By Matthew Bartow / WLD
After the first period of action, it looked like Father Gabriel Richard-Greenhills’ hockey team was on its way to an easy win over Dexter. If not for a great save by Dexter goalie Amanda Crundwell in the waning seconds of the period, the Irish were halfway to the 8-goal mercy rule.
Dexter wasn’t about to go quietly, however. A three-goal second period got the Dreadnaughts within a goal, but a third-period goal from Irish co-captain Jacob Hazard was the difference in a 5-4 victory for Richard-Greenhills Friday night at the Ice Cube in Ann Arbor.
Richard-Greenhills controlled nearly every facet of the game in the first period, tallying three goals and outshooting the Dreadnaughts 13-5.
“I was really happy with the way we started,” said Richard-Greenhills head coach Clint Robert. “I thought we came out really strong, we were moving the puck well and playing as a team.”
The Irish wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. After Dexter committed a penalty, Beau Brewer tipped in a pass from Jack Waldo for a power-play goal. Ryan Kowalchik also assisted on the goal, which gave Richard-Greenhills a 1-0 lead only 90 seconds into the game.
Less than 3 minutes later, the Irish doubled their lead when Kowalchik fired home a goal-mouth pass from Waldo. Waldo tallied three assists on the night.
Richard-Greenhills struck again nearly halfway through the period. Brewer stole the puck, and found Hazard, who danced around a defender and roofed a shot past Crundwell to give the Irish a 3-0 lead with 8:38 remaining in the first period.
Dexter’s best chance in the first period came seconds after Hazard’s goal, but Irish goalie Josh Bieniewicz smothered a point-blank shot while falling to keep Dexter off the scoreboard in the period. Bieniewicz made 16 saves in the game.
The only saving grace for Dexter in the first period was the strong play of Crundwell, who made 9 saves in the first period alone, including a great one in the period’s final seconds. She totaled 25 saves for the game.
Dexter stormed back with three goals of its own in the second period. Dreadnaught defenseman Ryan Kniesteadt scored the team’s first goal with 13:42 remaining in the period. Less than 2 minutes later, Dexter further cut into its deficit as Joey Fracassi deflected a point shot from Kniesteadt past Bieniewicz to make the score 3-2 with 12:02 remaining in the period.
The second period saw a frenzy of goals. Less than 3 minutes after Dexter’s second goal, Jack Lapinski snapped a shot off the goal post and into the net to increase the Irish lead to 4-2 with 9:29 remaining in the period. Dexter answered with a goal from Luc Chesney, who jammed in a rebound to trim the Irish lead to one goal once again.
Richard-Greenhills outshot Dexter 10-9 in the second period and took a 4-2 lead into the second intermission.
Robert called the Irish’s second-period one of the “worst he’d seen in a while.”
“Our give-and-care factor seemed to go down quite a bit,” Robert said. “We need to remember what happened in the period, where we didn’t really seem engaged, moving forward.”
Any momentum Dexter had after the second period dissipated when Hazard scored his second goal of the game only 17 seconds into the third period, restoring the Irish’s two-goal lead.
“The intermission came at a great time for us,” Robert said. “We were able to hit the reset button, regain our composure, and getting a goal early in the third period certainly helped.”
Still, Dexter fought back. Chesney scored his second goal of the night, poking home the puck out of a mad scramble in front of the Irish net to cut the Irish lead to 5-4 with 10:08 remaining.
Richard-Greenhills outshot Dexter 7-6 in the third period, for a three period total of 30-20 in favor of the Irish.
Richard-Greenhills (4-1) returns to action when it faces Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Dexter (2-2) next plays Sunday at 12:30 p.m., taking on Fenton from the Hartland Sports Center.
15:00 – FGR – Beau Brewer goal (power play), assists Jack Waldo and Ryan Kowalchik (1-0 FGR)
12:30 – FGR – Kowalchik goal, Waldo assist (2-0 FGR)
8:38 – FGR – Jacob Hazard goal, Brewer assist (3-0 FGR)
13:42 – DEX – Ryan Kniesteadt goal, unassisted (3-1 FGR)
12:02 – DEX – Joey Fracassi goal, Kniesteadt assist (3-2 FGR)
9:29 – FGR – Jack Lapinski goal, unassisted (4-2 FGR)
7:49 – DEX – Luc Chesney goal, unassisted (4-3 FGR)
16:43 – FGR – Hazard goal, assists Lapinski and Waldo (5-3 FGR)
10:08 – DEX – Chesney goal, unassisted (5-4 FGR)