Loyola-Blakefield 5 — Sts. Peter & Paul 4
EASTON — The Dons came out hitting and finished up scoring Tuesday afternoon inside The Ice Warehouse.
Patrick Meckel scored a power-play goal off an assist from Chase Chelf with 1 minute, 28 seconds remaining in overtime to lift Loyola Blakefield over Saints Peter & Paul, 5-4, in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference semifinals at the Talbot County Community Center.
The Sabres rallied from a 3-1 deficit and took a 4-3 lead on a breakaway goal by John Albrecht with 8:06 left in regulation. But the Dons picked up their pace and closed the game with a pair of power-play goals.
Meckel also set an early physical tone for the game with a big hit on SSPP’s Hunter Hoffman in the opening minute and the action remained physical throughout the win-or-season-over contest.
Meckel finished with a pair of goals for Loyola Blakefield (7-8), which advances to the conference final on Thursday against Gilman (11-1) at the Piney Orchard Ice Rink. The top-seeded Greyhounds cruised past Glenelg Country 15-3 in the other semifinal.
Brendan Lowe finished with 31 saves for the Dons, who had lost to the Sabres on Friday, 7-4, to close the regular season.
“I thought it was a very well-played game by both teams,” Dons head coach Mike Lortie said. “Both teams played with a lot of heart, a lot of commitment. We played them on Friday. They beat us 7-4. We played them last month at our rink. We beat them 7-4. So today was the rubber match. We always play these guys very competitive. It’s always a very physical, competitive game. They’re well coached. It’s always a fun game to play, but we had to kind of prove something today, given how we played on Friday.”
First-year goalie Charlie Roberts stopped 22 shots for the Sabres, who finished their season at 6-6.
Derian Anderson scored on a power play with 4:37 left in regulation to tie the game at 4-4 as the Dons gained momentum that lasted through 3½ minutes of overtime.
Chelf poked in a loose puck after a save by Roberts to open the scoring with 10:25 left in the first period. Meckel tallied from the right wing on a rush to make it 2-0 at 8:20.
Despite trailing, SSPP held an advantage in shots on goal, and with 1:28 left in the first Peter Mood knocked a deflected shot into the cage to put the Sabres on the scoreboard. But another blocked shot led to a breakaway goal by Loyola’s Brendan Weaver with 9.6 seconds remaining to put the Dons up 3-1 at the period’s end.
A back-and-forth game throughout the second period, the Sabres’ scored the only marker at 9:49 when Brooks Hoffman pumped in a wrister from the left wing off an assist from Hunter Hoffman.
SSPP’s Aubrey Perry tied the game with 13:14 left in the third period with an assist from Connor Stokes.
Both teams were whistled for five infractions and the Dons took advantage of the final two.
“We let up an early lead quick and came back and fought all the way to get the lead back,” Sabres head coach Will Weisman said. “The last two goals were in the penalty box. They were both preventable penalties I guess. We knew we had to stay out of the penalty box. When we played them on Friday we beat them 7-4 and they scored three of their goals on the power play. … It was a good game. My guys came out and gave it all they had.”