ConVal boys hockey fall in OT

  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.


    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.


    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.


    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.


    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.


    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.


    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.


    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.


    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.


    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.


    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.


    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.


    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.


    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.


    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

WINCHENDON — Saturday’s game was one of six circled on the calendar.

In many games this season, the ConVal boys hockey team just simply does not have the experience nor the depth to play with the stronger Division III teams. But prior to the start of his first full year, coach Josh Upham outlined games he felt his team could win.

And with Manchester West coming for a visit, the Cougars had their first real opportunity to pull out a second win since breaking through with a 10-5 defeat of Kearsarge on Jan. 2.

Both teams entered the game with the same 1-6 record and had similar results against like opponents. But the Cougars had to play without senior captain Mason Ellis on the defensive end.

Yet after tying the game late in the third period to force overtime, the Cougars came up just short in a 6-5 loss to the Blue Knights.

“To be honest, it was a game we needed to win,” said Upham. “We had six games marked down that we knew we should win in order to make the playoffs as the eighth seed. We were a little short handed and it’s a lot of minutes to be eaten up by players who don’t necessarily skate as much as Mason.”

With ConVal on a power play, but trailing 5-4 and time ticking away, sophomore Jason Haley got the puck into the offensive zone. Haley, who really took over the defensive leadership role with Ellis out, moved down the left side and got behind the Blue Knights’ net. As the defense closed in, Haley found senior Zach Mackey in front for a one-timer that tied the score at five with just 2:04 remaining.

After both teams came up short in an attempt to end the game in regulation, Zach Allard put in the game-winner past ConVal’s junior goalie Sean Stinehour with less than two minutes gone by in the first overtime.

“I slowed it down,” said Stinehour. “It hit the ice and I tried to put my hand behind it, but it slowly went across the line. It was such a disappointment.”

Stinehour was sensational in net for the Cougars. He made 57 saves on 63 Manchester West shots. He had 16 stops in the first period, 18 more in the second and then a game-high of 22 in the third. Stinehour also made one save in overtime before Allard’s shot just got past him.

“We were quite pleased with his performance,” said Upham. “He’s one of those goalies where as the game progresses he tends to get better.”

Less than a minute into the third, ConVal looked ready to break the game open. Sophomore Erik Leger scored a short-handed goal off a feed from Haley to put the Cougars up 4-2.

Despite Manchester West’s distinct advantage in shots on net, the play of Stinehour had given ConVal the advantage on the scoreboard.

“I was just trying to stop the puck as best I could,” said Stinehour.

Then things started to unravel. Sophomore Patrick Joseph and Haley each got a penalty on the same play with 11:27 left, giving Manchester West a 5-on-3 power play.

The Blue Knight scored 25 seconds into the two-man advantage and again 29 seconds later to tie the game at four. But even with ConVal back at full strength, Manchester West was able to put the go ahead goal past Stinehour a mere 10 seconds after the ensuing face off.

“Five-on-3’s are always tough and they scored quick,” said Upham. “We probably should have taken a time out a little earlier, but I was hoping going even strength that we could maybe figure it out and neutralize their momentum.”

Manchester West began the scoring on a short-handed goal about three minutes into the game. Haley’s goal just past the midway point of the first made it a 1-1 game entering the second. Then ConVal scored two quick goals, the first by sophomore Patrick Joseph, assisted by Leger, and then the two forwards reversed roles as Leger scored his first of two. Leger also had an assist, while Haley had a goal and two helpers.

Allard, who had a hat trick on the day, scored his first with 5:18 remaining in the second to cut ConVal’s lead to 3-2.

The Cougars host Laconia-Winnisquam on Wednesday and travel to Portsmouth on Saturday.

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