This one was a lot of fun. Two programs on the rise; one a little further along in the process but ranked inside the Top 25 last season while the other has taken a quantum leap from the last time I saw them last season. I’m not sure what Calvary Head Coach Adam Bond is feeding his kids but it isn’t Weight Watchers. Last year’s sophomores and freshmen have grown up and the ability to battle has increased with it. Canterbury is also young; their balanced attack last night featured only two seniors who scored goals and a couple of the goal scorers were freshmen. Both are teams that still need improvement and to fill in some gaps but the future is very bright for both. Canterbury is a little ahead right now but as last night’s score indicates, little is the right word.
But as in every game there was a story within a story and that one was the combination of fast pace and too much ball handling, which led to a LOT of turnovers. As the teams continue their path that needs to be cleaned up as they combined for 53 of them. Many of them were in the midfield and led to fast break attempts that also got rushed. But at least these were errors of the speed of the game and not just bad passing. Each team also looked to get inside looks and sometimes forced the pass and that mounted.
But it was STILL a lot of fun to watch and exciting. Statistically this game was pretty much even. One more faceoff, 3 more shots, equal shots on goal, one more turnover and one more penalty.
Canterbury was able to get out quick, and 7 minutes into the game it was a 4-0 lead and from that point forward it was Calvary attempting to chip away. They drew within 6-3 but two late Canterbury goals in the 2nd sent it to half at 8-3. Calvary really made hay in the 3rd with possessions and brought it back to 8-6. With 5:17 to go Chase Thompson looked to have sealed the deal for Canterbury with a 10-7 lead but Calvary dug down and tied it up with 31 seconds left . . . and looked to have it won on the next faceoff but the potential winning shot in front was either tipped over the cross bar or just shot high, too tough to see . . . kind of a reverse Hail Mary if I’m permitted to say that . . . and we were off to OT.
As the game was probably pre-ordained to do.
Okay, enough of those references.
A penalty called on the opening faceoff led to Canterbury scoring at 11:11 as Julian Schwartz found Charlie Bell on the right wing from top right and Bell’s left hand found the top short side and at 10:12 Kuper Jenks-Lawson hit Jonathan Shinneman with low right feed as he cut to the net, with Shinneman finding the far side. Two more goals within 20 seconds made it 4-0. At 5:19 it was Shinneman feeding a cutting Thompson on the crease for the one-timer and then Cade Kirschner on left GLE finding Carson Fuchs all alone in front for the easy putaway. Calvary broke through just 6 seconds after that as Eric Stephenson popped the faceoff forward and found Jason Thomforde cutting to the middle, hit him in stride, and Thomforde went left side for 4-1. Luca Comperchio got that one back for Canterbury at 4:02 as he worked the right wing and spun left, hitting the top left corner for 5-1, but Tyler Asbate responded at 3:25 as he cut from right wing to the middle for the left hand bounce shot and the quarter ended at 5-2.
Canterbury got on the board first in the second at 9:56 with Bell finding Jenks-Lawson on the right wing from low right for the step down right hand bounce shot and 32 seconds later Calvary’s Noah Horne found Thomforde cutting to the crease and his behind feed gave Thomforde the easy putaway for 6-3. Canterbury responded twice in 9 seconds to make it 8-3 at the half. First it was Bell taking the Jenks-Lawson right GLE feed as he cut to the low right wing for the short side shot, drawing a penalty on top and on the EMO just 7 seconds later it was Kirschner firing from left wing to end the half.
Twenty seconds into the third Calvary’s Jake Tralongo took a pass from behind and dodged to the middle for the right hand shot to the short side for 8-4. After a lot of back and forth possessions Horne scored shorthanded for 8-5 with 4:22 to go. A fast break off a turnover found Andrew Moortgat going down the outer right wing and Horne timing the cut to the middle perfectly, giving himself the angle to find the left side. Less than a minute later it was again Thomforde and Horne teaming up for a crease feed and Thomforde spun right for the low shot and we ended the third at 8-6.
Canterbury regained the 3-goal lead at 8:32 Shinneman and Comperchio teamed up with Comperchio skip passing from top right to low left for Shinneman’s right hand to the left side. But Calvary got it back at 7:13 as Thomforde and Horne replicated their previous goal. Canterbury’s Thompson finished the fast break feed from Bell, also timing the fast break perfectly for the 10-7 lead at 5:17. At 3:56 Horne then fed Tralongo on a back door cut for the low shot and 10-8 and at 2:22 it was Asbate unassisted, dodging from right GLE to the low wing for the left hand short side shot for 10-9. Canterbury had a couple of attempts at running out the clock but a turnover behind the offensive goal gave Calvary one more chance and they were able to break down the defense and capitalize on a 3-2 fats break as Moortgat found Horne on the left wing for the right hand low right shot to complete the frenzied comeback. As mentioned above Calvary had a chance but the game went to OT.
In the first OT each time had one good chance but played it tight and in the 2nd OT it was finally put away by Comperchio with 2:40 to go as he went down the right alley and found the low left corner to win it . . . these are the games that draw more fans.
I would hope that everyone in attendance remembers the simple #TAFTAG . . . these games sell the sport . . .
Canterbury travels to Riverview-Sarasota on Friday for a Top 25 matchup and Calvary travels to West Boca on Friday for their next game.
Faceoffs: Calvary 13-12
Shots: Canterbury 32-29
Shots on Goal: 19 each
Turnovers: Calvary 27-26
Penalties: Calvary 2-1
Charlie Bell 2G/2A
Jonathan Shinneman and Luca Comperchio with 2G/1A each
Chase Thompson 2G
Kuper Jenks-Lawson 1G/2A
Cade Kirschner 1G/1A
Carson Fuchs 1G
Julian Schwartz 1A
Xander Peden with 9 saves
Jason Thomforde 4G
Noah Horne 2G/4A
Tyler Asbate and Jake Tralongo with 2G each
Andrew Moortgat 2A
Eric Stephenson 1A
Ian Carvajal with 8 saves
Thanks to Coach Bond and Coach Carter for talking to me before and after the game.