Boys’ ice hockey: ConVal-Conant ‘returns’ to new home ice against Kearsarge-Plymouth

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal-Conant boys' ice hockey team hosted Kearsarge-Plymouth at Keene Ice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/8/2022 11:58:48 AM
Modified: 1/8/2022 11:58:01 AM

The boys from ConVal and Conant hit their home ice for the first time in two years last week, and while the Griffins may have come up short on the scoreboard, there’s no arguing with their hustle and determination.

“We’re low on numbers, but we’re the hardest working team out here,” said ConVal-Conant senior captain Mason Devost after the 7-1 loss. “They had 23, we had nine, but we all love each other. We’re all hyping each other up. We know that if even if the odds are against us, we’re gonna be the hardest working team out there. That’s all we think of about going into the games.”

Kearsarge-Plymouth caught the Griffins on their heels early Wednesday night, scoring a quick four first-period goals to develop an insurmountable lead. The ‘Cats dumped in another two goals at the end of the third period, but aside from those short stretches at the beginning and end of the contest, ConVal-Conant was right there with the visitors. Senior defenders Elias Niemela and Leo Lacroix and sophomore Tristan Herr worked to keep the puck away from senior keeper Braden Crisp, while senior forwards Aiden King and Dom Lacroix and freshman Kiernan King moved the puck into the offensive end.

“We controlled it,” Devost said. “We had it in their zone for a while. We just couldn’t find the back of the net half the time, but we had shots on net. We were communicating well, we were playing the body more than they were. And we just overall did well – even with the numbers against us.”

Midway through the second, Devost had his chance; he took a pass from the younger King, skirted two K-P defenders and slung the puck into the back of the net for his first goal of the year, celebrating against the glass with his Griffin teammates as the Keene High boys cheered him on from the other side of the barricade.

“It’s just the best feeling ever,” Devost said, “with all the boys over there, hyping you up. It’s just a great feeling.”

Before Wednesday’s game at Keene Ice against Kearsarge-Plymouth, the Griffin boys’ ice hockey team’s last home game was back in 2020 – and back at their previous home arena at Winchendon School. The change to Keene Ice is just one of the many adjustments ConVal-Conant is making on the fly after the program’s year-and-a-half hiatus. The Griffins were a playoff team before the COVID layoff, and if they hope to get back there again this winter, they’ll need to be in prime physical condition to handle their necessarily lengthy shifts.

“We’ll get more conditioning as the season goes on,” Devost said. “We all talk to each other saying, ‘I know you’re tired, but we just have to push through. And that’s what our whole team’s about.”

ConVal-Conant (0-2) is home against Monadnock Thursday at 4:30 p.m.




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