For about a period and a half, the Meadville hockey team went toe-to-toe with Holy Name.
But three unanswered goals to close the second period proved too much to overcome as the Green Wave picked up a 5-1 non-conference win over the Bulldogs at the House of Chills on Friday.
“I blame myself,” said Meadville head coach Jamie Plunkett. “There were certain lines we wanted on the ice against their top kids. And I made a mistake twice in the period and it cost us.”
And the game was decided in that second.
Trailing 2-0, Meadville got on the board with 9:26 to play in the period. The Bulldogs worked the puck down low and Michael Mahoney got his stick on it. As the defense collapsed on Mahoney, he centered a pass to the low slot. Freshman Trevor Kessler one-timed it past HN goalie J.T. Light for the goal.
Unfortunately, any momentum gained was lost a little more than a minute later.
Holy Name’s Brennan Dickey fired a shot on net. Before the puck could reach Meadville goalie Sam Coppola, the Green Wave’s Mike Henry got his stick on the puck and tipped it through for to increase the lead back to two, 3-1, with 7:41 to play. Soon after, Pat Ehlert scored on an almost identical play. Then with 10 seconds to go before the Zamboni recut the ice, Dickey scored exactly the same way.
“Dickey, he is a really talented kid,” said Plunkett. “And some of the younger kids just aren’t ready yet to go up against someone that skilled. When I had Mahoney, Kessler and Weber out there together as a line I thought they were very effective and had lots of chances. In the end, I think we just don;t have the depth right now.”
Dickey end up with two goals and three assists on the night. Ehlert, who scored the only goal of the first period, finished with two goals. Dean Lugo had three assist, while Jack Mohar had two assists.
Cohl Weber also had an assist on Kessler’s goal.
Next up for Meadville are a pair of must-win contests. On Monday, the Bulldogs host Mars, which is one point back of the Bulldogs for second place in the PIHL Varsity AA Northwest Division. A week later on Feb. 17, MASH hosts Moon to close the league schedule. While the team needs four points in those two games, it may not be enough.
“We are not even worried about moon on the 17th,” said Plunkett. “It’s Monday night and we need two points in regulation. We can not afford to give Mars any points. I think out best bet is Quaker Valley. (Either way), we need to win two and get some help to reach the playoffs.”