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Huskies Suffer Shootout Loss to Millbrook in the Finals

The New Hampton Huskies won all three of their round robin games to win their division of the Brooks/Pingree Tournament and move on to the finals this morning. New Hampton will face a familiar foe in the finals, Millbrook School, a team the Huskies knocked off in a hard fought back and forth game during the Small School Quarter-Finals last year. Millbrook also won all three of their round robin games to win their division, so New Hampton knows they will have to bring their “A” game to come out with a victory today. The Huskies took control from the start of the game, winning the opening faceoff, getting the puck deep in Millbrook’s zone and going to work on the forecheck. For the next eleven minutes, New Hampton continued to forecheck Millbrook hard, winning puck battles and playing the majority of the time in Millbrook’s zone. However, the Huskies were a little snake-bitten and came up short a couple of times to take the lead. In the final four minutes of the period, Millbrook was able to capitalize on the only two chances they created in the period. Despite controlling the period and out shooting Millbrook 11-5, New Hampton found themselves down 2-0, after the first period. New Hampton was not going away that easy though, the Huskies came out even more determined in the second period. Again, New Hampton was all over Millbrook, looking to get on the scoreboard and get back in the game. Just over seven minutes into the period, the Huskies were rewarded for all their hard work. Steven Ardagna scored on the power play to cut Millbrook’s lead in half. After getting the power play set up in the offensive zone, Jack Ring worked the puck up to Marcus Joughin on the half wall, Joughin faked a shot and fed Steven Ardagna a pass at the blueline that Ardagna one-timed past the Millbrook goaltender. A minute and a half later, Jack Ring won a puck battle in the offensive zone, passed to Cale DuBrul at the point, DuBrul ripped a snap shot off the post and in to tie the game for the Huskies. Three minutes later, New Hampton scored another power player goal to take the lead. The Huskies worked the puck up to James Hatzepetros at the point, Hatzepetros swung the puck to his defensive partner Adam Shuchart, Shuchart passed through the seem to Alec Grace, who was backdoor. The Millbrook goaltender came sliding across to try and stop Grace’s shot, but Grace didn’t shoot and slid the puck to Davis Bone in front of the net, for an empty net tap in goal. New Hampton looked to be taking their hard earned 3-2 lead heading into the 2nd intermission, but Millbrook scored with three seconds left in the period to tie the game. The third was played at a high intensity level with both teams looking to score the go ahead goal. In the third period, the Huskies looked to have taken the lead multiple times, but the puck did not seem to want to cross the goal line. After three periods of play the game remained tied 3-3. With the game tied at three after regulation play, the Huskies were headed to their fourth overtime game of the season, hoping the experience of the previous three games would play in their favor. During overtime, neither team looked to be taking any chances and after five minutes of play, the game remained tied. A tie after the first overtime meant both teams would earn a tie for their NEPSAC record. Since the game was still tied after one overtime and there needed to be a tournament winner, the game went to a second five minute overtime. In the second overtime both teams were playing a little more lose, taking chances offensively to score the game winning goal. Both Matt Sayles and the Millbrook goaltender played great in net and the game remained tied after the second overtime. With the game tied after two overtimes, there would now be a three-man shootout to decide the winner. Both Millbrook and New Hampton’s first shooters missed. Millbrook’s second shooter scored while New Hampton’s missed. Millbrook’s third shooter could end the game with a goal, but Matt Sayles made a great save to give the Huskies a chance to even the score. New Hampton’s third shooter, Jake Dunlap, did not let the pressure of the moment phase him, scoring on a dazzling deke to even the score in the shootout and send the game to a “sudden death” shootout. The next three shooters from both teams missed before Millbrook’s seventh shooter scored. The Huskies had a chance to respond, Assistant Captain Greg Peterson was sent in hopes of tying the game and extending the shootout. Peterson did not disappoint, making a nice move before squeaking a shot just passed the Millbrook goaltender. Again, the next three shooters from both teams missed before Millbrook’s eleventh shooter scored to win the game. Matt Sayles was spectacular in the game and the shootout, giving the Huskies every opportunity to win the game. Despite the loss, New Hampton played great hockey and had a solid weekend, improving their record to 5-3-2 and moving them up in the RPI standings to 17th. The Huskies will take a little break for the holidays and then meet up in Buffalo on December 27th to play in the Belmont Hill/Nichols Holiday Tournament.
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