Clutch penalty kill helps Brick forge tie with Ocean
WALL -- Having to kill off a five-minute major penalty midway through the third period of a tie game wasn't exactly ideal for Brick, but the Dragons' response through its special teams units helped salvage a solid effort against the Ocean/Shore Regional//Monmouth Regional tri-op.
Brick not only killed off the major penalty, it allowed only one shot on goal and controlled the puck for most of Ocean's man-advantage. Sophomore goalie Kevin Toye also made a key save on a breakaway in the final minute and the Dragons and Spartans skated to a 3-3 tie on Thursday night at Jersey Shore Arena.
"I just told them we're going to change our name to Brick Tie-School," said Brick head coach James Murphy. "We had four last year and now another one. Those were games we were in and just couldn't find a way, but here we had to kill that five minutes off and we still got our opportunities. That kill was huge. Our penalty kill struggled a little bit the last two games but that was a fantastic one."
Ocean, which was making its season debut, never led in the game but showed gumption in finding the equalizer each time Brick pulled in front. A goal by junior forward Landon Bennett, who, ironically, was a member of Brick's ice hockey program last season, capitalized on a turnover right in front of Brick's net to tie the game at three at 8:54 of the second period.
"The only reason it's a good tie for us is because it's the first three periods we've played this season and they had a couple games under their belt," said Ocean head coach Dave Smith. "We squandered a really good opportunity and they literally owned our power-play. We had virtually no opportunities."
"We never had the lead in this game but we never gave up and we came back three different times, so I like that. We had some breakdowns in terms of not playing the way we've practiced, but that's not totally surprising considering it's the first game and we didn't have a single scrimmage. If you had told me going in it would be 3-3 at the end of the night I probably would have taken it because it's our first game."
Brick received goals from junior forwards Mike Pfeister and Ryan Panuska and the first career high school goal for freshman Aidan Rozell. Toye was solid in goal with 20 saves.
For Ocean, junior forward Patrick Olenski had a goal and an assist, sophomore Alex Haar had a goal, Bennett scored the game-tying goal and junior goalie Tony Macaluso made 23 saves.
Brick took a 1-0 lead at 4:54 of the first period when Pfeister took control of a loose puck just outside of the offensive zone, skated into the slot and beat Macaluso with a wrist shot.
Olenski tied the game at one at 6:26 of the first on a similar goal. He gained control of a puck just off the boards outside of the offensive zone, moved around a defender and toward the left face-off dot and unleashed a blistering wrist shot that found the back of the net.
Brick got the lead back, 2-1, at 2:40 of the second period. Freshman Jake Toye initiated a rush from his own end by deking around an Ocean defender in his own zone and again just inside the offensive zone. He sent a pass to junior forward Ty Nico and the puck went off Nicol's left skate. Panuska was driving hard down the center and slammed home the loose puck to give the Dragons the lead once again.
The Spartans answered just over three minutes later when Haar put back the rebound off a 2-on-1. Haar gained control of the puck at his own blue line and he and Olenski zoomed down the ice with only one Brick defenseman back. Haar fed Olenski and his shot was stopped by Toye, but Haar went to the net and put back the rebound to knot the score, 2-2.
The quick scoring continued 43 seconds later when Rozell scored his first varsity goal by camping out at the right post and depositing the rebound off a shot by junior Ryan Gorman.
Brick Township vs. Ocean/Shore/Monmouth Ice Hockey
Brick 3, Ocean 3
|Brick (0-2-1, 0-1-1)||1||2||0||3|
|Ocean (0-0-1, 0-0-1)||1||2||0||3|
B – Pfeister, 4:54
O – Olenski, 6:26
B – Panuska (J. Toye, Nicol), 2:40
O – Haar (Olenski, Mumm), 5:34
B – Rozell (Gorman), 6:17
O – Bennett, 8:54
SAVES – B: K. Toye, 20; O: Macaluso, 23.
SHOTS – Ocean, 29-25
POWER PLAY: Ocean, 0-3; Brick, 0-0.
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.
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