As the old cliche goes, it’s not over till it’s over. The Weber State University hockey team came from behind with one second left to force overtime against Loyola Marymount University on Friday. The Wildcats defeated the Lions in a shootout.
“The boys worked hard,” said WSU head coach Joe Pfleegor. “They didn’t quit, they didn’t give up. When you get a goal scored against you with three minutes left in the game, most teams are going to hang their heads and kind of quit. We just kept fighting back.”
The Wildcats wasted no time getting a lead, scoring in the fourth minute of the game. Freshman Anthony Modreck scored the goal off of an assist from senior Braxton Green.
The Wildcats dominated the ball in the early goings of the first period, wearing down the Lions’ defense. WSU scored another goal midway through the first period. Freshman Tyler Arnold found the net on an assist from freshman Alex Pizarro.
The Lions got on the board mere seconds later as junior Archie Organi sneaked the puck past WSU goalie Lucas Thatcher. The assist went to sophomore Kyle Martins. The score after the first period was 2-1 in favor of the Wildcats.
The LMU goal swung the momentum in the Lions’ favor. Midway through the second period, LMU senior Cameron Che streaked down the left side of the ice and found his teammate, senior Hunter Costin, cutting across the ice, and he found the net. That equalized the score.
Four minutes later, the Lions took their first lead of the game. That time it was Costin who found Che for the goal.
The Wildcats tied up the score with two minutes left in the period. Sophomore Dax Hobbs found the nylon on an assist from Green. The score at the end of two periods was 3-3.
The puck went back and forth in the third period until, with four minutes left, Hobbs was sent to the penalty box, giving the Lions a power play. In the final seconds of the power play, the Lions took the lead off of a goal from senior Scott Reif.
With just more than a minute left, the Wildcats pulled their goalie, leaving an open net to get an extra skater on the ice.
“You knew with three minutes to go, we knew that we could get that tying goal,” Pfleegor said. “We just had too many opportunities, and when you get that many opportunities, it’s only a matter of time before the puck goes in. And it did.”
The Wildcats won a faceoff with 10 seconds left, and after a shot was deflected off of the LMU goalie, freshman Kody Rodriguez poked at the puck and slid it into the goal with one second left, forcing overtime.
“We called a timeout and knew that everything needed to be thrown at the net,” Green said. “We were lucky to get one. A shot was taken, and Kody was in front of the net and was able to get a rebound and poke it in with one second left to tie the game.”
The Wildcats dominated the overtime period, outshooting LMU 8-1, but neither could end the game. The Wildcats went into a shootout.
Both teams scored one goal in three tries. The shootout then went to sudden death. After Thatcher made a save for the Wildcats, sophomore Jacob Holmes found the net, giving WSU the win.
“I was put up last in the shootout,” Holmes said. “I went down and did the typical move that I always do in practice, and I put the puck in the net and ended up winning it.”
The Wildcats played LMU again on Saturday. That game will be covered Wednesday in The Signpost and on www.wsusignpost.com.