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Final NH D2 Top 10: When it mattered most, #1 Bow had all the right answers

New Hampshire D2 Poll

RankTeamPR*WLT
1Bow21821
2Keene11810
3Windham31361
4St. Thomas Aquinas41280
5Dover51081
6Goffstown61270
7Spaulding89100
8Portsmouth/Newmarket109110
9Oyster River7991
10Lebanon/Stevens99100
Warrior-Polls

If you’ve been around sports in any capacity for any length of time, you’ve surely heard the phrase: “It’s hard to beat the same opponent three times in a season.” Trite? Sure – but also more than occasionally accurate.

In claiming the program’s second State championship, No. 1 Bow (18-2-1) clearly went to school on the lessons learned from its 3-0 and 5-3 regular-season losses to Keene in knocking off the undefeated Blackbirds when it mattered most, 4-2, in the title game. While seven graduate, a talented and experienced core will return for coach Tim Walsh.

It is never easy to have your first loss end your season. When it occurs with a State Championship on the line, it is infinitely more frustrating. No. 2 Keene (18-1-0) now knows that, denied both perfection and the program’s first State crown by Bow. Nine Blackbirds graduate, including most of the top forwards.

All things considered, No. 3 Windham (13-6-1) – the 2016 champion – had a pretty solid debut campaign under first-year coach Shawn Dunn, reaching the semifinals in its title defense. Only a handful of seniors graduate, so expect the Jaguars to be in the mix once again next winter.

Frustrated earlier in the season by a string of strong performances by opposing goalies, No. 4 St. Thomas Aquinas (12-8-0) won 8-of-9 to reach the semifinals, where it bowed out against Keene. Eight Saints graduate, including six forwards, so coach Peter Harwood and his staff face a bit of a revamp next winter.

It was a season of streaks under first-year coach Mike Young for No. 5 Dover (10-8-1), which won seven in a row in the middle of the season. With a large contingent of underclassmen returning, the Green Wave seems well-stocked to make a big push a year from now.

Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle joined the HNIB team in 1990 and is a Senior Writer and Director of the Northern New England and Mass/R.I. High School Division camps. An award-winning veteran editor/writer of 35 years experience in the print and digital mediums, he has conceptualized, edited and produced original content and coordinated production for local and global publications and their websites. He holds degrees from Merrimack College and Boston University and won multiple NEPA and NEAP awards during his tenure as Sports Editor of The Daily News of Newburyport and News Editor of The Amesbury News. The Newburyport, MA native resides with his family in Seabrook, NH. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @kdoyle40.
Kevin Doyle
- 1 week ago