New Hampshire D3 Top 8
A superb overall performance when it mattered most produced No. 1 John Stark/Hopkinton’s second State title in program history. Despite two NHIAA regular-season losses and an in-season tournament loss to defending State Champ Kennett, the General Hawks prevailed, 6-2, at SNHU Arena.
With only two seniors on the roster, coach Denis Kolehmainen’s squad may have arrived a year ahead of schedule. Provided everyone returns, JSH may be the leader in the clubhouse as the team to beat a year from now.
No. 2 Kennett ripped off a 15-game winning streak but it wasn’t the Eagles’ day in their title defense against JSH. Coach Mike Lane faces a substantial restocking job with eight seniors – including All-State first team picks Connor Doucet (F), Mackenzie Murphy (D) and John Biggio (G) – graduating.
No. 3 Monadnock/Fall Mountain reached the semifinals under the guidance of Coach of the Year Steve Walsh. The Huskies won 10-of-11 to close the regular season. All but two players return so expect MFM to be in the mix a year from now.
No. 4 Belmont/Gilford proved tenacious under coach Dave Saball despite a 16-player roster and bounced Berlin/Gorham in the quarterfinals. Only four players graduate but Player of the Year Harrison Parent is among them.
No. 5 Berlin/Gorham was 8-1-1 through 10 games but couldn’t maintain the pace. The Mountaineers graduate seven, including All-State first team defenseman Travis Lamontagne, leaving coach Mike Poulin will holes to plug.