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ConVal boys win first game of season 5-4

It didn’t take long for the ConVal boys hockey team to match last year’s win total. The Cougars, who finished last season 1-17, came out strong against Manchester West and earned their first win of the season 5-4.

It was a wild first period in Manchester that saw ConVal forward Isaiah Taylor score two goals (both assisted by Carl Svensson) as the Cougars jumped out to a 2-0 lead. After a Ryan Thibault goal made it 3-0, Manchester’s Zach Allard put the Blue Knights on the board. ConVal’s Eric Leger capped off the six-goal period with a power play goal just before the buzzer sounded.

Manchester rallied back behind goals by Alex Wright and Noah Cote to get within one before Leger stopped their rally with another power play goal to end the second with ConVal leading 5-3.

Manchester’s Wright scored again, making it 5-4 midway through the third, but ConVal goaltender Sean Stinehour buckled down and survived a late power play, making several key saves to give ConVal the win.

ConVal hosted Kennett on Saturday afternoon, losing 5-3. Leger scored again for the Cougars; Trevor Burke and Campbell French scored goals as well, including French’s first-ever high school hockey goal.

The 1-1 ConVal boys travel to New England College on Jan. 4 at 6 p.m. for a game against John Stark.

The ConVal girls team was also in action this weekend, as they traveled to UNH to take on Oyster River. The Cougars held their own, entering the third period down only 2-0, but the game got away from them down the stretch, and Oyster River won 5-0. The game was played on the college-sized rink at the Whittemore Center, which was a change from the arenas at which ConVal is used to playing.

“The girls did well for their first time playing on a larger skating surface,” said head coach Courtney McKay.

Senior Lilly Grisafi started in net for the Cougars; Olivia Thomas and Sam Hanlon anchored the defense. ConVal also got strong play out of newcomer Anna Killian, a German foreign exchange student who joined the team this season.

The ConVal girls travel to Bishop Brady on Saturday.

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