No. 2 John Stark/Hopkinton never trailed and pulled away in the third period as it dethroned defending champion and top-seeded Kennett, 6-2, to win the NHIAA Division 3 championship Saturday afternoon at SNHU Arena in Manchester.
The title is the General Hawks’ first since 2013 and second in program history. JSH never trailed. Kennett had won both regular-season games.
With the score tied, 2-2, JSH freshman Nolan Sauer took over. He ripped home the game-winning goal from the mid-slot with 2:35 left in the second period; created space with a brilliant individual effort early in the third period; and was a one-man PK unit midway through the final period with JSH protecting that two-goal lead.
JSH got a 25-save effort from junior goalie Jameson Bourque and goals from Noah Chapman, Tyler Scordo, Benny Madden and Joe Sawitsky. Kennett’s goals were scored by Mackenzie Murphy and Miles Woodbury.