HATFIELD TOWNSHIP— The penalty shot is arguably hockey’s most dramatic event. On this occasion, it resulted in a game-winning goal.
Wissahickon’s Sean Garry scored with 1:07 left in the third period to give the Trojans a 2-1 win over the Hatters Wednesday night in a Suburban High School Hockey League American Division matchup at Hatfield Ice.
The penalty shot was awarded after Garry, who had beaten the last Hatter defenseman, was pulled down from behind. He responded with an effort that beat Hatboro-Horsham goaltender Joe Gambino low on netminder’s stick (right) side.
“I knew what I was hoping to do before I went down,” Garry said. “I came down, looking to spot what was open and just ripped it right past him.”
Prior to the penalty shot, there was a serving of some pretty good hockey. There was an abundance of offensive opportunities but Gambino (28 saves) and Michael Henderson (30 saves), his Wissahickon counterpart, were in top form.
Hatboro-Horsham coach Gianni Lafratta praised his team’s defensive effort. “Joey is (a quality goaltender),” he said, “but of course it takes the five guys in front of him to shut it down.”
The game was scoreless for much of the first two periods. The Hatters finally got the scoring started with a power-play goal with just 4:34 left in the second frame. With Wissahickon’s Alex Corozza in the box serving a holding penalty, Tarak Elsbbash scored off a feed from Ben Heywood. Matt Cade tied the game for Wissahickon (3-0-1) 9:09 into the third stanza. Wissahickon coach Ken Harrington admitted he was surprised by the scoreline at that juncture.
“I thought if anything it was going to be a 5-3 game or something like that,” he said.”
Gary pointed out that for much of the night the Hatters were able to keep he and his brother Bryan, the Trojans two biggest offensive threats, away from the net. “They were stacking the middle a lot,” he said, “just trying to keep us to the outside. They did a good job cutting off most of the passing lanes but I think once we got the puck in the middle we could kind of two what we wanted.”
The Hatters had an apparent go ahead goal waved off with 2:08 left in the game. A shot from the left circle found the net behind Henderson but the official on the play ruled the net had been dislodged.
That set the stage for what turned out to be a dramatic finish.
“That was a fantastic game,” Lafratta said, “except for the outcome.”
Hatboro-Horsham 0 1 0—1
Wissahickon 0 0 2—2
Second-period goal: Tarik Elsbbagh (HH) from Ben Haywood, 11:26
Third-period goals: Matt Cade from Brian Garry and Alex Carozza, 9:09; Sean Gary penalty shot, 14:53.
Shots: Hatboro-Horsham 31, Wissahickon 30; Saves: Joe Gambino (HH) 28, Michael Henderson 30