Bucs fall to Chessie in fi­nal sec­onds

Record Observer - - Sports -

LAU­REL — Tied 3-3 with less than a minute re­main­ing in the hockey game be­tween Chessie and Kent Is­land High last Mon­day evening, over­time ap­peared in­evitable.

But Chessie’s Caden Cote saw an op­por­tu­nity to score and took it. Rac­ing with the puck down right wing, Cote sent a back­han­der that de­flected off Buc­ca­neers goalie Ben Jones and sailed into the net for the game-win­ner with just 29.7 sec­onds re­main­ing.

Kent Is­land pro­duced two scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the fi­nal sec­onds but couldn’t get the puck in the goal as Chessie earned a 4-3 vic­tory at The Gar­dens Ice House in the open­ing round of the Mary­land Stu­dent Hockey League East­ern Con­fer­ence play­offs.

Cote, whose dad played for the Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals, scored the fi­nal three goals for Chessie, which erased a 3-1 deficit.

“Ob­vi­ously, you don’t want to have a quick exit [from the play­offs],” Cote said. “I thought we showed re­silience bat­tling back. No­body quit. Ev­ery­body kept their head up. We had a good at­ti­tude on the bench and a good at­mos­phere.”

With the win, sixth-seeded Chessie (a com­bined high-school team), which had lost to Kent Is­land 7-3 dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son, im­proved to 6-4 and ad­vanced to the con­fer­ence semi­fi­nals against top-seeded South River on Wed­nes­day. Third-seeded Kent Is­land fin­ished the sea­son 9-3-1.

The Buc­ca­neers dom­i­nated through­out the con­test but, like the fi­nal sec­onds, strug­gled to get the puck past Chessie goalie Xan­der Sears.

Sears fin­ished with 34 saves, while Jones recorded 11.

Chessie opened the scor­ing when Henry Pendle­ton sped down left wing and crossed in front of the crease be­fore wrist­ing a right-han­der into the net with 8:35 left in the first pe­riod.

Kent Is­land coun­tered two min­utes later, when Brandon Gal­loway col­lected the puck around mid-ice, skated the up the left wing, and sent a righthander high to the left side of the goal for a 1-1 tie with 6:32 re­main­ing in the first pe­riod. With 1:05 re­main­ing, Cade Helfen­bein put the Buc­ca­neers up 2-1 at the end of the first pe­riod by pok­ing the puck past Sears on a break­away.

Kent Is­land’s Dorsey Schulz car­ried the puck end-to-end and siz­zled a right-han­der past Sears, high to the right side, to make it 3-1 with 11:24 left in the se­cond pe­riod. But that ended the Bucs’ scor­ing. Shots car­omed off the cross­bar. Sears blocked, gloved, and swiped away shots. Loose pucks bounced or slid just out of the reach of open play­ers as Kent Is­land’s of­fense stalled.

“We out­shot them 37 to 15,” Bucs head coach Fred Christie said. “We had a deeper team. We just, the puck just didn’t bounce our way. We had so many op­por­tu­ni­ties in front of the net where we had a wide open net and the puck bounced over our stick, or we hit the cross­bar two or three times, and that would have been the dif­fer­ence in the game.”

With 5:35 left in the se­cond pe­riod, Cote sped up the left wing, deked a de­fender, and wristed a shot into the net to cut Kent Is­land’s lead to 3-2. With the Bucs two men down due to in­ter­fer­ence and trip­ping penal­ties, Cote sent a slap shot high into the net from di­rectly out front with 1:17 left in the se­cond pe­riod for a 3-3 tie, which re­mained un­til the game’s fi­nal minute.

“We were 9-3-1 this year. Last year we were about .500,” Christie. “This is the first time I think we’ve ever beat Eas­ton, Saints Peter and Paul, and Queen Anne’s, so we were un­de­feated against the East­ern Shore teams, and we’ve never done that be­fore.”

The Bucs will lose six se­niors to grad­u­a­tion this spring, but should re­turn enough tal­ent to be con­sid­ered a strong con­tender again next sea­son.

Said Christie: “Our lead­ing scorer is com­ing back, that’s Brandon, No. 3, and Allie’s [Allison Curry] only a sopho­more, No. 6. She plays for the Wash­ing­ton Pride. She’s only 16 and she’s in a USA de­vel­op­ment hockey pro­gram. She’s the only AAA player on the team.”

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss / email me at

ck­nauss@stardem.com

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

Kent Is­land’s Allison Curry con­trols the puck on of­fense dur­ing the first pe­riod last Mon­day evening against Chessie in the MSHL play­offs at The Gar­dens Ice House in Lau­rel.

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

Kent Is­land’s Brandon Gall­away pre­pares to take a shot as Chessie’s Lo­gan Ken­dall de­fends dur­ing the first pe­riod last Mon­day evening in the MSHL play­offs at The Gar­dens Ice House in Lau­rel.

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