The New Hampton Huskies traveled south on I-93 to Concord, NH to take on the #12 ranked, St. Paul’s School, today. St. Paul’s is also a member of the Lakes Region, making today’s matching extremely important, due to the Lakes Region points on the line and a win would help put New Hampton in good position for the Small School Tournament at the end of the year. Knowing that St. Paul’s was a strong team with a strong goaltender, getting off to a good start and scoring the first goal would be crucial for the Huskies. New Hampton came ready to play and put the pressure on St. Paul’s right from the opening faceoff. Two and a half minutes into the game, Parker Schaarschmidt scored the important first goal to give the Huskies an early lead. Shaarschmidt’s goal started with Steven Ardagna making a quick pass up to Jake Dunlap inside New Hampton’s defensive zone. Dunlap caught the pass and skated down the boards before making a nice inside out move to beat a St. Paul’s defenseman wide at the offensive blueline. Dunlap then carried the puck into the zone just past the bottom of the circle before making a nice feed to Schaarschmidt who was crashing the net. Schaarschmidt did a nice job of deflecting the puck into the top corner giving the St. Paul’s goaltender no chance to make a save. The rest of the period saw back and forth action, with the Huskies having a more offensive zone time and outshooting St. Paul’s 12-6. In the second period, New Hampton built upon their strong play in the first period, dominating the first seven minutes, not allowing St. Paul’s a shot on net. Seven and a half minutes in, Cory Morris, put the Huskies up by two. Davis Bone made a nice pass to Duke Litwin who was supporting the puck on the breakout. Litwin came down the ice, chipped the puck past the St. Paul’s defenseman and then hustled past him to pick it up at the side of the net. Litwin looked as if he was going to continue around the net with the puck but threw a pass behind his back to Cory Morris fooling both the St. Paul’s goaltender and defenseman. Morris, one-timed Litwin pass into the open net. After Morris’s goal, both teams had opportunities on the power play to score, but neither was able to capitalize, leaving the New Hampton up 2-0 after two periods of play. In the third period, the Huskies came out looking to protect the lead rather than keeping the pressure on St. Paul’s, which allowed St. Paul’s to create some offensive pressure of their own. For the first ten minutes, despite St. Paul’s pressure, New Hampton did a good job of keeping St. Paul’s to the outside and playing tough defense. Just past the ten minute mark, St. Paul’s offensive pressure lead to the Huskies taking a penalty. Less than a minute later, St. Paul’s took advantage on their power play, scoring to cut New Hampton’s lead in half. The Huskies stayed strong in the final seven minutes and Lucas Brine made a couple huge saves to help New Hampton hang on to their one goal lead. James Hatzepetros iced the game on his 150 foot empty net goal with less than a minute remaining. Lucas Brine stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced to earn the 3-1 win in net for the Huskies. Today’s game was one of the best all-around games New Hampton has played from start to finish and the Huskies will look to build of this going into the weekend, facing two tough opponents. New Hampton faces off against Winchendon School on Friday night and then travels to Kimball Union Academy on Saturday afternoon.