Mounts tied by Palmyra
By: JOHN CRAWFORD Review Correspondent, Staff Writer
Chase Weik scored a hat trick to lead the Ephrata ice hockey team to a 3-3 tie against Palmyra on Friday at Klick Lewis Arena. Steven Zuziak and Trevor Seibel each picked up two assists while goalie Logan Pogwist had 27 saves.
The tie gives Ephrata a 4-5-2 record and a three-game unbeaten streak going into the Christmas break.
"We’ve been playing well," said Coach Kevin Davis. "The things we’ve been trying to accomplish, we seem to be accomplishing."
Thanks to an 8-3 win over Palmyra on Dec. 12, Davis knew that their opponent would not take the Mounts lightly Friday.
"We knew (the Cougars) were going to come out as hard as they did tonight (because) we beat them pretty badly the last time. We knew it wasn’t going to be that easy tonight."
As if to make the point, Palmyra started the game with an early flurry that began when Josh Buohl blocked a shot that went back to Palmyra’s Zachary Yingst. After several chances, the Cougars reacted as they scored but a goal was never credited.
After the initial flurry, the Mounts’ flying freshmen combination of Weik and Zuziak began to get chances. With 10:37 left in the first, Zuziak got a pass from the far point while he was off to the right of the net that he stopped with his skate. The puck bounced back slightly so Zuziak spun around and shot on Palmyra goalie Samuel Wasson.
Both teams kept a fast pace but neither broke through until Weik picked up his first goal with 4:04 left in the first when he directed a shot to the top of the net. Josh Buohl picked up the lone assist.
"(Buohl) took a shot and I was right there for the rebound," recalled Weik. "(It was) a nice, low shot. It was just screen the goalie, get a shot on net and hope for the best."
"We’ve been trying to get them to go to the net more," said Davis. "If they can put a little more pressure on the goalie, that’s what I want. I want them on that crease and standing there."
Palmyra regrouped quickly and tied the score 15 seconds later on Daniel Steiner’s goal and the teams finished the period at 1-1.
Throughout the early season, the Mounts often were a little out of sync as they adjusted to their system. On Friday, they seemed more attuned to their teammate’s actions. That anticipation helped them build a 2-1 lead halfway through the second period when Weik scored from Zuziak and Trevor Seibel.
"Steven Zuziak passed it to the blue line from the point and I just hit down with my stick, went down and shot it," said Weik.
Trevor Seibel’s skating set up the third and final goal when he traveled up most of the rink to set up Zuziak’s shot and Weik, coming across the goalmouth, put the rebound shot past Wasson and a 3-1 lead with 4:07 left
Nearly a minute later, Alexander Daley gave Palmyra a little momentum to take into the third period when cut the Mounts’ lead to 3-2.
Palmyra used that momentum early in the third but was not able to capitalize when Alex Seibel got his stick on Nicholas Stoner’s attempted shot. Later, Pogwist turned aside two shots in quick succession from Stoner and Daley.
An elbowing penalty on the Cougars’ Daley gave Ephrata the opportunity to extend their lead and they did their best to capitalize. Alex Seibel hit the side of the net attempting to rebound Buohl’s shot. Buohl took another shot later in the power play and Nick Musser took another before the end of the advantage but Wasson was equal to all the chances.
"We had a lot of shifts where we had a lot of chances but we just couldn’t score," said Weik.
"They’re a good team and if Wasson gets hot, you’re going to have to do some work," said Davis.
The Cougars pulled Wasson with a minute remaining and the tactic worked with 10 seconds left in the game when Stoner scored for the tie.
"We didn’t play a bad game tonight; it was just a tough break at the end," summarized Buohl. "We’ve got some things we know we’ve got to improve but overall, I think we’re pretty happy going into the break with our record."
Davis echoed his captain’s statement.
"I think we are still developing as a team," he said. "I am pleased with the progress that we’ve made so far. I believe we are going to compete to the end. I don’t think teams are taking us lightly anymore. I think they know we can bring a game and they are starting to get more concerned about us. We’re competing now."
"I think we’re going to compete until the end. I am confident we are going to be in the playoffs. I just don’t know where we going to end up." More HOCKEY, page B-3