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HOCKEY: Jags fall in final seconds of regional final
David Pischke and the Allen Park Jaguars saw their season end Saturday night against Chelsea. Pischke had two goals in Saturday's contest and scored the game winner Thursday to send the Jags to the regional finals. Photo Credit: Dave Chapman
The Jags lost to Chelsea 5-4.
“It was a good game,” Allen Park Coach John Brithinee said. “Spectators must have loved to watch the game. It was just an unfortunate bounce of the puck.”
Allen Park had a 4-3 lead with less than two to play in the final period, but the Bulldogs netted a power play goal to tie the game with 1:21 left and scored with just eight seconds to go for the win.
“We actually had good pressure going into that,” Brithinee said. “It was an unfortunate thing. We were playing very well and it was just an odd, odd sequence of events.
“You hate to see that happen for the seniors, but Chelsea played a very good game and they were coming at us hard and those things happen.”
Chelsea took the first lead of the game on an unforced error on Allen Park’s part.
But the lead was not held long and a minute later, Allen Park’s Nick Kelly came down and out-hustled the Chelsea goaltender and got in what Brithinee called a really bad angled goal into the open net when the goaltender was out of the net.
Steve Newsome had the assist.
After the Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead going into the second period, the Jags started playing a game reminiscent of Thursday’s three overtime victory.
“We slowed down the neutral zone (and) sustained good pressure in the second period,” Brithinee said.
The effort worked and the Jags outscored their opponent 2-1 in the middle period for a 3-3 tie heading into the final period.
David Pischke and Chris Mann had the goals in the second period, with assists from Travis Pippin, Austin Schultz and Nick Metropoulos.
With 15:39 to go in the third period, Pischke netted his second of the night to give the Jags a lead.
Schultz almost put the team up by two points with a really nice play that hit just on the underside of the cross bar and went straight down, staying out of the net.
“You’re thinking to yourself, that’s in,” Brithinee said. “That changes the game. It puts us up two.”
Unfortunately for the Jags, penalties happen and a penalty was called that changed the course of the game.
Brithinee said his team did a nice job on the penalty kill but the Bulldogs scored with four seconds to go and the game was tied.
And with just eight seconds to play, Chelsea banged another one in and got the win.
It was an unfortunate loss for Allen Park.
“They probably played well enough to win,” Brithinee said. “But they didn’t this time. (We’ll) learn from it and lick our wounds and come back ready to play next year.”
Despite the loss, the Jags had quite the season to be proud of under first year coach, Brithinee.
The team finished the season 18-10-1 and battled through many injuries and illnesses throughout the season.
“We fought injuries just like everyone else,” Brithinee said. “Some of our top players went through a bought of injuries.
“What makes me so proud of this team is they fought through and played through all those injuries. They just kept rolling and at the end of the season, they were playing their best ice hockey.”
Brithinee said his team stayed focused on what they were taught and were rewarded with a nice run at the end of the season.
“As far as the season goes, all I did was gave them all a hug and thanked them all,” Brithinee said. “They made it a blast. The coaching staff talked about it. They were a fun group of young men to coach. That makes it easy to come to the rink every day.”
The Jags will graduate nine seniors this year and while they will be missed, Brithinee is already looking forward to next season.
Last Updated: 3/3/2013 11:19:04 PM EST