TROY – The Troy Colts boys hockey team improved to 2-1 on the season with a thrilling 4-3 overtime win over the visiting L’Anse Creuse North Crusaders in the Troy Schools Thanksgiving Showcase Friday night.
John Hunter poked home a loose puck in the crease just 21 seconds into overtime to give the Colts the victory.
“It was an exciting game. The kids enjoyed it,” Troy head coach Tim Zimmerman said. “I wish all the games were like that. It was a really good game, two evenly matched teams,” he added.
“You know what our kids grew up a lot today. They played a heck of a game,” Crusaders head coach Jon Nader said. “Our kids played hard. They battled. They worked hard. They did what they were supposed to do. It’s the way the puck bounces once in a while I guess,” he added.
Hunter’s goal was almost a carbon copy of Troy’s third goal, scored by Edmund Qiao, which put the Colts up 3-2 with 4:49 to play in regulation. But the Crusaders would fight back to tie the score less than two minutes later when Aaron Wysocki’s power-play wrister found the back of the net.
Wysocki’s goal was the lone special teams tally of night, as both team’s penalty kills were effective on the night, as the Crusaders finished a perfect 4 for 4 on the penalty kill, while Troy killed 5 of 6, including a five minute major early in the third period with the score tied at 2-2. “You keep going to the well too many times, and it cost us,” Zimmerman said, adding that “The five minute major in the third period they did an excellent job. We just started working on penalty kill, so I was really happy with some of our new kids and how they executed with that.”
After a tight checking feeling out session in the first period when both teams tried to just get the puck deep and grind out the chances, the game opened up in the second. Trailing 1-0 to start the second period, L’Anse Creuse started fast with Kristian Alafriz tying the game less than two minutes into the period when his sharp angle shot found its way through a sea of bodies and snuck into the back of the net. That gave the Crusaders momentum, and L’Anse Creuse went ahead midway through the period when captain Gage Mazzetti set up Kyle Deriemacker on a perfectly executed 2 on 1 break and Deriemacker buried a quick wrist shot.
Troy would tie the score with 6:45 left in the period when Nik Bester fired a backhanded shot from the crease while falling down with his back to the goal and it made a beeline through three players and into the top corner. “That’s about his second or third highlight reel goal that he’s scored this year. He can score from anywhere,” Zimmerman said. The goal was Bester’s second of the night after he had opened the scoring in the first period with a penalty shot goal.
Nick Urian had a solid night in net for Troy, making 19 saves to get the win. Charles Jawor had 35 saves for L’Anse Creuse North despite having to deal with constant traffic in front of his net. “Charles Jawor our goalie did a great job,” Nader said.
The teams will both be back in action tomorrow as the Showcase continues with Troy taking on Airport-Flatrock at 6:15 and L’Anse Creuse North playing Troy Athens in the night cap at 8:30.