North-Souhegan’s Duckless keys 2-1 win over Kings
NASHUA – Meditation, not medication.
That was Nashua High School North-Souhegan goalie Colin Duckless’s solution to both improving his game and blocking out the pain from an injured knee on Monday night in the Battle of the Bridge clash vs. Nashua South-Pelham at a packed Conway Arena.
And you know what? It worked.
Duckless had 29 saves, including a handful in the mayhem of the final minute as the Saber-Titans edged the Kings, 2-1, in a classic.
The win was the third straight for 4-6-1 N-S, second by one goal, which is just about the time Duckless reverted to his meditating ways – 30 minutes when he wakes up in the morning, 30 minutes before bed at night.
“I was having a hard time getting in the right mindset,” Duckless, a senior at Souhegan, said. “For me, it was hard to get back into the mindset of next shot. … After the second period I did five minutes of mediation.”
In fact, his teammates and coaches feared he was asleep after tweaking his knee in the middle 15. But he was wide awake in the third period, for certain.
“We had a rough stretch, but this is how we could play,” North-Souhegan coach Matt Osgood said. “We’ve been kneeling on Duckless, this is what we expect out of him, this is what we expect out of our team. So we hold him to a high level. And this is what we got. He played a helluva game.”
“He did an amazing job, and he got hurt in the middle of the game,” a frustrated Kings coach Shawn Connors said of Duckless. “Nothing but good things to say about North today.We ended up with four starters who got hurt, it was a rough go. But they played a great game. We were just hurting.
“We couldn’t pull it together at the end of the game. We knew we needed shots, we just couldn’t get them.”
North-Souhegan led throughout. The Saber-Titans struck on identical goals, shots from the right wing, the first by Peter Lennox at 3:09 of the first, assisted by Josh Constant and, guess who – Duckless. The second by Chris Weeden, assisted again by Constant, came at 1:03 of the third to make it 2-0.
It proved to be the game winner, as the Kings finally solved Duckless on a Chris Skelley goal, assisted by Devin White and Stephan Robbe at 12:58 of the third. Other than than, Kings goalie Nate Serrentino kept the Saber-Titans at by with 20 saves.
And then the fun began. Duckless, who in the first period had robbed Ryan Desmimone on a shorthanded breakaway, came up huge in a flurry that left the crowd breathless. He got some help from a deflection by teammate Jack Belter.
“It sure was an adrenalin rush,” Duckless said. “I knew my team was going to keep me in it, and that’s how we got the victory.”
And now this game, while helping the Saber-Titans turn things around, was another indicator that the season isn’t going the way the Kings thought it would.
“Absolutely not,” Connors said. “We definitely should have had some wins at the beginning of the season that we didn’t follow through on. … We need more goals. We’re not scoring as much as we should be this season.”
Meanwhile, the atmosphere could not be beat. The teams face each other on Feb. 19.
“It was great,” Osgood said. “This is my first experience with North-South, but it’s a playoff game, and in another two weeks it’ll be another playoff game. We’ll take that. We feed off that stuff.”
Just the same way Zen master Duckless has been feeding off his meditation.