Hanover girls hockey wins 6-0 over Bishop Guertin

Lucy Braga gives Hanover hockey goalie J.J. Masland a fist bump while teammate Hannah Gardner braids her hair before the start of their game with Bishop Guertin on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024. Hanover won, 6-0.  (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Lucy Braga gives Hanover hockey goalie J.J. Masland a fist bump while teammate Hannah Gardner braids her hair before the start of their game with Bishop Guertin on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024. Hanover won, 6-0. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck

Hanover's Julia Lawe steals the puck from Bishop Guertin's Aine Kelly and Riley Goldwaite in the second period of their game on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024. Hanover won, 6-0. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Hanover's Julia Lawe steals the puck from Bishop Guertin's Aine Kelly and Riley Goldwaite in the second period of their game on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024. Hanover won, 6-0. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News — Jennifer Hauck

Hanover's Nora Bradley emerges from a crush of teammates after her first goal of the night during Hanover's game with Bishop Guertin on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024. Hanover won, 6-0. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Hanover's Nora Bradley emerges from a crush of teammates after her first goal of the night during Hanover's game with Bishop Guertin on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024. Hanover won, 6-0. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News — Jennifer Hauck

Hanover's Maeve Lee keeps track of the puck during her team's game with Bishop Guertin on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024. Hanover won, 6-0. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Hanover's Maeve Lee keeps track of the puck during her team's game with Bishop Guertin on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024. Hanover won, 6-0. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck

By TRIS WYKES

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 02-18-2024 9:31 PM

Modified: 02-20-2024 3:19 PM


WEST LEBANON — The Hanover High and Bishop Guertin girls hockey teams have staged many a memorable NHIAA game during the past decade, battling for standings position or their playoff lives.

Saturday night’s clash at Campion Rink was not a dramatic continuation of the series, although the Bears were more than happy to exit with a 6-0 victory highlighted by a Nora Bradley hat trick.

“We’ve got to win out to be sure of home ice in the playoffs,” said Hanover coach John Dodds, whose team improved to 12-4-1 while dropping the Cardinals to 12-3. “We’ve got our work cut out for us, because we definitely don’t want to go on the road somewhere.”

Hanover closes with games at Woburn (Mass.) High and against Oyster River-Portsmouth (14-3). The first is one of the Bears’ six out-of-state scheduled games, booked to give the slate a higher degree of difficulty. The second is against a team that lost the teams’ earlier meeting this season, 4-2.

“I’d rather play and lose to six good (out-of-state) teams than have six noncompetive games,” said Dodds, who has long booked foes from Massachusetts, Vermont and New York. “When March rolls around, you have to ready for playoff hockey.”

Hanover fell to Oyster River-Portsmouth in last season’s semifinals and lost several impact players to graduation. This winter’s team includes only 13 players and each sees action, with the usual exception of reserve goaltender J.J. Masland. The Bears’ top line of Bradley, Maeve Lee and Rory Seelig might be the state’s best, but the team doesn’t have the quality depth it’s sometimes enjoyed in the past.

“We’re just trying to be consistent and get everybody to realize success isn’t just going to be handed to them,” said Dodds, who’s overseen 12 titles during 19 seasons at the helm. “Last year was such a shock to some of our newer players who thought maybe we’d walk through the playoffs. But you can have sick players or a bad bounce of the puck.”

Bradley scored Hanover’s first two goals Saturday, one on a rebound and the other while cruising through the slot and off a Lee feed from the corner. The hosts led, 2-0, after a period.

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After Julia Lawe’s soft shot somehow slid under Bishop Guertin goaltender Ciara Fallon, Bradley capped her hat trick with a beautiful, one-time shot from the slot. Another Lee feed, this on from the left side, set up the strike, which Bradley unleashed while dropping to one knee to get the best angle and leverage.

“Her hockey IQ is off the charts,” Dodds said. “She’s got a great work ethic, she’s a tremendous passer and she sees the ice so well. She’s not as flashy as some players, so she doesn’t get noticed as much, but boy, she can play.”

Gardner converted a breakaway and Hannah Gardner closed the night’s scoring on a slap shot from the point. Gardner, Seelig and Lee each finished with two assists and Eleanor Edson had 15 saves, including the snuff out of a breakaway with a fast left leg.

“We’ve worked with her to be more aggressive on those,” Dodds said, crediting assistant coach Tucker Garrity-Hanchett for his efforts. “That was a great kick out there and it could have been a different game if that had gone in, because it would have been 2-1.”

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.