Tuesday night the Knights took care of business and won their quarterfinal playoff game vs South Portland 6-3.
Noble/Wells asserts itself in third
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
ROCHESTER — Noble/Wells has played its best hockey in the third period all season long. That was the case again on Tuesday night in the Knights’ postseason opener.
“They hung in there with us,” said Noble/Wells coach Keith St. Cyr. “First period we had a lot of pressure on them but we didn’t really see the shots. Second period we were all over them and their goalie kept them in the game. In the third, they started cracking and the penalties came. We just imposed our will on them in the third.”
The Knights led 3-1 after two periods, but saw their lead cut in half by South Portland’s Max Winson, whose goal 90 seconds into the final frame made it a 3-2 game. Edward Hellier and Kyle Halvorsen assisted on the goal.
It didn’t take long for Noble/Wells to reassert itself. A South Portland defender took an unfortunate and unforced spill in his defensive zone, and Pratt was right there to pick up the loose puck and fire it into the net unassisted for his second goal of the night at 2:13. Noble reestablished its two-goal cushion and never looked back.
“In the first period we missed a breakaway, missed an open net, missed another opportunity out front,” South Portland coach Joe Robinson said. “In these big games, you have to take advantage of those opportunities. (The) problem with our D is that they’re so young, they tend to focus on the puck instead of the body.”
The teams skated to a 1-1 tie in the first period, with Noble’s Noah Pease opening the scoring at 6:15 of the frame, assisted by Pratt and Ryan Marsh. South Portland’s top scorer, Andrew Whipple, got into the act when his slap shot from the right faceoff circle beat Noble goalie Wyatt Ricker for the equalizer at 9:43.
Pratt put Noble back in front at 5:13 of the second period with his first of the night. After a scrum in front of the net, Pratt poked in a puck that appeared to deflect off of South Portland goalie Joe Grant to make it 2-1. Nathan DeWolf made it 3-1 in favor of the Knights when he buried a rebound of an Evan Whitten shot on a 2-on-1 break at 12:56. Noble/Wells took a 3-1 lead into the third period.
Any hope of a South Portland comeback in the third period took a hit when Whipple (along with Noble’s Kadin Lessard) was sent to the box at 7:38 for an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty with his team trailing 4-2. Shortly thereafter, with Noble on a power play, Pratt scored his second of the night to put the game out of reach at 9:20.
South Portland’s Aidan Schifano scored at 12:03 to make it 5-3, but Pratt put the exclamation point on the win and made his hat trick complete with an unassisted tally just 49 seconds later. Pratt now has 53 goals on the season.
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