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Dunlap, Bickford lead Renegades past Wolfpack


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

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Blake Dunlap had a pair of goals in the win over Laconia/Winnisquam last week. Bob Martin. (click for larger version)
January 15, 2018
LACONIA — The Moultonborough Academy/Inter-Lakes Renegades have had an up and down start to the season, which was put on display last week when the hockey team beat Laconia/Winnisquam 7-1 and then lost to Monadnock 6-1.

The win against Laconia/Winnisquam came on Jan. 10 at Merrill Fay Arena, and in that game Blake Dunlap and Keegan Bickford shined with a pair of goals each.

The Renegades came out firing quick and scored 40 seconds into the game on an unassisted goal by Dunlap. While M/I had plenty of scoring chances for the next 10 minutes or so, it wasn't until 1:11 left in the period that the team would score again to make it a 2-0 game. The goal was by Garrett McCarthy, assisted by Brett Burns

After a Laconia/Winnisquam goal by Hannah Max with 10:58 left in the second period, M/I went on a tear. Dunlap scored his second unassisted goal of the night with 9:10 remaining to make it a 3-1 game. Just three minutes later, Bickford made it a 4-1 game with a goal assisted by Andrew Spicuzza. Seconds later, freshman Carter Rumery got into the scoring mix with a goal to make it 5-1.

The next goal came from Alek Sorokin with an assist by Burns and the last goal was from Bickford with an assist by Gable Busby and Dunlap.

Coach Chuck Yaeger was happy with the win, saying a big thing was getting scoring from people other than those on the first line.

"It was nice to get some scoring from the other group of players that I have," said Yaeger. "I've got my first line and six forwards who are all battling for more ice time. I am continually switching and rotating them around to give them quality time and find scoring from the other group."

Hunter Sanders was in goal for the Renegades and had 12 saves. Sanders, who last year was an honorable mention for the All-State team, will be getting plenty of time in net moving forward. He was splitting time with Nick Spicuzza in what looked to be a fantastic two-headed monster in goal. Spicuzza recently went down with a knee injury that could sideline him for much, if not all, of the season, according to Yaeger.

"I cross my fingers that he stays healthy," said Yaeger. "Last year Hunter stepped in at the end of the year when Nick got hurt and earned himself All-State, and we are looking for him to continue in the same manor. With Nick's injury now, it is all going on Hunter's shoulders."

Yaeger added, "He is very skilled and capable of leading us the rest of the way."

The Lakers traveled to Monadnock on Jan. 13 and suffered a big 6-1 loss on the road. The lone goal was from McCarthy with Sorokin on the assist. Monadnock took control from the beginning of the game, scoring three goals in the first period. Yaeger said it is no excuse, but this was the team's first time on the road and it resulted in a tough start to the game.

"Unfortunately, that first period dictated that we dug ourselves a bit of a hole that we had a hard time getting out," said Yaeger. "The second and third period were played pretty evenly."

Sanders had 21 saves on the night.

The Renegades hosted Sanborn on Jan. 15 and Somersworth/Coe-Brown on Jan. 17, with both games coming after deadline. The next game for the M/I is against John Stark/Hopkinton on Jan. 24 at 6:15 p.m.

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