Devils Down SR In OT To Ice D II Lead Share
BY DAVE SHEA
OFA made its first home hockey appearance in five games on Friday night at the Edgar Newell Golden Dome Arena.
With the same road warrior mentality that led to a 4-0 road swing.
Recording their fifth straight win the Blue Devils moved into a first place tie with Norwood-Norfolk in the NAC's Division II with a 5-3 record after a 3-2 overtime victory over Salmon River when freshman Jack Mills scored the "golden goal" on his birthday in overtime from Mark Barr.
"We didn't have our A game tonight playing without one of top defenseman in Nolan O'Donnell but Caleb Spears stepped up and did a very nice job. And the guys were resilient again and once again their showed perseverance in the face of adversity," said OFA Coach Jon Frederick.
"They have dealt with some emotional things recently and they just keep playing hard. Tonight we had some turnovers and Salmon River scored both goals off turnovers. They carried play quite a bit but we were opportunistic."
Kelson Hooper continued to make it hard for opponents to score goals collecting 44 saves against the Shamrocks who rallied from deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 and received a solid 29-save effort by Ryan Oakes. Both deficits were created by Karson LaRose netting break-away goals while warding off a defender.
"Kelson Hooper handled a lot of pucks tonight and Karson LaRose is learning how to score while being covered by a defender. It was a real good win for the guys," said OFA Assistant Coach Jim Howard.
LaRose opened the scoring at 3:05 of the first period after being sprung behind the defense by a pass from Derek Barr. Salmon River answered six minutes later when Connor Dishaw scored in a scramble in front of the net from Zach Durant and Luke Miller. The Devils regained the lead six minutes later when Stephen Morley hit LaRose perfectly in stride straight up the middle of the ice.
Durant scored the only goal of the third period at 3:45 from close range off assists from Tim Cook Jr. and Khyler Johnson and the 2-2 tie progressed into overtime. Overtime lasted 3:27 when Mills gained the sudden victory goal with a wrist shot just under the crossbar after Mark Barr controlled the puck in a crowd behind the net and shuffled it to his linemate in the low slot.
"I thought we played a great game. Tough to win on the road. When we start to catch some breaks, I look forward to where we will be" said Salmon River Coach Tim Cook after his Shamrocks slipped to 2-4 in NAC play and 4-6 overall.
NOTE: Friday's game was OFA's annual Coaches Vs Cancer Game which raised $644 for the American Cancer Society.