OWEN RICHARD takes the puck to the net in action Jan. 15. He scored the winning goal with less than a second to go in the game. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
January 20, 2014WOLFEBORO — The Kingswood hockey team has shown a propensity for third period comebacks.
So, in that regard, Wednesday, Jan. 15, was just another day at the office.
The Knights fell behind by two goals on more than one occasion, but that didn't stop them, as they rallied all the way back to pull out a 5-4 win over Alvirne at the Pop Whalen Arena.
Owen Richard sent the Kingswood fans home happy and sent the Alvirne players to their bus completely stunned, as he picked up a loose puck at the blue line with just seconds to go in the game, broke in on goal and flicked it past the Bronco keeper as the buzzer sounded for the game winner.
"Our guys just battled through," Knight coach Andrew Trimble said. "They won that game on effort alone.
"There's a saying in the locker room, 'nighttime is the righttime,'" Trimble said. "And nighttime is the third period."
He admitted that there certainly will be a time when the third period will come back to haunt the Knights.
"I know it's going to beat us somewhere down the line," Trimble said. "But we're enjoying it in the moment."
To make things worse for the Knights, Luke French remained out with a concussion and defenseman Brodie Deshaies broke his collarbone in a scrimmage over the weekend, leaving Trimble with a short bench.
The second-year Knight coach noted that Peter Marshall moved back to defense to fill in for Deshaies, who Trimble credited with having demonstrated a lot of improvement since the start of the season.
"Brodie had been playing well," the Knight coach said. "But Peter will be back there for a while."
Alvirne got the scoring started, putting two pucks past Kingswood keeper Tom Dougherty, the first with 5:46 to go in the period and the second with just more than two minutes to go in the period to take a 2-0 lead to the second period.
Kingswood answered quickly in the second period, as Owen Gonya put home Kingswood's first goal of the game just 45 seconds into the period to cut the lead to 2-1.
Just more than three minutes later, Matt Mitchell tied the score, as he put the puck home on assists from Jake Vatalaro and Marshall.
Alvirne didn't waste much time taking the lead back, as the visitors scored just more than 40 seconds after the tying goal and they tallied another goal with 3:29 to go in the period to take a 4-2 lead to the final period.
And then, it was nighttime.
Josh Grasso fired home a shot from the left circle just more than three and a half minutes into the period. The puck hit the far post and caromed into the net to cut the lead to 4-3. Richard got the assist.
Kingswood continued to attack, with Matt Harrington, Richard, Andy Contrada and Grasso all getting good scoring bids in the zone. Vatalaro put a rebound of a Grasso shot on net only to see the Bronco keeper make the save.
Sam Bonenfant and Marshall continued the attack, but it was Grasso that tied the game, as he shot the puck from the point and it knuckled its way into the net with just less than three minutes to go in the game, tying the game at four.
That paved the way for Richard's heroics, in the final seconds to give the Knights another come-from-behind win.
Coincidentally enough, the Knights strayed from the game plan early on, forcing the comebacks. The plan was to stay out of the penalty box, since Alvirne excels on the power play.
The Knights took a couple of penalties in the first period, including a five-minute penalty, and Alvirne capitalized.
"They have a good power play, that's their bread and butter," Trimble said. "The idea was to say out of the box and we did just the opposite.
"We played right into their hands," Trimble said.
The Knights will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 25, at home against Goffstown at 7 p.m. and will be at Spaulding on Sunday, Jan. 26, at 1:30 p.m.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or firstname.lastname@example.org