Goal with nine seconds left on the clock puts Blazers up 10-9
The Blair Blazers (5-6) beat the Springbrook Blue Devils (5-6) 10-9 with nine seconds left in the first overtime period on senior night Tuesday. The first half of the game was played on Monday and a rain delay caused it to be postponed until Tuesday. Blair's fast break offense and strong man defense gave them the upper hand in the close contest.
Blair opened the night quickly with a long goal by junior attackman Paul Moser to put them up by one. The Blazers dominated the first quarter, passing circles around the Springbrook defenders and eventually finding the net. Freshman midfielder Garrett Anderson was the next to score, and five minutes later junior attackman Sean Tan made it three to zero.
The Blue Devils found their stride on offense in the eight minute, getting off a couple of quick shots both saved by junior goalie Michael Cales. A quick clear by junior Josh Agu put the ball back on offense, where junior midfielder Wonder Abor put it home. The back and forth pace of the game continued, and Springbrook retaliated with a few successful offensive possessions, and the score was 5-2 heading into the second quarter.
According to senior midfielder Matt Guerrera, the key to Blair's early success was the involvement of the entire team. "Everyone got into the game. A lot of people played well, it wasn't just the seniors or just the starters carrying the team," said Guerrera.
Springbrook maintained momentum going into the third quarter, and tied the game with an early goal off of the opening faceoff. Blair's defense looked ready to give up another string of shots when thunder caused the game to be postponed until the next day, allowing the Blazers to gather themselves and regain their poise.
On Tuesday, Blair came out with a vengeance. Junior defender Sandy Hunter caused two turnovers on defense, giving his offense the chance to score. Blair's first goal came in the 13th minute of the quarter, when Tan caused a turnover on a clear and scored a one on one against the Blue Devils' goalie. Springbrook returned with a point of their own with a minute left in the quarter, regaining a lead of 9-8.
Neither team could find its shooting chops in the fourth quarter. Anderson scored his second goal of the game in the forty ninth minute, and Cales held on in the late going with several important saves. Blair rode out the quarter on a man up opportunity, but were unable to take the advantage, and regulation ended 9-9.
According to Hunter, the team needs to keep the momentum if they want to keep games from remaining as close as this one. "We need to be able to pass under pressure, and go the whole four quarters without slowing down," explained Hunter.
The close finish definitely made for a great game to watch, and made for a memorable moment for one young attackman. "I wondered why nobody came to me on the man up, but I just let it rip and hoped it went in," said Uro, out of breath after the postgame celebration. Blair's next game is Wednesday against the Clarksburg Coyotes (5-5).
Charles Lott. My name is Charlie, and I'm the features editor for Silver Chips Online. I enjoy reading, using Oxford commas, and playing frisbee for Blair. More »