Titan-Sabers squad made some history

SALEM – It had to feel good for the Nashua North-Souhegan boys ice hockey team.

You were the first team in this co-op history to reach the Division I playoffs. The postseason joy was just too fleeting.

There was no upset to be had for the Saber-Titans.

At some point, here at the Icenter last Wednesday afternoon, 10th-seeded Nashua North-Souhegan realized it could skate stride for stride with No. 7 Windham.

The Saber-Titans simply ran out of time and chances, falling to the Jaguars, 2-1, despite a furious rally in the Division I playoff opener.

“It was tough to fall behind, kind of a tough goal early,” said North-Souhegan coach Matt Osgood. “I wouldn’t say we didn’t recover because we dominated play in the second and third period.

“We just couldn’t score goals. We’ve had a hard time scoring all year so I tip my hat to the kids. They gave it everything. We had a good time, and we’ll be back next year.”

The Saber-Titans finish up at 6-10-3, the program’s first venture into the postseason ever. Windham advances to Saturday’s quarters with No. 2 Bedford with a 12-7 mark.

“It’s the first time we made the playoffs. These kids don’t know how to play in the playoffs yet,” said Osgood. “We tried to teach them and get them prepped, but we can’t go on the ice.”

Windham broke to a 1-0 lead in the first when Bobby DiCicco scored with an assist to Mike Montanile.

The two reversed roles in the second, just 38 seconds in, making it 2-0, but that’s when Colin Duckless slammed the door shut.

The rest of the way, he would allow nothing past in a 27-save night.

“He was a little anxious and nervous in the first, but once he calmed down, he played great,” said Osgood. “He made some huge saves to keep us in it.”

The Saber-Titans clearly used some early desperation to change the tide.

Jordan Joyal sliced the margin in half, midway through the second, with an assist to Griffen Masseur, sending everyone to the edge of their chairs over the final 20-plus minutes.

“At the end of the second, I noticed we were taking it to them,” said Osgood. “Between periods, I didn’t say much. I let the seniors talk.

“We had a bunch of chances, we just couldn’t bury it. Their goalie (Vito Mancini) played a heck of a game. He saved the game in the third period.”

Masseur, Peter Lennox and Chris Weeden each had tremendous chances to even thing in the wild final minute, only to see Mancini have the final say.

Now, Osgood can focus on what looks to be a bright Saber-Titans’ future, albeit one with a few holes punched in by graduation.

“We were fortunate to get Griffen for the last four games. He really didn’t get cranking until this one. That’s understandable. Losing him will be tough,” said Osgood. “We lose Ryan Dancoes on the point, great player, great leader. We lose Josh (Constant), another great player, great leader … Jack Belter a kid who drives me crazy. I love all of them, and I wish them all the best of luck.”

The other entrant in boys ice hockey from the region, the Alvirne-Milford Admirals, did not qualify for the playoffs in Division II.

A very young squad, the Admirals finished the season at 2-16 overall.

Alvirne-Milford posted wins over Spaulding and Kennett in the early going, actually holding a 2-2 record on January 8.