ROYAL OAK – Senior Harrison Stoolmiller scored the game-winner with 5:29 left as Troy came back from a 5-0 deficit to stun Royal Oak 7-5 in an Oakland Activities Association White Division game on Saturday at John Lindell Ice Arena.
Junior Bob Urban scored an empty net goal with 27 seconds left to seal the comeback victory for Troy (9-1 overall, 4-1 OAA White).
“I’ve been coaching 38 years and this is only the second time my team has come back from a five-goal deficit,” Troy coach Tim Zimmerman said Saturday. “They kept chipping away – they wouldn’t quit.”
The visiting Colts scored three unanswered goals to get back in the game in the second period then added four unanswered goals in the third period for the victory.
Stoolmiller’s winning goal came off assists from senior captain John Hunter and sophomore Lawrence Rowe.
“At the beginning Royal Oak got the rebounds and I thought ‘this wasn’t going to be our night,’” Zimmerman said. “But I give our players a lot of credit – they kept coming.”
The Colts tied the game 5-5 when Rowe scored on a power play slap shot with 10:25 left with assists from Urban and junior Jake Howard.
It 5-4 with 15:04 left when Hunter came out of the penalty box, picked up a loose puck and made a great pass to Howard who slammed home the goal to beat Ravens junior goalkeeper Danny Harlick.
“That’s why we play three periods,” Royal Oak coach Craig Ward said Saturday. “We jumped on them fast, but they’ve (Troy) got a good team.”
The Colts inched closer 5-3 with 1:12 left in the second when Urban tapped in a goal that sat in the Royal Oak goal crease for a second. Junior Pearce Baker recorded the assist for the Colts.
Troy made it 5-2 with 5:24 left in the second period when sophomore Blake Best beat Harlick with assists from junior Ramone Kammo and junior Jesse Nahhat.
Troy started the comeback with 11:18 left in the second period on a power play goal by Kammo with assists from Best and Nahhat to make it 5-1.
“We match up well with them,” Ward said of the visiting Colts. “Our problem was we couldn’t stay out of the (penalty) box.”
Royal Oak (5-3-1 overall, 2-1-1 OAA White Division) came into Saturday’s showdown looking for a spark early against Troy and the Ravens found it in the form of brothers Evan and Quinn Fall.
Senior forward Evan Fall scored two goals 46 seconds apart and added three assist, while sophomore Quinn Fall added a goal and assist to lift the Ravens early on.
Royal Oak scored two power play goals to open the second period to take a commanding 5-0 lead.
The host Ravens went on top 5-0 at 15:27 of the second stanza when Quinn Fall scored a power play goal with assists from Evan Fall and senior Kevin Trumble.
Trumble made it 4-0 at 16:34 of the second period when he scored a power play goal just six seconds into the Troy penalty.
The Ravens led 3-0 after they scored with 1.8 seconds left in the first period. Ravens junior forward Cody Burns put a shot on goal in the closing seconds and that eluded Troy goalkeeper Michael Fisher.
Royal Oak went on top 2-0 at 4:28 when Evan Fall streaked down the left side and scored with an assist from his brother Quinn Fall.
Evan Fall opened the scoring with a power play goal at 5:14 of the first period to give Royal Oak a 1-0 lead.
“We didn’t play three periods,” Ward said. “We play them again (at Troy on Jan. 29) and we have to learn from this.”
Royal Oak is off until Jan. 8 when the Ravens host West Bloomfield.