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Tigers Score Golden Goal In Instant Classic



Tigers Have Now Won Back-To-Back Games in Overtime. 

In a stunning come from behind victory the Northport Huntington Tigers defeated the Kings Park Commack Knights in their second consecutive overtime victory. It was a shocking turn of events for a Kings Park Commack team which entered tonight’s matchup with a chance to take sole possession of 2nd place in the Varsity Division. The Knights have been near the top of the standings since their season opening win against the St. Anthony’s, but a tie against East Islip left them battling for second place. The win meant just as much to a Northport Huntington team with a chance to move into 4th place in the Varsity division. 

At the start of the 1st period the Knights and Tigers came out in midseason form. With both teams playing a solid two hundred foot game scoring chances were severely limited. It wasn’t until the last minute in the first that KPC Captain Stefan Hludzinski pounced on a loose puck in transition before coming in one on two. He cut to the outside before burying a beautiful wrist shot in the back of the net. The unassisted goal was Hludzinski’s sixth of the season. 

Down 1-0 at the start of the 2nd period, the Tigers found themselves looking for the equalizer against a stingy Knights team. KPC netminder Colin Caputo has a league leading two shutouts on the season, while his team had given up just twelve goals to date. Half a dozen of those goals came against EI but no other SCHSHL team has scored more than twice against KPC. The Knights would commit four consecutive minor penalties in the second, but the Northport Huntington Tigers were unable to capitalize thanks to the efforts of Caputo and the KPC penalty kill. The Tigers had averaged .8 goals per game on the Power Play before last night’s matchup. The Kings Park Commack offense got going at 5 on 5 to close the period, but a series of show stopping saves by Northport Huntington goaltender Connor King kept the game within one.

At the start of the third, KPC still held a one goal lead. The Tigers committed three consecutive minor penalties which cut into their time to mount a comeback. Fortunately for Northport Huntington Connor King and the Tigers Penalty Kill unit fended off the Knights Power Play. The Knights had averaged .3 goals per game on the power play entering last night’s game. The Tigers went empty net late in the third period which gave KPC several empty net scoring chances. The Tigers fended them all off. 

With thirty nine seconds remaining in regulation, Joseph Caruso threaded the needle on a cross ice feed to a pinching Austin Ruthkowski. The Northport Huntington blue liner tied the game on a beautiful wrist shot which forced overtime. On a two on one in Overtime Joseph Caruso beat the KPC goaltender on an absolute beauty of a wrist shot. It was Caruso’s second GWG in overtime this season through just seven games.

Scoring Summary:

PeriodTimeTeamScorerAssist(s)Goal Type
1st02:42Kings Park Commack KnightsStefan HludzinskiUnassisted
3rd00:39Northport Huntington TigersAustin RuthkowskiJoseph Caruso, Blake Brown
OT 102:37Northport Huntington TigersJoseph CarusoUnassistedGWG

3 Stars of the Game:

StarPlayer NameTeamStat LinePerformance Description
1stJoseph CarusoNorthport Huntington Tigers1 Goal, 1 AssistScored the game-winning goal in overtime and assisted on the tying goal, playing a crucial role in the Tigers’ comeback.
2ndConnor KingKings Park Commack KnightsWin The Tigers Tendy made a series of show stopping saves in a thrilling Overtime Win. 
3rdAustin RuthkowskiNorthport Huntington Tigers1 GoalNetted the important tying goal early in the third period, setting the stage for the overtime win.

Looking Forward:

The Tigers have now won three of their last four games with all three victories coming in OT. Joseph Caruso potted his second career GWG in overtime. The rising stars’ ascent has come during a five game stretch without last year’s leading scorer Michael Agafonov. Look for the Tigers to carry this momentum into their game against East Islip on Wednesday November 8th at 7:50 PM.

After last night’s loss the Kings Park Commack Knights dropped to third place in the Varsity Division. The Knights are ranked third in goal differential, fourth in goals for and second in goals against. The Knights team leader in points, Jesse Lemza, has six goals and nine assists on the year. Lemza is tied with KPC Captain Stefan Hludzinski for the team lead in goals. The Knights will need big performances from their top scorers on Wednesday November 8th at 9:20 PM against 1st place Sachem.

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