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HOCKEY: Eisenhower scores late in OT to hand Country Day its first loss WITH VIDEO

DETROIT — On one of the biggest stages in hockey, Eisenhower and Detroit Country Day put on a game to remember.

With 53.3 seconds on the clock in overtime, the Eagles got a game-winning goal by senior forward Marcus Leskiw to beat the Yellowjackets, 4-3, at Joe Louis Arena Wednesday night.

“We wanted to get the puck deep on (Country Day), and create turnovers” Eisenhower head coach Bob Hall said. “That's simply what happened. We kept pressuring the net and tried to force a turnover.”

That's how Leskiw's goal played out late in overtime. After the Yellowjackets (9-1-1 overall) killed a power play, Eisenhower kept pressuring the net. As the puck squirted out from the corner, Leskiw fired a shot that was initially turned away, but he followed up on the rebound to notch the game winner for Ike.

Getting to over time, however, is a story in itself.

After an opening goal in the first period by senior forward Sebastian Stankiewicz who redirected a goal from sophomore defenseman Jake Hartje to give Country Day a 1-0 lead, Stankiewicz had to tie the game in the third after an offensive heavy second period. Country Day head coach Frank Novock knew he could count on his star forward to get the job done.

“He's our captain, and he's our leader,” Novock said. “What he did tonight is nothing different than what he always does. He works extremely hard to consistently get goals and points. He's a real power forward.”

Eisenhower (7-1-0) knew going into the second period that they had to make adjustments and force turnovers to make up for it's one goal deficit.

“We needed to get the puck to the middle,” Hall said. “(Country Day) was taking away the boards so we needed our defensemen to stretch the zone so we could attack the middle, and get our chances.”

Just two minutes into the second period, Eisenhower senior forward Frank Saputo took a pass from senior defensemen Mike Burkhardt, and walked it in towards the shorts dies of the net. As Saputo reached the bottom of the circle, he fired a quick wrist shot past junior goaltender Austin McArdie that tied that game at 1-1.

Later on in the second, senior forward Drew Lauer and senior forward Stino Biondo were in a two-on-one situation against the Yellowjackets. After a very nifty pass by Biondo, Lauer fired a wrister stick side that to give the Eagles 2-1 lead. However a minute and half later Country Day peppered and crashed the net. Sophomore Zach Mettler was johnny on the spot as the puck squirted out to the left side and fired a shot past junior goaltender Austin McArdle to tie the game at 2-2.

Six seconds later and after the ensuing face-off Biondo and Lauer hooked up again to give Eisenhower the lead. After winning the draw, Lauer dished the puck to a streaking Biondo who deked the puck stick side and fired home a goal to give the Eagles a 3-2 lead.

Even though Country Day came out with the loss, the Yellow Jackets were happy and thankful with the opportunity along with the experience to play at the Joe.

“It was awesome,” Novock said. “This is one of the few times our guys will get to play here. We want to say 'thank you' to the Ilitch family, the Red Wings, and everyone that helped put it on. We just hope we can do something like this again next year.”

Eisenhower was equally grateful as well.

“This is a once and a lifetime opportunity for our boys,” Hall said. “This was the first time our program has ever played down here. We made sure everybody played and everyone got in the game for this incredible experience.”

Last Updated: 12/20/2012 5:26:18 AM EST

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