Just before the opening faceoff of the Altoona-Hollidaysburg ice hockey game, the Black Eyed Peas hit song "I Gotta Feeling" thundered through the Galactic Ice speakers, declaring that "Tonight's gonna be a good night."
It was indeed for Hollidaysburg (5-2) as the Golden Tigers scored twice in the first 1:42 on their way to a 6-2 win over Altoona (1-6).
It was a very good night for Hollidaysburg's Macky Power. The sophomore winger scored four goals to lead the Golden Tigers attack. Sam Lafferty assisted on two of Power's goals and defenseman Josh Stell added a goal and an assist.
Mirror photo by J.D.?Cavrich
The Tigers’ Macky Power (left) is congratulated by teammate Sam Lafferty after a goal against Altoona.
Power has 16 goals on the season, putting him among the leaders in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League. Lafferty leads the league in assists with 17.
"Their play-making ability is amazing," Hollidaysburg coach Brad Blair said. "They've been playing together a long time, and it shows."
Power got Hollidaysburg on the board just 55 seconds into the game beating Altoona goalie Seth Fry with a wrist shot from between the circles. Lafferty started the play with a strong burst of speed out of the Altoona end, and Mitch Gregory assisted on the score.
"We were crashing the net to get some traffic in front and screen the goalie," Power said.
Stell scored an unassisted goal less than a minute later to quickly put Hollidaysburg up 2-0. The senior defenseman put his own rebound in after the initial shot deflected off Adam Keller.
"That's pretty much the way it's been all season," Altoona coach Garth Rhodes said. "We have trouble starting games. It's not until the second and third period that we decide we're ready to play."
Power gave Hollidaysburg a 3-0 lead later in the period with a blistering slapshot from the top of the right circle.
"I saw the defenseman coming up on my left, and the goalie had a bad angle so I let it go," Power said.
Kent Brustle made it a four-goal lead just 16 seconds into the second period redirecting a rebound into the Altoona net.
"We came out playing the way we've been playing the last few weeks, but we regressed as the game went on," Blair said. "Penalties hurt us. We need to stay out of the penalty box."
Altoona opened the third period on the power play and took advantage when Nathan Baker scored an unassisted goal, going top shelf on freshman goalie Charlie Lafferty.
After the two teams traded goals, Altoona had a golden opportunity to pull closer with a 5-on-3 power play for a full two minutes, but Hollidaysburg killed it off.
"Josh [Stell] made three nice clearing passes. Both of our upperclass defensemen came up big," Blair said. "Derek [Baser] and Josh are very steady. I'll put them out there in any situation."
SCORE BY PERIODS
Altoona0 0 2-2
Hollidaysburg 3 1 2-6
FIRST PERIOD: H - Power (Lafferty, Gregory), 14:05; H - Stell (unassisted), 13:18; H - Power (unassisted), 5:05.
SECOND PERIOD: H - Brustle (Stell), 14:44.
THIRD PERIOD: A - Baker (unassisted), 14:36; H - Power (Lampard, C. Lafferty), 10:35; A - Badorrek (Baker), 9:29; H - Power (S. Lafferty), 2:58.
Goalies: Fry, A, 16 shots saved-22 shots faced; C. Lafferty, H, 16 shots saved-18 shots faced.
Records: Altoona (1-6); Hollidaysburg (5-2).