Special to The Standard
Did anyone hear that loud bang in Lindsay Friday night? That was not the sound of the monkey falling off the backs of the Lindsay Muskies, it was more like King Kong coming down from the Empire State Building, as the Muskies hard work finally paid off in a 3-2 double overtime win, in a game that had everything.
The division leading Cougars got on the board early, when Mark Bastianello jammed one past Tyler Richardson from in close, just 40 seconds in.
The goal was assisted by George Miranda and Connor MacEachern. Richardson came up big, moments later, when he stopped Spencer Smith on a breakaway. At 15:01, Cam Robinson drew the Muskies even with his 1st goal of the year, from Cameron Suryka.
In the second period both goalies stepped up. First it was Richardson, going post to post to make a big stop, then it was Elliot Gerth for the Cougars, stopping Robinson on a breakaway. At 9:24, Brock Traill went high over Gerth’s blocker to give Lindsay a 2-1 lead, with his 6th of the season from Noah Dollo and Dawson Manning. Richardson stopped another breakaway to defend the slim lead, and Owen Barnett rang a shot off the post before the period ended.
The tension was running high in the crowd as the third period started. The Muskies have played well all year long but have not been rewarded much. The Cougars came on strong in the third, looking for the equalizer, but the Muskies were blocking shots and clearing the zone well, while defending. At 15:41, though, it looked to all fall in, when Bastianello scored his 2nd of the game to tie it at 2-2, from James Waldron. Things looked to get worse when Robinson was given a penalty with 23 seconds left. The Muskies weathered the storm and made it to overtime, guaranteeing, at least, one hard fought point.
In the four on four overtime, the Cougars used that man advantage well and dominated the Muskies, but the defenders, along with Richardson, held the fort.
In the three on three overtime, the Muskies again found themselves short handed, but once again the penalty killers did the job.
Then in a crazy turn of events, with 57.6 seconds left, Ryan Smith of the Muskies was awarded a penalty shot. The crowd roared as he broke in and made a sweet backhand move, but hit the goalpost, so the game carried on.
The Muskies won the ensuing faceoff and kept the pressure on, allowing Michael Cimini to get a shot through from the point, to win it with 32.5 seconds left. The goal was Cimini’s 1st of the season and was assisted by Traill and Smith.
After the game Richardson and Cimini were all smiles. Richardson credited the team, saying they all played well and battled through. “It was tough when the second goal went in to tie the game”, he said. He added that being an older experienced goalie helped him to regroup and focus, after the game became tied.
When asked about the game winning goal, Cimini smiled and said, “It was a broken play. The puck came out, I just closed my eyes and shot!” He said the win was a real morale boost, as the team has been competing hard lately.
Head Coach Dan West was also relieved after the game, saying it was nice to see the kids smiling and relaxed after the game. “They have been fragile recently, and it’s nice to see them rewarded for playing hard.
The next action for the Muskies is on Tuesday night, when they host Milton.