Nashua North, Alvirne face off for 9th Conway Arena Tournament title

NASHUA – It’s a game that still sticks like a thorn in the side of the Nashua High School North boys ice hockey team.

The Titans certainly didn’t like losing 1-0 to arch rival Nashua High School South a year ago in the finals of the Conway Arena Hockey Tournament.

“I don’t like to think about last year’s loss,” Titans coach Dan Legro said with a slight grin. “I like to pretend that didn’t happen.”

Although they won’t be facing South, Legro’s Titans have a chance to capture the title for the ninth annual Conway event.

In fact, with a 5-0 overall mark coming into Monday’s 12:40 p.m. title game versus Alvirne, they are the odds-on favorite.

“It’s going to be tough,” said Broncos coach Brian Gould, whose team won the Conway tournament two years ago. “North’s got some power. It’s not going to be easy for us. We’re going to have to play our best game. They’ve got two real strong lines, defense is tough and their goalie (Jake Genest) is tough.

“I think we’ve got a shot, but it’s going to be tough. They’re on a roll.”

But don’t count out the Division II Broncos, who rallied from 4-1 and 5-3 deficits against a potent Souhegan club to win in overtime. But Gould is right, North is tough with senior captain Jake Latham leading the way. Latham has eight points – four goals and four assists – in the two tourney wins over Souhegan and Bishop Brady.

“I see what you expect to see from a captain,” Legro said. “Leadership, a guy who works hard, and a guy who finishes. I can’t ask much more from him, and I hope the rest of them follow suit, which they seem to be.”

Alvirne captain Trevor Perron has also set the tone for the Broncos. He has four goals and an assist, including the game-tying goal that sent Saturday’s win over Souhegan into overtime.

Legro didn’t want to analyze any of the matchups that he had a chance for. The good thing is North is facing a team it won’t see during the regular season.

“We do like that,” Legro said. “I can tell you that we’ll go out there and play our hockey – do what we need to do and see if they can adjust. What we’re going to do is go out there and play the style of hockey that we play.”

Alvirne goalie Cam Richall came up big with 24 saves the other night. He may have been rescued by a referee’s whistle late in the Souhegan game, but he also stopped the Sabers over the final 19-plus minutes.

“We’re getting good goaltending when we need it,” Gould said.

OT not working for
Sabers at Conway

In the day’s other two games, Nashua South will face Souhegan at 10:30 a.m. in one consolation game, and Bishop Brady and Coventry (R.I.) will play for third place at 2:50 p.m., after the title bout.

It’s been a hard-luck tourney for the Division III Sabers, who lost to both finalists by a goal each in sudden-death overtime.

“Hey, overtime, at least we got there, you know?” Souhegan coach Dan Belliveau said. “The kids showed heart to stay in these games vs. good Division I team and a pretty good Division II team.”