Late goals fuel Kennett's 5-3 win
● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw, Staff Writer
Kevin Dowd, the head coach of the Kennett High School hockey team, took a look at his roster before last Friday's game against the Delaware Military Academy, and saw that it had dwindled down to a precious few.
Ryan Ganly and Connor Hyzny were both injured. Nick Ferranto was away on a skiing vacation. Patrick O'Dowd was serving a school suspension and Ryan Johnson was off playing for a travel team. By the end of the first period of the Intercounty Scholastic Hockey League (ICSHL) game, DMA held a 3-0 lead, while seeming to fire shots at will against Kennett goalie Sean Edmonds.
Yet, despite the loss of key players, the Blue Demons did not compile a respectable 8-4-1 record on the season by virtue of smoke and mirrors, but by dogged resilience, and last Friday was a prime example.
Backed by a resurgent defense and third period goals by Luke Borman, Drew Moskey and Jack Dreisbach, Kennett surged to a 5-3 victory – their fourth consecutive win – at The Pond in Newark.
Delaware Military Academy got on the board early, when Markus Cook's slap shot in front of the goal got past Edmonds with 14:50 left in the first period. With 6:10 left in the period, Jake Mulligan scored off of a rebound from his first shot attempt, one that deflected off of Edmonds and back to Mulligan. With just 44 seconds remaining in the period, Mulligan notched his second goal of the game, when he cashed in on a scrum in front of the Kennett net, with an assist by Cook.
With 12:49 left in the second period, Kennett's Forrest Gheen-Regouski scored the Blue Demon's first goal on a shot from the crease that got past goalie Julia Emerich, on assists from Borman and Pearce Rush. It was the start of what would be a consistent, two-period barrage of shots against Emerich who, despite making several crucial saves in the second period, surrendered Kennett's second goal with 2:47 left. Just moments after Kayra Orankoy left the penalty box after a tripping penalty to put Kennett back at full strength, Rush, on an assist by Dreisbach, slapped the puck past Emerich to pull the Blue Demons to within a goal.
Luke Borman, whose goal at the end of the second period was ruled to have occurred after the buzzer, tied the score with 11:20 left in the game, with a shot past Emerich from the crease. Just 25 seconds later, Moskey's goal, with an assist from Taylor Cullen, gave Kennett its lead, 4-3.
Kennett's offensive output was matched equally by its defense, as passing and stick-handling by Rush, Borman, Mike Zirolli and Cullen killed penalty minutes and kept the puck out of their end throughout most of the third period. Joining in the effort was Edmonds, who turned back several shots in the third, including a glove save of a shot with 10:19 left, and a kick save on a shot with 9:07 left in the game.
Clinging to a slim lead, Dreisbach's back-handed goal with 5:27 left gave Kennett the insurance goal it needed, on assists from Gheen-Regouski and Zirolli.
In the nets, Edmonds turned back 9 shots, while Emerich made 7 saves.
With the win, Kennett moves to 9-4-1 overall, and 2-3-1 in the ICSHL's South Division, behind Avon Grove, who is 6-0 in the division. The Blue Demons will play Penncrest on Feb. 17 at the Ice Works Arena in Aston, beginning at 5 p.m.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.