by Mark Eisenhauer
The ice hockey team fell to Summit in a heartbreaker last Wednesday, scoring four unanswered goals after going down 2–0, but ultimately losing 5–4.
The game began with even play and each team trading scoring chances. However, sustained offensive pressure by Summit led to its first goal, when Summit senior Michael Badgely fluttered a wrist shot into the back of the net.
Only a few seconds later, after a WHS defensive-zone giveaway, sophomore Chris Zanelli netted Summit’s second goal of the night. But just as the threat of Summit domination was beginning to loom, WHS found new life.
With almost two minutes left in the first period, junior Chris Kattak carried the puck from coast to coast, beat the goalie and scored the Blue Devils’ first goal, energizing the team and the crowd.
The second period brought more back-and-forth play until a Summit player took a roughing penalty with about two minutes left.
On the power play, junior Andrew Stern launched a hard pass across the goalmouth to junior Dane Huber, who controlled it with his skate and easily banked in the tying goal.
“Summit got two bounces early in the game. We knew we had been outplaying them and we just kept to our game plan. It was still early in the game, and we knew not to panic,” said Huber.
The Blue Devils looked far from panicked as they continued their strong play early in the third period. Huber slipped a backhanded shot past the Summit goalie after a rebound early in the period and later, Kattak ripped a slapshot from the point into the back of the net to give Westfield a 4–2 lead.
As the clock ticked to the final minute, the game appeared to be locked up for the Blue Devils. However, with 57 seconds left, Summit had a quick rush up the ice and netted a slap shot just over the shoulder of sophomore goalie Dan DoCampo.
Just 30 seconds later, with its goalie pulled, Summit scored off a rebound to tie the game at 4. Then, in a nightmarish moment, with only 1.3 seconds left, Summit scored the game winner off an unusual shot from the side of the net that just trickled over the goal line.
Said Kattak: “I think that we were being too conservative in the last few minutes. Instead of attacking the puck, we played a much more laid back game.... We have learned that the game is not over until the final buzzer rings.”
Said Coach Sean Cromarty, “After a loss like that, it’s what happens the next day that matters most.”