This one was almost over before it even got started, thanks in part to Justin Joslyn’s goal 15 seconds into the Monadnock boys hockey team’s 6-4 win over Sanborn Regional High School at Keene Ice on Thursday.
Emphasis on almost.
The Huskies jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead before Sanborn climbed back within a goal in the second period. But that was as close as the Indians would get.
Joslyn finished with four goals and had a hat trick before the end of the first period.
Unfortunately, there were no fans in attendance to shower the ice with hats.
No matter for Joslyn, though.
“I just see the whole ice,” Joslyn said. “I see everybody, and I just know where to go.”
“Every game, he’s the fastest kid out there, he flies,” said Monadnock head coach Eric Sandstrum. “When he’s moving, and he and Luke Gay are clicking, it’s a pretty good first line.”
Brayden Ring, the third member of that first line, scored the other goal in the first period.
Monadnock’s entire top line combined for five of the six goals.
“We were doing awesome,” Joslyn said. “Everyone was fighting for the puck, we were throwing it in front of the net, throwing it on net, we were all doing all of our jobs out there today.”
“They work hard, that’s our top unit,” Sandstrum said. “And they showed why tonight.”
Even after falling behind big early, Sanborn came out fighting in the second. The Indians put the puck on net five times in the first four minutes of the period, netting a goal with 11:45 to go in the second to get on the board.
A few minutes later, Sanborn found itself on the power play and converted six seconds into the man-advantage to make it 4-2.
Then, five seconds into the ensuing 5-on-5, the Indians found the back of the net again to get within a goal.
Sanborn had scored three times before the Huskies even recorded a shot on goal in the second period.
“Obviously a bit of a letdown in the second period,” Sandstrum said. “They were feeling good about themselves, and they came out and let them right back into the game.”
Joslyn broke Sanborn’s three-goal streak with his fourth goal of the day with 6:27 left in the second period to make it 5-3 in favor of the Huskies. Matt Roberts made it 6-3 about a minute later.
Sanborn scored on another power play at the end of the second period to make it a two-goal game heading into the third.
The final period started with 48 seconds of 4-on-4 hockey, before Sanborn went on the power play for 3:22 because of a five-minute major penalty called against Monadnock at the end of the second period.
The Huskies killed off the long penalty to keep the two-goal cushion intact. Goalie Cam Olivo recorded three big saves during the penalty kill, and 21 throughout the day.
“For his second year, he’s come a long way,” Sandstrum said. “He’s a hell of a competitor. What I love about him is he’s competitive, and he gives us a chance. That’s all we can ask. The guys appreciate him back there.”
Olivo battled off some late pressure from Sanborn to finalize the 6-4 win.
Sanborn outshot Monadnock 25-24, including 8-4 in the third period.
Thursday marked Monadnock’s first game since Jan. 13, when it lost 4-3 in overtime to Pembroke Academy, because Monadnock athletics were temporarily shut down due to COVID protocols.
“It’s a matter of getting back into a routine,” Sandstrum said. “I thought at the beginning of the year we did pretty good those first couple weeks of getting into game shape. Having that 10-day layoff really hurt, so we kind of had to start over again.”
The layoff didn’t stop Joslyn from having a career day on the ice, but he said he felt the effects physically, both from the time off and having to wear a mask on the ice.
“I’m a little out of shape,” Joslyn said. “It’s getting better, but the masks make it a little hard. But we’re getting used to it.”
The Huskies next play Saturday when they visit John Stark Regional High School of Weare at 2:30 p.m.
“Hopefully it’s a building block,” Sandstrum said. “John Stark’s been a nemesis of ours for years, but we’re just building on what we had tonight.”