Boys’ hockey: Bow falls flat in 5-1 loss to Bedford

Bow senior Billy Smethurst passes the puck during Wednesday’s 5-1 loss to Bedford.

Bow senior Billy Smethurst passes the puck during Wednesday’s 5-1 loss to Bedford. CHIP GRIFFIN / Photos By Chip

Luke Hartshorn tries to poke the puck through the legs of Bedford goalie Tristan Kerr during Wednesday night’s matchup at Everett Arena.

Luke Hartshorn tries to poke the puck through the legs of Bedford goalie Tristan Kerr during Wednesday night’s matchup at Everett Arena. CHIP GRIFFIN / Photos By Chip

Bow goalie Kian O’Leary scrambles to keep the puck out of the net as three Bedford players converge.

Bow goalie Kian O’Leary scrambles to keep the puck out of the net as three Bedford players converge. CHIP GRIFFIN / Photos By Chip

By ERIC RYNSTON-LOBEL

Monitor staff

Published: 01-31-2024 11:55 PM

Modified: 02-01-2024 9:18 AM


CONCORD – It was about as bad a night as Bow (8-4) could’ve had. A game at home against an inferior team in Bedford (5-5) with a chance to move to 9-3 on the season turned into a bloodbath. 

The Falcons trailed 2-1 after the first period and 5-1 after the second, ultimately losing by that score.

Bow junior Owen Webber scored the Falcons’ only goal at 13:59 of the first. The Bulldogs had five different players find the back of the net: Ryan O’Connor, Dylan Riccio, Brady Plante, Parker O’Toole and Domminic Tagliaferro.

Here are three notes from Wednesday’s loss for the Falcons:

Bow missing that edge

The biggest difference in the game, head coach Tim Walsh argued, was his team’s lack of compete level, especially in the second period when they allowed three goals.

While Bow generally controlled play in the first despite trailing, errors snowballed in the second, and Bedford took advantage.

“The second period was the game,” Walsh said. “Our compete level on and off the puck just wasn’t there. It’s concerning. We’ve been doing this now for about two weeks.”

Whereas earlier in the season the Falcons did the gritty things well, like win loose puck battles and races to the puck, that level of intensity was absent on Wednesday. 

Overcomplicating things

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In addition to grit, Walsh pointed to Bow’s struggles with the puck in front of the net. The Falcons did outshoot Bedford 31-25 for the game, but they didn’t do a good enough job shooting pucks on net in a way that could create rebounds and better scoring chances.

“We get the puck inside the Grade A area and are making the extra stick handle instead of just ripping it,” Walsh said. “That’s how we were scoring. Guys were getting it in that area from the hashmarks in and just firing it. We’ve gotten away from it.”

Walsh hopes it’s something they can continue to improve on in practice, just keeping things simple.

“We talk about it on rush plays of not trying to overcomplicate things, and we want to be attacking the net,” he said. “When we have the puck, the guy that has it needs to be attacking the net, and the guys that don’t have the puck need to be attacking the net. We want to get that puck to the net and get rebounds, but we’re trying to make the real pretty play that’s oftentimes not available in a game.”

Power play woes

Most frustrating for the Falcons was the fact that they finished the night 0-for-4 on the power play, including a 5-on-3 chance in the latter third of the second period when the game was still in reach. 

“Sometimes you’re moving around great, get opportunities,” Walsh said. “I think a lot of times there were loose pucks at the crease, and we let up as we went to shoot the puck in the net instead of bearing down, getting lower to the ice and burying the puck. Their kids scrambled and competed.”

It all ties back to the overarching theme of the night: Bedford displayed a level of grit and toughness that Bow just could not match.

“We just don't have that killer instinct around the net right now which we’ve gotta learn,” Walsh said. “We gotta get it. We work on it in practice, and that’s gotta translate to the games.”