Syrene and Brady Bilodeau. In the 2nd period, junior defenseman Colin Williamson scored at exactly 5:00, assisted by freshman forward Andrew Putney. Nashua South would score their first goal of the game shortly thereafter, but the Crusaders took a 4-1 lead when Matthew Tufts scored at 13:09, assisted by Williamson and Bilodeau. In the 3rd period, Nashua South scored an early power play goal to make it a 4-2 game, but the Crusaders went wild later in the game. Less than a minute after Nashua’s goal, Pollock scored the fifth goal of the game for Memorial at 2:05, assisted by Jacob Boylan and Matthew Fitzgerald. Bilodeau scored the sixth goal at 3:22, assisted by Sullivan and Tufts. Things calmed down for over five minutes, but the Crusaders went on another late game rally when Tufts scored the seventh goal at 8:43, assisted by Bilodeau. Pollock would then again score the eighth goal of the game in a similar fashion, assisted by Boylan and Fitzgerald. Then at 10:00, freshman forward Bryce Jacob scored the ninth goal for the Crusaders, assisted by senior forward Patrick Curley and freshman Putney. Tufts scored his third goal of the game and the tenth and final Memorial goal at 13:25, assisted by Sullivan and Bilodeau to complete an extraordinary 10-2 win.
The Crusaders will compete in an inter-state tournament during the Christmas break before traveling to face Bishop Guertin High School on the road on Wednesday, January 4, 2012. Their next home game will be on Saturday, January 7, 2012, against Bishop Brady. Considering that the Girls’ Field Hockey at Memorial team rallied to an exciting state championship game less than two months ago, the Boys’ Ice Hockey team definitely has the potential to match or even exceed this feat. There is most certainly more excitement in store for fans of ice hockey from Memorial, and the student athletes have proven themselves more than ready to compete.