Eliminated from playoffs by Lebanon-Stevens-Kearsarge

GOFFSTOWN – All in all, considering the whirlwind that the Souhegan High girls hockey team had been through, it wasn’t that bad a spot to be in, down 5-4 with six minutes left in the state tourney first-rounder with Shannon Paquette streaking down right wing on a partial breakaway.

Paquette fired a wrister to the glove side, and was flat-out robbed. The Sabers never threatened again and No. 10 Lebanon-Stevens-

Kearsarge prevailed her at Sullivan Arena, 6-4.

LSK moves on to face No. 2 Exeter in the quarterfinals, while Souhegan finishes the year 10-8-1.

“What a great glove save,” said Souhegan coach Kelli Braley. “Shannon had ripped it blocker side all night, and she probably thought the goalie would be thinking that side again. So she went glove. That was a kick.”

It was about the only time all night that LSK found the solution with the incomparable Paquette, who closed out her Sabers career with three goals.

“This one stings a little extra,” said Braley, noting the last time Paquette would ever skate for Souhegan was a tough one to handle. “She’s the consummate teammate, a phenomenal captain and a wonderful person. He talent on the ice speaks for itself. But what everyone doesn’t see is what she does in the locker room for every one of her teammates. She’s grown every single year and always wanted to better herself and the people around her.”

Just to be in the game at that point in time was a credit, not just to Paquette but all the Sabers, who trailed 3-2 after one period and 5-3 after two.

They came within whiskers of the semis with backup goalie Hannah Kohlenberger between the pipes.

“It was a tough, tough go. Our starting goalie is away, and Hannah is in her first year of playing hockey,” said Braley, noting that Kohlenberger actually came to the team midway through the season. “It’s her second game ever in net, and she did everything in her power that she could do to help this team.

“This was not an easy task. She was in there, playing to the best of her ability every step of the way. And the team in front of her played as hard as they could. I could not ask for any more.”

Caroline Apiki scored the first goal of the night for Souhegan, while Julia Pinkham pitched in two assists and Ryleigh Tobin added one.

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