The Pinkerton Academy ice hockey squad saw its Division I record slip below the .500 mark to 2-3 last week with consecutive losses to the Concord High Crimson Tide and the rival Londonderry High Lancers.
The Astros had their divisional mark level at 2-2 with a humbling 6-0 loss at the hands of unbeaten Concord in the state capital on Wednesday night, Jan. 6.
The PA icemen received 29 saves from goalie Jordan Puzzo, whose teammates only managed to put a dozen shots on the Concord cage despite a significant effort to do better.
Then, when the Astros played host to the LHS Lancers in Ball Family Trophy action at The Ice Den in Hooksett Saturday night, Jan. 9, both contingents entered the game with 2-2 records in D-I. But Londonderry came out flying right from the opening face-off and played arguably its most energetic, spirited game of the season in tallying a 3-1 win.
The Lancers out-shot the Astros by a 38-15 margin and may have won even more decisively were it not for the stellar, 35-save performance of PA goalie Puzzo.
The first period was scoreless, but Londonderry enjoyed a huge 13-2 advantage in shots on net and definitely outplayed the Astros.
The Lancers busted the scoreless deadlock a little less than two minutes into the second stanza in snagging a 1-0 lead, but the hosts knotted the score at 1-1 with 5:40 left in the period on a tally by Billy Rooney that was set up by Cody Sullivan.
However, the Lancers scored what proved to be the winning marker with 2:45 to go, and after two complete periods Londonderry enjoyed a 30-8 advantage in shots on net and a 2-1 lead on the scoreboard. And Londonderry bagged a big insurance tally with 5:55 remaining in the contest.
LHS goalie Cody Baldwin only had to turn aside 14 Pinkerton shots in the Lancer win.
“I think Londonderry came out all pumped up. We were pumped up too, but I think it’s a question of a young team like ours gaining more experience,” said PA coach Ryan Piper.