vs. Deerfield Academy
|Date:||January 5, 2019|
Hryckowian 4-Goal Explosion Leads #1 Salisbury over #9 Deerfield
Justin Hryckowian poured in four goals on Saturday afternoon, including a successful penalty shot, to lead top-ranked Salisbury to a 7-5 road-win over #9-ranked Deerfield. The high-scoring affair featured six goals in the third period. The Knights had to come from behind three times during the game before taking their first lead of the day eight minutes into the final period. While the Green Door continued to fight back over the final ten minutes, Salisbury would not relinquish that lead.
The opening period gave little sign of the scoring feast the game would ultimately provide. Both teams focused on defense, with Deerfield making it clear early that physical play would be featured. A packed and boisterous home crowd roared its approval from the first hit of the afternoon. And the referees let the boys play: the game’s first penalty was not called until ten minutes into the second period.
For the better part of the first 13 minutes, goalies Jared Levine for Salisbury and Thomas Gale for Deerfield turned aside every incursion, but that was about to change. With 5:14 remaining in the first, Deerfield finally put the puck past Levine for a 1-0 lead. Just over a minute later, with 4:07 on the clock, Hryckowian was awarded the penalty shot and burned Gale to tie the game at 1-all. In the final minute of the period, however, the Green recaptured the lead, going up 2-1 just 55 seconds before the first intermission.
The second frame played out as a virtual carbon-copy of the first, as all three goals came in the final five minutes. Hryckowian’s second goal evened the slate at 2-2 with 4:28 remaining. Nick Capone and Lucas Mercuri collected assists on the play. The crowd was stilled for all of five seconds before their home team carried into the Salisbury end off the ensuing faceoff and scored to take their third lead of the game, 3-2, at 4:23. But back came the Knights, needing a scant 42 seconds to pull even, again. And again it was Hryckowian – completing the hat-trick – and his linemates who came through, sending the two teams into the second intermission knotted at 3-3.
For the first eight minutes of the third, defenses tightened once again. At 9:39, Mercuri took a pass from Ilya Usau and put it on the stick of Luke Krys, who fired the puck past Gale to give Salisbury its first lead of the game, 4-3. Hryckowian’s power-play goal with 6:01 left opened a two-goal advantage, 5-3. Usau and Bayard Hall both assisted.
The last four minutes would prove tumultuous, as the two teams shredded the nets with four more goals. With 3:55 to play, the Green drew back to within a goal, 5-4. The Knights took all of 33 seconds to respond, with Capone scoring at 3:22, assisted by Mercuri – his fourth helper of the game – and Hryckowian – his fifth point in the contest.
The 6-4 edge did not last long. Twenty-nine seconds later, Deerfield once more reduced the margin to one goal, 6-5, and revitalized the rowdy fans’ fading hopes. With Gale on the bench in favor of a sixth skater, the Green intensified pressure on Levine as they battled for the equalizer. With 39 seconds left, however, Jake Quillan quashed those hopes when he pocketed an empty-net goal, assisted by Michael Fairfax and Clay Korpi.
Levine finished the game with 20 saves, while Gale stopped 39 shots. The win marked the eighth straight for the streaking Knights, whose record improved to 10-2. In losing to Salisbury for the second time this season, Deerfield fell to 6-3.