Mountain Lions add another ‘W’ to column

By Jon Fleck

For the Mirror

The Altoona ice hockey team navigated its way through the 2017 portion of this season’s schedule without a loss, racking up nine wins and a tie along the way.

The Mountain Lions continued their winning ways in the new year, opening up 2018 with a 6-4 win over Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic Tuesday at Galactic Ice.

Tied 4-4 late in the third period, Cole Yeckley scored the go-ahead goal with 2:16 remaining, and Austin Homan followed with another 42 seconds later to seal the win and help the Mountain Lions remain unbeaten on the season.

“My brother (Cameron Yeckley) made a good pass up to me that put us in a 3-on-1 situation,” Cole Yeckley said. “The defenseman was looking to take away the pass so I just picked a spot in the corner and shot it.”

The go-ahead goal came not long after the Marauders finished killing off a penalty.

“I think they wore themselves out on the penalty kill,” Altoona coach Don Burgmeier said. “They had to change players, and we scored. Even though we didn’t score on the power play, it helped us, and the last one was just a really good shot.”

BG nearly took the lead towards the end of the penalty kill when Noah Murray got a shorthanded breakaway, but Altoona goalie Evan Montgomery made the save.

“He stopped a couple breakaways, but that last against Murray was really good,” Burgmeier said. “I thought he was a little off early, but he got stronger as the game went on.”

Cole Yeckley finished with a pair of goals and an assist, and Butch Baker had a goal and an assist to lead Altoona. Murray led BG with a goal and assist, and David Zoerner had two assists for the Marauders.

Tied 1-1 4:31 into the second quarter, the game turned into a shootout for the next 7:25 with the two teams combining for five goals.

After Altoona went up 2-1 on Tyler Umbleby’s goal at the 10:29 mark of the second period, BG scored back-to-back goals to claim the lead.

The first came on the power play with Dalton Berry scoring off assists from Demetri Butts and Lucas Falkosksy 1:20 after Umbleby’s goal.

John Will’s goal from in front of the net gave BG the lead with 6:09 left in the period.

Altoona wasted little time responding, getting the equalizer less than two minutes later and taking the lead less than a minute after that when Baker and Cole Yeckley scored back-to-back unassisted goals.

Baker’s goal came on a shot between the circles in front of the net. Yeckley’s was from tough angle along the goal line.

“It’s normally a tough shot, but being a righthanded shot on the left side put it on my forehand, making it easier to go upstairs,” Yeckley said. “I saw the goalie was down and went up over his glove.”

BG looked like it tied the game just inside the 10 minute of the third period on Matt Runk’s low shot to the right wing to the opposite corner, but the referee made no call and play remained live, resulting in Altoona getting a shot on an open net at the other end.

The shot was off the mark, and BG did indeed tie the game on its next trip up the ice when Runk beat Montgomery through the five-hole.

“It turned out to be a lot tougher than it should have been to tie the game. I think that 40-second stretch took a lot of us,” BG coach Gary Landon said.

“I thought it went in,” Burgmeier said. “I think there was a little karma there for us to miss the open net and them to come right back down and put it in. It’s the way the game should have been if the first one had counted.”

Altoona improves to 10-0-1. BG falls to 4-5-0.

For BG, the final result was a loss, but the Marauders were much more competitive than the 9-2 loss Altoona put on them earlier in the season.

“Last time we played, they destroyed us. We totally lost control on defense. We got some key players back but still were not playing really well coming into this game,” Landon said. “To be down going into the third and be able to tie the game was big for us. We just let it get away from us from there. We have the talent to competitive. Our goal is to make the playoffs and have some success in the regular season so that we can compete in the playoffs.”

Both teams play again Thursday on the road with Altoona visiting Richland, and Guilfoyle travelling to State College.

SCORE BY PERIODS

Altoona 1 3 2–6

Bishop Guilfoyle 1 2 1–4

SCORING SEQUENCE

FIRST PERIOD: A — Kravetz (Baker), 4:53; BG — Murray (unassisted), 1:34.

SECOND PERIOD: A — Umbleby (Co. Yeckley), 10:29; BG — Berry (Butts, Falkosky), 9:09; BG — Will (Zoerner), 6:05. A — Baker (unassisted), 4:09; A — Co. Yeckley (unassisted), 3:04.

THIRD PERIOD: BG — Runk (Zoerner, Murray), 9:08; A — Co. Yeckley (Ca. Yeckley), 2:16; A — Homan (unassisted), 1:34.

Goalies: Montgomery (A), 22-of-26 shots saved; Douglas (BG), 25-of-31 shots saved.

Records: Altoona (10-0-1); Bishop Guilfoyle (4-5-0).

COMMENTS