The Peters Township Indians picked up their fifth win of the season over the now 1-6 Seneca Valley Raiders on Monday night by a score of 3-2.
The Indians finally seemed to play together in the early going of the contest. The squad made frequent, easy passes from stick to stick, taunting the helpless Raider defense. Taylor Cox forced numerous shots on net early but to no avail.
With just under 11 minutes in the first period, Cox took a boarding penalty, leaving the Indians shorthanded. During the penalty kill, Sophomore Patrick Hannan dazzled past defenders and fooled the goaltender, putting the team up 1-0. Hannan sparkled all night long, deking out defenders and showing just how good he is with the puck on his stick.
Toward the end of the first period, the Indian offense really dominated. It almost looked like the team was on the power play, passing at free will and taking their time to line up open shots. PT more than doubled the shot output of the Raiders in the first, 12 shots to 5.
At the beginning of the second period, the refs caught Benny Zalewski for a cross-checking penalty. However, the Indians’ special teams unit worked its magic again. This time Davan Groom netted a shorthanded goal, assist courtesy of David Rex.
The goal put the Indians in front 2-0 and clearly frustrated the Raiders. Peters outperformed Seneca Valley on the puck and with the body all throughout the match-up. Aaron McDonough really stood out as a big hitter and team motivator last night. His hits came at clutch moments, firing the team up. At the same time, McDonough also made key plays on defense, keeping the puck away from Brian Baker.
Toward the middle of the second, Cox raced down the ice for a puck near the boards. He dove for a puck out of his reach and crashed into the boards and he skated back to the bench slowly. On his next shift, Cox put the team ahead 3-0 on a goal directly in front of the net. To score on the shift immediately after an injury shows his desire and will to win no matter what happens.
The Raiders forced in a power play goal late in the second period. The goal seemed to make both teams slightly antsy. The refs did a good job of keeping the game in check and if anything, they were slightly too aggressive on making penalty calls. Within the last three and a half minutes of the second period, there were two penalties on Peters and two penalties on Seneca Valley.
The Indians got out to a rough start in the third period. The Raiders flew down the ice with frequent fastbreaks, narrowing the score to 3-2 early after the intermission. Not until the middle of the third period did the PT offense come back to life. They began to force shots on net again, making smooth passes and setting up opportunities.
When PT passes the puck effectively, they seem to have more scoring chances. Sometimes players try to go “coast-to-coast” with the puck, and that is when the offensive play becomes sloppier. If the Indians keep moving the puck around, they will find themselves putting up higher goal totals.
The Indians held onto a 3-2 lead all the way until the final buzzer, despite facing a late penalty. The win must provide relief to the squad after a somewhat disappointing weekend in Jamestown.
The Peters Township Indians face-off against Canon-McMillan, one of their biggest rivalry games of the year, Monday, Dec. 12 at Southpointe.
Editor's Note: Josh Glicksman is a sophomore in Nicole Sitler's journalism class at . Photos are by junior Austin Chappell.