Promising Mounts fall late to L-S
By: JOHN CRAWFORD Review Correspondent, Staff Writer
On a team loaded with seniors, the Ephrata ice hockey team nearly pulled out a season-opening victory Monday night with goals from two freshmen. Chase Weik scored twice and Steven Zuziak tallied once in the 4-3 loss to Lampeter-Strasburg. Trevor Seibel assisted on all three goals.
"These guys come with a lot of background in hockey," noted Coach Kevin Davis. "They’re going to help us."
Returning captain Josh Buohl, who Davis kept in the position in part for his willingness to work with the younger players, echoed his coach’s view of the freshman.
"Our younger guys, the freshmen, are helping us a lot," he said. "They’re going to make a difference. We’re going to have good year."
The promise of a new season almost faded quickly when L-S scored on their first shot with 1:49 gone but the Mounts held steady and kept the scoring chances for the Pioneers low throughout the first period.
Eventually, they outshot the Pioneers 9-3 and goalie Ian Keene worked hard to preserve their 1-0 lead. His saves included getting a leg on Carson Good’s shot off a breakaway at the 8:15 mark.
Both offenses picked up the pace in the second as both teams used speed to get shots from in close. Pioneer Paul Hauser used quickness to get around the Ephrata defense to make sophomore goalie Logan Pogwist stop two shots from in front of the net. Pogwist finished the second with nine saves and no goals.
Keene did not fare as well as Weik sent one of Ephrata’s 13 shots in the net by sending home a rebound of Buohl’s point blast with 9:44 left.
"Josh Buohl got (the puck) and we always talk about getting the shots low," said Weik. "He did that (and) it went right off the pad to me and I just buried it."
The Mounts sustained the pressure throughout the rest of the period and had two goals waved off with less than two minutes to go. After a Buohl rush sent the puck in on Keene, the puck ended up behind him but the referee ruled no goal. Davis said the ruling was the net was off its post. Less than half a minute later, Weik went in on a breakaway and beat the goalie but not one of the pipes. The players thought it was the back pipe but the ref ruled it was the cross bar. From the stands, the only clue was the net sounding the familiar ring of a struck post and the ensuing groan from the fans.
"We set the pace in the second period but a couple of calls did not go our way," said Davis.
Steven Zuziak gave the Mounts a lead at 2-1 when he completed a series of passes by burying the puck in the net at 10:31 of the third.
The lead lasted until the 8:55 mark when L-S tied the game at two but a penalty on the Pioneers gave the Mounts a sustained chance. Alex Seibel appeared to have a good shot stopped by Keene and his brother helped create Weik’s power play goal with a rink wide pass from the right to the left wing.
"Trevor Seibel passed it to me wide open," recalled Weik. "I just saw a lane and just roofed it. (The goal was) good teamwork."
Unfortunately, the lead did not survive the final four minutes as the Pioneers scored twice to secure the 4-3 victory. Still, the signs for a good season are apparent.
"We have a few more talented players," said Davis. "We can put a couple of good lines out there. We outplayed them. A couple of crossbars here and who knows?" More HOCKEY, page B-4