ANNVILLE — The Comets' Wesley Gilbert cut across the middle of the ice at Klick Lewis Arena Friday, in between a pair of Annville-Cleona defenders with 1:08 remaining in overtime of a Central Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League game filled with lead changes and momentum swings.
"I had a lot of adrenaline," Gilbert said. "At the end, I was thinking, 'Just get the puck on net.'"
The shot skipped low across the ice, back inside the near-side post, giving the Comets — with players from Penn Manor Lancaster Country Day, Lancaster Catholic and Solanco — a 7-6 Viola Division victory.
A three-goal first period set the tone for Warwick in a key 5-3 Central Pennsylvania Intersc…
"I think everybody pitched in a little bit," said coach John Ricci, whose Comets (6-5-0-0) erased a two-goal deficit in the final 3:15 of the third period. " You don't always see it on the scoresheet, but the back chips, a little tip here and there and good positional play. that all adds up."
With the Comets trailing 6-4 and on a power play, Penn Manor's Max Jesberger cut the deficit in half, twisting around a defender and slinging a shot past Annville-Cleona goaltender Alex Lingle (48 saves).
"That fifth goal," Ricci said, "was the key."
Kalvin Kowal scored the equalizer with 41.2 seconds remaining in regulation, netting his second goal of the game as he streaked down the right wing and fired a shot off the inside of the far post.
Kalvin Kowal ties it for the Comets. 41.2 seconds left. Wesley Gilbert gets the assist. Penn Manor and Annville-Cleona are even up at 6. pic.twitter.com/LnADMLCtie— Tim Gross (@TimGrossLNP) December 22, 2018
"I saw the opening," said Kowal, who was stopped by Lingle on a penalty shot earlier in the game, "so I just shot it there."
The Little Dutchmen (5-4-2-0) had overcome a two-goal deficit of their own after trailing 4-2 late in the second period. Patrick McAteer scored his second goal of the night in the final minute of the second period. He later completed the hat trick by putting a power play goal past Penn Manor goaltender Neel Mahapatra (23 saves) that gave the Little Dutchmen a 5-4 lead. Annville-Cleona then weathered an extended Comet power play.
GOAL, Annville-Cleona Pat McAteer completes the hat trick on the power play with 11:35 left. Little Dutchmen take a 5-4 lead over the Comets. Jeremy Seyfert gets the assist. pic.twitter.com/ReZlHLwHh0— Tim Gross (@TimGrossLNP) December 22, 2018
"We ran out of some steam," said Annville-Cleona coach Nathan Brightbill. "We'd been running the same guys back out there on the power play and the PK. We had to shorten the bench."
Gilbert, a Lancaster Country Day junior, finished the night with four points, leading all skaters with a goal and three assists. His outlet pass sprung Kowal on the game-tying goal.
"You could tell from the bench," Gilbert said. "Everyone had energy after we scored the last goal (of regulation). I knew we would win the game as soon as we tied it up."