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February 1, 2012

Local youth hockey team wins gold

The United States Olympic Hockey team dramatically took home the gold medal in Lake Placid in 1980, and 32 years later a Haverhill team has also taken home the gold.

The Haverhill-Pentucket Bantam Thunder took first place in the American Cup hockey tournament in Lake Placid earlier this month, beating teams from New York, Philadelphia and Ontario.

This is the sixth straight year in which the Thunder made the trek to Lake Placid in New York state, but the first time the team won gold. The Thunder placed second in two previous tournaments. The team won each game in convincing fashion this year, and did not surrender a goal in the tournament.

In their first game, the Thunder defeated the Delco Phantoms of Philadelphia. Jon Langlois had a hat trick and Conor O'Neil and Robbie Budds also had goals in the victory. The Thunder followed that up with a 4-0 defeat of the White Plains Plainsmen of Philadelphia and a 6-0 win over the Ice Raiders from Scarborough, Ontario.

The Thunder then defeated the Plainsmen again in the championship game with yet another shutout, to take home the gold medal. Mike Gleason recorded his fourth shutout of the tournament and was named the tournament's most valuable player after the game.

The Haverhill-Pentucket Bantam Hockey Team is coached by Sean Gleason, Bill Dwyer and Craig Bellemore. The team consists of 14- and 15-year-old players from the Greater Haverhill area.

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