By Jay Young
Southwestern/Maple Grove hockey had the benefit of running three lines of offense on Saturday night against the Jamestown Raiders, but you might not know that by looking at the score sheet.
Jamestown’s Gib Stuart flips a backhand pass out of his defensive zone. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Jay Young
The first line of captain Andy Farnham, assistant Tommy Gerace, and Curtis Carlson was shot out of a cannon on the Chautauqua County Youth Hockey Association's annual Senior Recognition Night, accounting for every goal in an 8-5 victory over Jamestown at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.
Despite trailing by a pair midway through the second period, SW/MG was able to come out fired up following intermission, and was led back by three consecutive goals from Carlson to claim victory.
"Well, they let emotions take the place of good hockey play,'' SW/MG coach Joe Gerace said. ''We settled down after the second period ice cut. "They came out and played their game (in the third)."
The game between the rival teams featured plenty of hard-hitting action and scoring from both sides of the ice.
The Raiders were able to keep the game close thanks to balanced attack of ive different players, but, in the end, penalty trouble proved decisive.
SW/MG started the night out with a power play opportunity following a roughing call on Gib Stuart of the Raiders, but was unable to settle the puck during their first man-up opportunity.
Shortly after Stuart's early penalty, SW/MG repaid the favor as Farnham crashed the net a bit too late and was hauled off for a slash on goaltender Hans Shober.
Following Farnham's infraction - one of 12 for SW/MG on the night - the senior found himself all alone after a long pass from Brandon Decker that was fired just below Shober's blocker for the first goal.
See SENIOR NIGHT, Page B3
The Raiders were once again a man short with 10:22 remaining in the first period when defensemen Erik Daugharthy inadvertently tripped an opponent while looking for the puck.
Luckily for Jamestown, SW/MG once again had trouble settling into their power play and managed only one solid scoring opportunity before the game was back to five-on-five.
The Raiders then evened the tilt with their second man advantage after Michael Mammoser won an offensive faceoff back to Stuart on the point. Mammoser ended the night with an impressive three assists as well as a goal.
Stuart struck a rocket slap shot that found its way past goaltender Ben Richards for the tying goal with seven minutes to play in the opener.
After both teams lit the lamp, physical play started to pick up as Nate Stephens delivered a punishing hit along the blue line and was then was promptly decked by Jamestown's Anthony Tomassi.
Coincidental penalties left both teams at even strength with minuets to play in the first period, when Carlson danced his way through defenders for shot that was pushed wide by Shober.
Careless penalties continued to come from both sides of the ice as the game entered period two (17-minute periods were used for the non-league meeting).
Nick Booker was hauled off to the box due to a post-whistle shove, and Jamestown wasted no time taking advantage.
Bill Krywy fired a shot on Richards that was saved, but Dylan Bergman was all alone on the doorstep to hammer home the rebound for a 2-1 lead.
Jamestown increased its margin by another goal shortly after when Richards gave up another juicy rebound that was hammered home by Tomassi in the third minute of the second.
After Jamestown's third tally of the night, the floodgates opened up as loose pucks started to find their way into both nets.
SW/MG responded quickly as Tommy Gerace lit the lamp on a diving put-back after a shot by Stephens was narrowly stopped. Just three minutes later, Farnham added to his total on a slap shot that found its way through traffic to tie the game at 3-3.
At that point, it seemed that Carlson had seen enough of the tight play, and saw fit to open up the game.
After drifting through defenders Carlson's first goal came on a low shot that once again found its way past the blocker of Shober, with assists coming from Bryce Moyer and Stephens.
The Raiders had a chance to steal some momentum back after losing their lead when Krywy was dragged down from behind on a breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot.
Patience paid off for Richards and SW/MG, as the goaltender waited and waited until steering away Krywy's forehand deke. Despite posting a brilliant offensive season for the Raiders, Krywy was hampered by a recent foot injury on Saturday and was noticeably slowed down throughout the night.
Jamestown would have liked to have had their most potent offensive player at full tilt as Carlson proceeded to pick up two more goals and extend his team's lead. Assists from Farnham and Decker helped SW/MG grab a 5-3 lead, while Carlson also notched an unassisted goal after a defensive zone turnover by Jamestown.
Despite falling behind after carrying a two-goal lead, the Raiders played through to the bitter end.
Mammoser notched a goal amidst a crowd of defenders to pull his team within two, but in the end Farnham and Carlson proved too much to handle defensively.
Farnham has now totaled 59 points and 24 goals on the season after finishing with a hat trick and a pair of helpers on Saturday.
Shober ended the night with 34 stops in net for Jamestown, while Richards totaled 31.
"We had our chances. Billy hit two posts and had the penalty shot. We had opportunities. It wasn't for a lack of them that we lost," Jamestown coach Bruce Hokanson.
With youth hockey numbers continuing to dwindle throughout the Jamestown area, there has been talk of merging the two high school teams that have always provided this exciting year-end matchup of rivals.
"It's really too early to tell at this point. We have six seniors leaving this year and if we can find six kids to come up and play we'll do it again next year," Joe Gerace said.
Added Hokanson: "I know we would hate to lose our identity".