Warriors’ late goal sinks Gremlins

HOUGHTON — For the better part of the 51-minute hockey game between the Houghton Gremlins and the visiting Brother Rice Warriors, the Gremlins were the better team. They outskated, outshot, and even, at times, outhit the Warriors. 

However, a puck poked loose with about 10 seconds remaining in regulation of a 2-2 game turned into a pass from the Warriors’ Andrew Marone to linemate Peter Rosa in the slot. Rosa found a hole in Gremlins goaltender Bryant Lee and scored the game-winning tally with just 8.7 seconds left.

Warriors coach Kenny Chaput felt that both teams fought hard, but was pleased to come away with the win.

“(We) battled and competed the whole 51 minutes,” said Chaput. “Somebody wins, somebody loses, but that was it that was a good battle for sure.”

Chaput feels that anytime Rosa, one of three co-captains on the Warriors, can find time in the slot, he will bet on his forward to score.

“I will take him in the slot, open, with eight seconds, six seconds,” said Chaput. “He’s going to bury that way more than most high school players will. It’s a good feeling to see him get that puck there. He did what he does, scores goals.”

On the other end of the rink, Gremlins coach Corey Markham was equally excited for the effort his team put in, but disappointed that, yet again, they could not finish the night with more goals than their opponent.

“It was a super exciting high school hockey game,” Markham said. 

Despite the Gremlins (11-5 overall) controlling much of the first period, it was the Warriors (6-7 overall) who came away with a 2-0 lead. Houghton got one back on the power play just over a minute into the second period before evening it in third while shorthanded. They also killed off 1:25 of a 5-on-3 power play before scoring the shorthanded goal on the next man advantage the Warriors received.

The Gremlins then had a power play of their own with 2:45 left in regulation, but could not find the net on the advantage.

“I really liked that first period,” Corey Markham said. “I thought we outshot them and had territory for the great majority of the period. I thought the second was kind of sloppy, but we got the one goal to get us within distance again. 

“Then (in the) third period, we got a great shorthand goal from Cam(den Markham), and it just felt like we had the momentum and felt, especially after we killed off the 5-on-3, we just had a really good feeling going out. Then that power play with just over two minutes left. Ultimately, we have to learn from this one, because we made a couple mistakes there at the end.”

The Warriors’ first goal of the game came on the power play in the latter stages of the first period when Jace Deforge was whistled for holding. Brother Rice’s Chazz Ursini fired a shot through traffic that deflected off a Gremlins defender in the slot and past Lee at 14:55. 

Had that been the only goal of the period’s last three minutes, things might have ended differently. However, a lazy backhand from Luke Washe caught Lee off guard at 16:28, giving the visitors a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

“Bryant wasn’t aware, or he just wasn’t engaged on (that play), and they got a freebie,” said Corey Markham. “Ultimately, that ends up being a difference in the game.”

Given a chance to redeem themselves, the Gremlins did just that 1:01 into the second period when junior winger Gaborik Carlson attempted to feed the puck on the power play to junior winger Landon Stevens in the slot. The pass hit a Warriors defender and slid past goaltender Tommy O’Donnell, cutting the lead in half.

The game remained a one-goal lead for the Warriors even after their lengthy two-man advantage in the third period. Brother Rice was awarded another power play a little over a minute after the 5-on-3 ended, and that was when the Gremlins took advantage of a miscue. Off the faceoff in their own end, Camden Markham got the puck out of the zone. He then chased it down in the left circle of the offensive zone, looked up and wired a wrist shot into the top corner past O’Donnell glove at 8:38 to even things.

From there, O’Donnell and Lee traded saves until the game’s final seconds. O’Donnell finished his night with 31 saves. Lee made 23 in the loss.


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