The Gateway Ice Wolves played two games on Sunday. In the first game, they stayed undefeated in the Yankee Conference by beating the GYH Ireland team 6-4. It was their closest game of the season thus far. In the second game, they lost for the first time since January 12, 2-0. Ironically, the loss came to the same team, YD.
Despite dropping the first two games of their tournament last week, the Pee Wee Gladiators closed out the Cranberry Tournament at Hobomock Arenas by skating to a 5-5 tie with the previously perfect Coastal Stars. The Gladiators’ unrelenting effort played spoiler to the Stars’ hopes for a perfect tournament run. The Gladiators drew first blood on a Zack Lovendale goal assisted by Quirino DoCanto. Lovendale notched two more tallies in the second period, earning himself the hat trick. Despite Zack’s offensive effort, the Gladiators found themselves down 5-3 with 90 seconds left to play. With goalie Steven Strachan replaced by the extra skater, DoCanto found the back of the net with 37 seconds remaining in the game. The Gladiator coaches continued their gamble by risking the open net in favor of the sixth skater for the game’s final center-ice face-off. With risk came reward, as DoCanto led a final drive to the net with merely five ticks left on the clock. A melee ensued in front of the Stars goalie and when the ice shavings settled, it was Tyler Lovendale getting credit for the game-tying goal in the last second of the game. DoCanto finished with three points, as did both Lovendale brothers. Jared Westgate also added an assist. Coleby Paling’s strong defensive effort was recognized by each of his coaches, as he led all Gladiators in time on ice.
Later on in the week, the Gladiators went 0 for 2 in Martha’s Vineyard. Despite a strong team effort, the players couldn’t stop the barrage of shots that went at their goalies throughout both games. But they will have to solve the riddle of the Islanders soon enough as the Gladiators will likely draw Martha’s Vineyard in the first round of the playoffs to start March 9.
Gateway Bantams battled it out on Saturday night in Pembroke against the Eagles and, despite two periods of sluggishness, in the third period they finally came to life to pull off the win with a 3-1 victory. The first period ended in a 0-0 tie. Then, early in the second period, the Eagles sent one by Gateway goal tender A.J. Bridges, putting them up by one. Late in the second period, Will Paling snuck one by to tie it up for Gateway. The final period brought Gateway alive with great passing and back-checking. Many shots on the net were deflected by the Eagle goalie as Gateway kept hammering away with slap shots. On a power play, Mat St. John went from behind his net, skated the puck down the ice, and put Gateway up by two. A nice play set up by Brian Holmes with a great pass to Brady Smith, who slammed it in the net, gave Gateway the edge they needed. After pulling their goalie, Sean Kelso just missed an open net by inches. Tegan Andre, taking over for A.J. Bridges had a flawless period and a half in goal. The win places Gateway in third place in the Yankee Conference and qualifies them for playoffs.