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Parent is Division III Player of the Year


by Bob Martin
Sports Reporter - Gilford Steamer, WInnisquam Echo, Meredith News

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Harrison Parent was named the Division 3 Player of the Year this past season. Bob Martin. (click for larger version)
March 22, 2018
LACONIA — Harrison Parent wrapped up his hockey career for the Belmont/Gilford Bulldogs this season on a high note by being named the Division 3 Player of the Year in his senior season.

Parent had 51 points for the Bulldogs this season, which included 26 goals and 25 assists. His career numbers for Belmont/Gilford are also outstanding, finishing with 128 total points good for third in the team's history. He had 66 goals and 62 assists for Belmont/Gilford in his four years with the team.

"Harrison really worked hard at hockey and it's nice to see that hard work pay off," said coach Dave Saball. "Getting Player of the Year in Division III is a great accomplishment and I'm so proud of him. Harrison is a special player on and off the ice."

Parent said it was a true honor to be named the Player of the Year, saying that he set this as a goal for himself at the beginning of the season. Last year Parent was a second team All-Stater and this year he put in the extra effort to make himself the best player he could be.

"I wanted to help my teammates reach our goal of making the playoffs and along the way I reached my own personal goal of being named," said Parent. "Good fortune and hard work, I guess."

This was an interesting season for the Bulldogs, as there were many players on the team who were playing out of position and finding their roles on the team. The team found its identity as the season wore on, and the Bulldogs ended up going all the way to the semifinals of the state tournament.

"We had guys that came onto the team and jumped off the team for whatever reason, so we started the season trying to fill spots," said Parent. "We had to have people play positions they weren't that comfortable with, but everyone was a team player and worked hard."

Parent said the beginning of the seasons started a bit tough due to this, but he said the excellent coaching and senior leadership made a big difference.

Looking back on the season, Parent said he had a couple moments that were most memorable. One was on Jan. 27 on a game against Hollis Brookline/Derryfield where he reached the 100-point milestone.

"This was a big milestone and something I had been looking forward to my whole high school career," said Parent.

Parent said another came in the quarterfinals against Berlin/Gorham, where the Bulldogs came away with a win on the road. It was the first time Belmont/Gilford had beaten Berlin/Gorham on the road in the history of the team. The two teams have had some battles over the years, with wins being traded back and forth, and Parent said this was extra special to him.

"My dad played hockey in Berlin so it was kind of crazy," said Parent. "We were underdogs going into the games so it was one of the greatest feelings I've had, winning that game."

Parent said going into a game against a team like Berlin/Gorham has a different feel than other games, although he said the team tries to go out and play their style of hockey and not change things up much. He said everyone was locked in and ready for the quarterfinal game.

"Going into that game a lot of people didn't think we were coming away with a win, but our whole team knew that this was going to be a game we would win," said Parent.

Parent said these were two of the most memorable games of his career, along with winning the state championship in his freshman year against Berlin/Gorham.

"That was something I will never forget," said Parent.

Parent had the chance to play alongside his brother this season, also, which was something new to him. He said because Hayden is only a sophomore he didn't get to play with him much in youth hockey, but it was a great experience to be out there controlling the ice with him.

"He is a great playmaker and an easy guy to play with," Parent said. "He makes playing the game a whole lot easier."

Parent said being the Player of the Year was something he was working toward, and also something that didn't come easy. He explained that he played summer leagues and played with the New England Wolves in the fall. Parent said he is always fine tuning his skills to get to the next level.

"I'm always doing something that translates to hockey, whether it is on or off the ice," said Parent.

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