North-Souhegan falls flat against Blue Hawks, 7-1

Telegraph photo by TOM KING Nashua North-Souhegan's Evan Soucy and Exeter's Jake Martin battle to try to get to the puck after Saber-Titans goalie Jack Casey made a save during Wednesday's Division I clash at Conway Arena.

NASHUA — Josh Lavoie isn’t too used to what he saw on Wednesday night.

The first-year Nashua High School North-Souhegan coach saw his team’s wheels come off in the third period of a 7-1 loss at the hands of Exeter at Conway Arena.

“No, I’m definitely not used to this,” he said, but he added part of the problem is his team from past seasons is. “They just have that mentality of ‘Here we go again.’ With their past, it’s hard not to blame them. But it’s a different team, we have a lot of young blood coming, and they produce. It’s disheartening for them to go down so quickly.”

The Saber-Titans are now 2-5, and have been outscored 18-2 in their last three games. Wednesday they were the victims of a Brendan Doyle hat trick as the Blue Hawks pummeled the goalie tandem of Jack Casey and Colin Duckless (mainly Casey, who had 38 stops), outshooting their hosts 47-22.

The Saber Titans played a flat first period, but were down just 1-0 and there certainly was hope when John Natale (Josh Constant assist) tied things at 1-1 just 1:42 into the second.

But the Blue Hawks got a quick goal by Doyle – his second — just over a minute later, and then expanded things to 3-1 on a goal by Ricky Davis off a nice feed from Doyle at 10:12.

“We have a lot of depth and were able to play four lines,” retiring Exeter coach Jim Tufts said, his team now 3-3-1 in Division I. “We’re a longer bench and they’re a shorter bench.

“First period I thought we were a little selfish, didn’t move the puck very well, but after that we got going. … Second and third period I thought we played the way we want to get to.”

Exeter took that two goal lead into the third and put it away with four goals by Doyle, Ryan Huppe, Connor MacLaughlin and Cam Vose. Exeter goalie Jude Rugles had 21 saves.

It doesn’t get any easier for North-Souhegan, which faces Lavoie’s former team, Bishop Guertin, Saturday at Skate 3. He was the Cardinals JV coach for seven years.

“We were down 3-1 going into the third and in three minutes we were down 6-1,” Lavoie said. “We do play hockey, but playing hockey for the full 45 minutes seems to be our issue. …

“I’m definitely not happy. It’s getting frustrating.”

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Nashua South-Pelham was supposed to face Concord right after the North-Souhegan contest last night, but that game was postponed as Concord did not have school on Wednesday due to the morning’s storm. The Tide do not allow games on snow days.

It has been rescheduled for Monday, Jan. 21 at 1:50 p.m. at Conway.