New Hampshire HS Hockey – Division 1 State Final: Concord Blanks Bedford, 3-0, For Third Straight Crown

HNIB Staff
HNIB Staff
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Concord won its third straight NHIAA Division 1 state title with a 3-0 win over Bedford.

Concord’s quest for a three-peat and an undefeated season came to fruition Saturday afternoon when they shut out Bedford, 3-0, in the NHIAA Division 1 State Finals.

Senior goalie Will Pegnam turned away all 24 shots he faced including nine in the final period and senior forward Cam McGonigle had a goal and two assists for the Crimson Tide.

Will Pegnam

The game started at a furious pace with both teams combining for nine shots in the first three minutes of the game. Both goalies made big saves to keep the game scoreless but with 7:52 left in the first period, McGonigle broke the stalemate and gave Concord the lead, snapping a shot home from the left side that beat Bedford’s Matthew Desmond (28 saves). Concord held the shot advantage 18-9 as the teams headed to the first intermission.

On the power play, senior Colin Nelson extended the Tide’s lead when he slid the rebound of a McGonigle shot past Desmond on the far side. McGonigle would later loft a pass to a streaking Brooks Craigue and send him in on a breakaway. Craigue beat Desmond high on the glove side to complete the Concord scoring and seal the win.

Bedford to coach Jon Garrity with captains (l to r) Ethan Larochelle, Luke Moores and Daniel O’Connor and NHIAA runner-up trophy

Bedford would test Concord during the third while carrying much of the play but Pegnam and the Tide’s defense withstood the pressure. Concord coach Duncan Walsh credits the team’s defense as being the strength of his team.

“We weren’t going to allow an odd man rush,” the veteran coach said. “That’s our philosophy, good team defense, forwards and D, and we have good goaltenders.”

Concord lost a big part of its defense midway through the first when Jack Shoemaker went down with a leg injury.

“We lost a key defenseman. Shoemaker is a good player,” Walsh said. “So then Colin Nelson, we put him back on D and kept playing.”

Their game plan worked as they held Bedford scoreless for only the second time this season. Concord never surrendered more than two goals in any games this season.

The Bulldogs went 15-2-1 in NHIAA play, only losing to Concord and Bishop Guertin.

Bedford coach Jon Garrity on the success of his season, “the guys worked so hard, we are proud of the season we had and the record we put up.”

Bedford was making its sixth appearance in the finals in the last seven years.

They were crowned co-champions in the 2020 season when Covid wiped out the finals and won three of the four previous Division 1 titles. Bedford will be graduating twelve seniors.

Concord becomes the first Division 1 team to three-peat since 1997-1999 when they also accomplished the feat. Success has become mainstream for the Tide going an incredible 63-3-2 over the past 3 years.

When asked about the continued success, Walsh said,  “that’s pretty hard to do. The seniors have been on the team for four years. Those guys have a lasting legacy in Concord High School hockey.”

Concord graduates eight seniors this year.

** Story by Brett Ricci

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