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Junior hockey — Wolves shuffle roster to prepare for playoff fight

The New England Wolves, open up 2015 with a 2 game home- stand, January 10 and 11, against Francis Division leader the Vermont Lumberjacks. The Lumberjacks are paced by one of the league's youngest stars and a player who has attracted significant NCAA D1 and NHL interest, 1998 birth year defenseman Markuss Komuls of Riga Latvia (44 points in 32 games). The month of January and each team's performance will factor in heavily in the MJHL playoff seeding.

So far on the season the Wolves have been led by leading goal scorer Dillon Smith of Madison, N.H. and point leader Kevin Morello of Monroe, N.J. The team has had stellar goaltending provided by Zach Skop of Milford, N.J. and Harley Eliason of Glasgow, Mont. In addition to Smith, the team has 8 New Hampshire natives on their active roster; Peter Marshall, Josh Grasso and Owen Richard of Wolfeboro, Bryce Ricker of Laconia, Dom Senerchia of Walpole, Andrew D'Amour of Belmont and Brogan Hurst of Gilford.

Complementing the current roster, Wolves GM Andrew Trimble signed or traded for several players over the Holiday break in order to bolster his roster for a playoff run. Newly acquired Forwards Ryan Padden of Fort Peck, Mont., Jared Wood of Gorham, Maine, and Kyle Lopes of Monte Sereno, Calif., all have either Junior Hockey experience or have participated in the USA Hockey National Tournament.

Goaltender John Hagan of Mentor, Ohio was acquired in a trade with the New Jersey Renegades. "Our goaltenders have all received interest from our EHL team in Waterville, and bringing in a kid like John provides that we will have quality goaltending when our kids move up to the next level," said Asst. Coach Mike Potenza.

The Wolves open up 2015 at home against the Lumberjacks on Saturday, Jan. 10, with a 4:15 p.m. puck drop. Admission is free for kids under 12. The Broadway North Wolves Dancers will provide entertainment between the 2nd and 3rd periods. Sunday's home game against the Lumberjacks is slated to start at 9 a.m. All entrants are encouraged to "Paint the Rink Red" by wearing a Red-colored top such as a Lakes Region Lakers Away game jersey.

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Last Updated on Monday, 05 January 2015 10:15

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Junior hockey — Spirit goalie wins medal at World Junior Championships

The New Hampshire Fighting Spirit have returned from their holiday break and look to kick off 2015 the way they ended 2014. After three intense practice days the Spirit will face off against the East Coast Minutemen on Wednesday, January 7 at 3 p.m. This game will be played at the Laconia Ice Arena though it will be the Minutemen who are the home team, due to this being a makeup game from a previous contest. The Minutemen have struggled thus far and have yet to win a game. However, they are rejuvenated from the holiday break by picking up four new European players that should add to their lineup. "We know the Minutemen have improved since we played them last and we need to be ready to compete on Wednesday" says Spirit coach Ben Tefft. "Coming off of a long break like this we expect there to be some ups and downs within the game, we need to manage those and keep our play simple. There is no need to complicate our efforts by straying from our systems. As long as we stick to what we have in place and compete we will be fine."

Spirit goaltender Charlie Smart rejoins the team in the New Year after competing with team Australia at the IIHF World Junior Championships in Spain. Australia won their first medal at the World Junior Championships by taking home bronze in the event. Smart was the main reason for this as he led Australia with a 2-0-1 record while posting a 1.99 goals against average and a 96.23 save percentage. Charlie turned away 153 of the 159 shots he faced giving up only 6 goals the entire tournament. His performance not only led Australia to bronze but also nabbed him the Best Goaltender of the Tournament award as chosen by the Tournament staff. "We are very proud of Charlie and how well he played at the World Juniors, he is a great young man with a very bright future ahead of him. Any time you can compete and represent your country and have a performance like Charlie did it is a special moment that he will never forget," says Tefft.

Apart from their game Wednesday the Spirit will travel to Biddeford, Maine this weekend to take on the Maine Wild. They will take on the Wild Saturday night in Biddeford with Sunday's contest being held at the Laconia Ice Arena at 1:45 p.m. For more information on the Spirit and their schedule please visit their website at www.fightingspirithockey.com

Last Updated on Monday, 05 January 2015 10:11

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Unified basketball tournament to be held at Belmont High School on Saturday

BELMONT — On Saturday, January 10, the first ever Lakes Region Unified Basketball Tournament will be played at Belmont High School.
Unified sports bring people together with and without intellectual disabilities on the same sports teams to compete. According to Cassie Contigiani, BHS senior and organizer of the tournament, teams from five area schools have been invited to participate. The event was organized as part of Cassie's senior project. Her goal is to offer a tournament experience for all of our new athletes at Belmont High School in their inaugural year of unified basketball. Regular season for the Lakes Region unified teams starts the following week, so this tournament will provide a pre-season look at the competition.
Tournament games will begin at 9 a.m. with each team playing in two games to determine the teams advancing to the final round. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for students. Admission fees, as well as funds raised from raffles and food concessions, will be donated to the Special Olympics.
Contact Cassie Contigiani with any questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Monetary donations are also being accepted to help defray the cost of t-shirts for the players and volunteers, and medals for the tournament champions.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 January 2015 10:01

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LMS girls win Holiday Tournament in decisive fashion

The Laconia Middle School girls' team won the Holiday Tournament held Dec. 26-30 in Laconia.

First opponent for Laconia was Bow. Amelia Clairmont, who scored 15 points in the game, lead Laconia's offense while the Sachem defense allowed only 3 points by halftime. Final score was 29-9.

Laconia faced Merrimack in the quarter final round. This time it was Hannah Dow's 12 points that lead Laconia. Megan Gaspa was once again a rebounding machine with 6 defensive and 8 offensive boards. Ellie Kelly, Avy Bartlett, Caitlin Beattie, and Sydney Stevens had solid floor games for Laconia. Final score: Laconia 41, Merrimack Valley 21.

Team-oriented play brought Laconia to a 39-24 victory over Belmont in the semi final round. Clairmont and Dow each posted 11 points, while Gaspa and  Clairmont each had numerous steals and rebounds leading the Lady Sachems to victory. Delaney Ross, Sarah Mize, and Abby Shute also made significant contributions off the bench for Laconia in the semi final win.

Laconia remained dominant against final round opponent Merrimack Valley. Clairmont scored 16, while a smothering full-court defense forced numerous turnovers. Laconia won, 36-26.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 January 2015 09:47

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