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Patriots Put Lions To Bed In Thrilling Overtime Win



The Ward Melville Patriots (4-12-1) came from behind in the third period to defeat the West Islip Lions (4-12-0-1) 5-4 in overtime on Wednesday night.

This game was huge for playoff seeding as both teams each have three games remaining in the regular season. The Patriots entered the game in ninth place with eight points and the Lions sat in eighth having nine points. It ended with both teams holding ten points, but with Ward Melville in the eighth and final playoff spot due to tiebreakers.

It was a rollercoaster of a game with both teams trading goals. There were not two unanswered goals until the Patriots game-tying and overtime-winning goals. Michael Sitler recorded his first win of the season in what was his tenth start. Here’s how it happened.

West Islip started the game with an early power play chance. William Shields made no mistake, walking into the slot and burying the puck into the top right corner just 1:14 into the game. With the Lions on the power play again, Jack McCormick evened things up for the Patriots just 2:31 later finding open space in the offensive zone and ripping the puck into the back of the net.

Gianni Ruggiano buried a chance in front with the Lions pushing ahead on a 3-on-1 rush. The Lions took a 2-1 lead into the intermission.

Halfway through the second period Peter Dykeman snuck the puck through the goaltender Braiden Buccino tying the game at two. That score did not hold for long as Liam Henshaw made a great read to keep the puck in the zone and sniped it.

Anthony Cerulli buried a shot off of a terrific feed from Timothy Brown for Ward Melville. However, the second period ended with West Islip leading 4-3, as James Johnson was in the right place and at the right time, slamming home a rebound just outside the crease.

There was only one goal in the third period, as John McCormick fired a shot that appeared to be deflected into the net by Matt Dann with the Patriots on the power play. The league initially credited Dann with the goal, before awarding it to McCormick. Dann was credited with an assist. The score was all even with 5:33 to go.

Both goaltenders made huge saves to keep the game alive in overtime, but after West Islip narrowly missed a 3-on-1 chance the Patriots took it up the other way. McCormick flew up the ice before completing a give-and-go with Lucas Scolaro, getting the puck back and firing it into the empty cage, giving the Patriots a huge 5-4 win in the extra frame.

Scoring Summary

PeriodTimeGoal TypeScorer (Team)AssistsTeam
1st13:46PPGWilliam Shields UnassistedWest Islip Lions
1st11:15SHGJack McCormick UnassistedWard Melville Patriots
1st03:12Gianni Ruggiano William Shields West Islip Lions
2nd07:45Peter Dykeman Lucas Scolaro Ward Melville Patriots
2nd05:41Liam Henshaw UnassistedWest Islip Lions
2nd04:05Anthony Cerulli Timothy Brown Ward Melville Patriots
2nd01:19James Johnson Ciaran PollardWest Islip Lions
3rd05:33PPGJack McCormick Matt Dann Ward Melville Patriots
OT 100:30GWGJack McCormickLucas Scolaro Ward Melville Patriots

Penalties by Period

PeriodTimePenalty TypePlayer (Team)Team
1st14:22Hooking – Minor, 2 minLucas ScolaroWard Melville Patriots
1st12:27Roughing – Minor, 2 minJames FisherWard Melville Patriots
1st06:50Tripping – Minor, 2 minEthan TamWard Melville Patriots
3rd06:17Tripping – Minor, 2 minJames RoglerWest Islip Lions

Three Stars of the Game

StarPlayer (Team)Stat LinePerformance Summary
1stJack McCormick (Patriots)Two Goals, Shorthanded Goal, Game Winning Goal, One AssistGot the scoring started for the Patriots as well as completing a give-and-go with Scolaro to score the game-winning goal
2ndMichael Sitler (Patriots)WinKept the Patriots in the game with many key saves while earning his first win of the season
3rdLucas Scolaro (Patriots)2 AssistsTwo key assists, including the game-winning assist through the crease to McCormick

Upcoming Schedule

The Patriots are back in action on Monday, Jan. 29 at 8:10 pm, taking on the St. Anthonys Friars. Their last matchup was a tightly contested 2-0 win for the Friars.

The Lions take the ice again on Monday, Jan. 22 at 9:40 pm, where they will face Kings Park- Commack. The Knights took the previous meeting by a score of 4-0.

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