After going a modest 1-2 – with a pair of slim losses followed by a tight victory – in the Blue Devil Classic Holiday Tournament in Salem right after Christmas, the Pinkerton Academy ice hockey squad returned to its consistently winning ways in Division I contests by nipping the host Concord High Crimson Tide by a 3-2 margin in the state capital last Wednesday, Jan. 3.
And that first contest of 2018 for both sides was both penalty-packed and climactic, with second-year Pinkerton varsity coach Sam Littlefield’s now 4-0 Astros (5-2 overall) nipping longtime Concord coach Dunc Walsh’s Tide with a power-play goal with just two ticks of the clock remaining in regulation time.
Pinkerton barreled out to a 2-0 lead in the first period by netting two unanswered goals, with Nick Trask potting the first and Ty Riviere scoring the second. The assists on the first tally went to Pat Hare and Gennaro Marra, while Nick Plaza and Cody Sullivan had the helpers on Riviere’s goal.
But the host Crimson Tide knotted the score at 2-2 in the second stanza by netting two unanswered markers of its own, and that deadlock wouldn’t be busted until just two seconds remained on the game clock and Pinkerton senior forward Tyler Whiting scored his huge man-up goal, sending his team and its fans into full celebration mode.
Prior to that evening’s contest, the Crimson Tide had gone a perfect 3-0 in Division I and outscored its first three league opponents by the lopsided margin of 20-6. So nipping former Plymouth State College star Walsh’s tough contingent was all kinds of noteworthy for the Derry team.
PA goalie Dakota Robinson drew the praise of coach Littlefield and everybody wearing Pinkerton’s red and white garb for a 23-save performance which was key to the Astros’ success in this hard-fought battle.
“Dakota had a really good game,” said the PA coach. “He kept us in it all the way.”
Regarding the contest in overall terms, Littlefield said, “It was a great game all-around. “It was great competition, but there were quite a few penalties.”
The Pinkerton contingent will face off against rival Londonderry High School on that opponent’s home ice at the Tri-Town Arena in Hooksett this Friday, Jan. 12.