South-Pelham skaters edge North-Souhegan
NASHUA — They are becoming the Kings of Comebacks.
The Nashua High School South-Pelham hockey team lately hasn’t gotten rattled trailing by multiple goals. They rallied from a three goal deficit the other day to beat Alvirne-Milford, but Monday night was even more special for them as they overcame a 2-0 start to top arch rival Nashua North-Souhegan, 4-2, in the Battle of the Bridge at Conway Arena.
“You know, it was a little shakey,” said Kings forward John Pinksten, whose breakaway power play goal gave the Kings the lead 3-2 at 11:08 of the third period, snapping a 2-2 tie. “But we’re good at that. We’re good at coming back.”
The intensity was at a high level in front of a loud crowd. South-Pelham’s third straight win leaves them at 6-6 – equaling last year’s win total — but this had to be a tough seventh straight loss for the 2-9 Saber-Titans, who came within inches of taking the lead just moments before Pinksten’s goal, as Kings netminder Nate Serrentino robbed.
North-Souhegan’s Jared Egersheim, who had his own shorthanded beakaway, and then again on a followup shot. After his second save (he had 18 overall), he shot the puck up to Brandon Rheaume, who fed Pinksten.
“We definitely need some breaks,” North-Souhegan coach Josh Lavoie said. “We had a scoring opportunity and then they came right down and scored on us. If the puck had went an inch the other way, it would’ve been a goal for us and a completely different
“That’s how the game is.”
He hopes for a different story in the rematch in three weeks. But in this one, one good breakaway deserved another.
“I got the puck and I saw I had (Saber-Titans goalie Colin Duckless) going wide,” Pinksten said. “Coach told me to drive it to the net and that’s what I did.”
“We had a huge save by ‘Tino,” Connors said. “That was enormous. And we came down the other end and buried one. … Serrentino 110 percent saved that game for us, no doubt. Not only did he poke that puck away but he had the (followup) save coming back in and then it went back out. That’s what created our goal. That was all him.”
But it wasn’t completely over until South-Pelham’s Joe Moore beat Duckless (27 stops) breaking in again with 43 seconds left for the insurance goal.
The Saber-Titans took advantage of the Kings’ penalty problems in the first period with two goals by John Natale just over a minute apart.
The first was a wrister that beat Serrentino, assisted by Brandon Hugh, at 5:44 with the teams skating a 4 on 4. The second was unassisted on the power play at 6:24 to give North-Souhegan a 2-0 lead.
“They were already pumped up before we even got in here,” Connors said. “I told them before the second (period) stop paying attention or worrying about the fans, stop getting the big hits, and start playing our hockey. I think that’s what happened in the second.”
Indeed, the second period belonged to the Kings. Josh Kinghorn beat Duckless, assisted by Joe Moore at 1:48, and then Brandon Rheaume then tied it at 11:34, assisted by Kinghorn and Moore.
“The kids definitely came to play today,” Lavoie said. “They were riding high, but then (the Kings) tied it up and it came down to the wire. It was back and forth. It was a great game.”
“I’d like us to start playing hockey in the first period rather than waiting,” Connors said. “But a win’s a win, I guess, so I’ll take it.”
Especially against a rival.