Timber Creek won the opening face-off and controlled the ball for the fist 1:50 getting off a few shots but with a few shots but a turnover made it’s way down field in a hurry where Hagerty’s Ethan Geiger got the ball to Park Morris. Morris made the finish and got the Huskies up first 2:00 into the game.
Turnover and quick strike puts Hagerty up. Goal by 1 from 13 makes it 1-0 Hagerty at 10:00.
Forty seconds later Alex Swinson made a nice dodge inside to score and draw a flag to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead and the EMO. Timber Creek’s defense stood strong on the EMO and prevented a single shot. Just as the EMO expired Hagerty turned the ball over and TC pushed the transition. The Wolves gave it back to Hagerty when the turned it over on the transition attempt. This would become an issue for the Wolves throughout the game.
With 4:45 left in the first quarter, aside from opening possession, Timber Creek had played nothing but defense. TC had pushed the ball twice but turned it over both times. Granite Porcher was able to take advantage of the tiring defense of TC and scored unassisted.
Two opposing strategies were beginning to emerge. Hagerty was happy to play slow and control the pace and the TC defense was packed into the middle, not pushing the issue, leading to long Hagerty possessions but keeping the shooters on the outside. Timber Creek was looking to push the ball on offense and get the ball down to a very dangerous attack unit that can score goals in bunches. With 3:29 left in the first, down 3-0, Timber Creek got the ball back and it felt like one of those “must score” sort of possessions. Another turnover without a shot would have allowed the game to start to slip away early.
But TC took care of the rock and with just 2:44 in the first Nate Gillan made a shot that was turned away. The ball rebounded down low into the corner where Gillan chased down his own rebound. He re-dodged and drove right back to the goal where his second shot found the net and pulled his team back into it at 3-1.
Winning the next face off TC go the ball down to EJ Wheeler who found Preston Hopkins cutting through the middle. “P- Hop” took the feed and made the finish for the Wolves second goal in :42 seconds and Hagerty took a time out.
Timber Creek won the ensuing face off after a long battle for the loose ball but ended up turning it over again. Granite Porcher got the ball and with room and time 18 yards out fired a “worm burner” to make it 4-2 with just over a minute left in the quarter.
The first quarter was played even statistically, other than shots. Timber Creek had only turned it over four times but they all came on transition after long Hagerty possessions and without shot opportunities. Hagerty turned it over twice but managed ten shots to TC’s five. Twice the chances, twice the goals and we were at 4-2.
Creek won the face off to start the second quarter and got their offense working. After working 1:15 off the clock, a long possession for this quick strike offense, Nate Gillan answered Porcher with a worm burner of his own from outside to make it 4-3 with 10:45 left in the half.
Timber Creek was called for a push but was able to kill the EMO with a nice save to get possession. TC goalie Hunter Loper made a nice outlet pass to get some run and gun going on the man down and they made it work as Hopkins found EJ Wheeler for the goal to tie it up 4-4 with 9:04 left in the half.
The next several minutes saw play at both ends of the field with each team getting some offense working but good defense eventually creating turnovers. Nate Gillan was finally able to find the net and get the lead for TC and his goal was followed up by another strike from EJ Wheeler to make it 6-4 for the Wolves.
Porcher answered for the Huskies once again to make it 6-5 before the half expired. Timber Creek had managed to settle into their style of play much better in the second quarter. Still playing fast but making better decisions with the ball. On the defensive end they were playing a little more aggressive, not allowing Hagerty quite as much room to operate on the perimeter and getting the Huskies to turn it over five times.
Both teams turned it over back to back to start the third but Granite Porcher made a great play on an offensive GB to get the ball to freshman Landon Spangenberg who tied it up at 6 with 9:57 left in 3rd.
Extra chance opportunities appeared to be the theme for the third quarter as Timber Creek got the ball back on a ride and poured the pressure on. They made four offensive ground balls in a row and EJ Wheeler finally made it pay off to make it 7-6.
Transition turnovers continued to haunt TC in the third quarter keeping Hagerty in the game. But the Huskies were loosing the ground ball battle.
The two teams remained at a stale mate through the remainder of the third until Jake Sousa found Nate Gillan to make it 8-6 Timber Creek with just 8.6 seconds left in the quarter. Unfortunately for Timber Creek, that would be the end of the scoring for them.
Tanner Ward really came alive in the fourth quarter and turned away and early shot. Grantie Porcer ended up with the ball near the top of the box and drew a double team. Dodging, and attempting to split the double everyone in the stadium knew he was going to shoot but there was no stopping him. A blistering low underhand shot just off the post made it 8-7.
Midway through the fourth quarter Hagerty put together a long, deliberate possession much like they did in the first quarter. But the TC defense forced a turnover and it looked like Timber Creek was going to be able to control the final minutes. However, wit h3:30 left an errant pass made it’s way to the midfield line and Hagerty wasted no time getting the game tied up as Spangenberg hit Geiger for the goal with 3:28 left.
Timber Creek won the face off and started working for a final shot. They drew the stall warning but maintained possession until they called a time out with 1:23 left. The Wolves broke that huddle with a play that looked like it would ice the game for them but Tanner Ward came up with a huge save off his foot and sent the ball back to the Huskies with 1:08 let.
At the far end it looked like Hagerty had the game winner but Loper stepped up for his team and made a great save that sent the ball straight up where an alert Tyler Gunning snatched it out of mid air to save the goal. The clear was turned over, however, and Hagerty called time out with :23 left in the game.
The final seconds produced a play that looked promising but just didn’t quite connect and we went to OT.
Timber Creek won the face off and set up the offense. What looked like a quick opportunity closed up quickly as a centering pass was batted down and picked up by Hagerty. Ironically, the team that had played methodically most of the game ran the fast break straight up the field to Porcher, who found Geiger, who it Spangenberg on a text book fast-break play. The freshman made the hero finish and Hagerty goes on to face the defending champs on Tuesday.
Granite Porcher had a career day with four goals and an assists. If it was hockey he would have notched an assist on the game winner as well. Ethan Geiger had a pair of assists and a goal. Landon Spangenberg had two goals and an assist. Parker Morris and Alex Swenson both scored one. Tanner Ward had a great day between the pipes with some big saves down the stretch.
Nate Gillan scored four goals for Timber Creek and EJ Wheeler had a hat trick and an assist. Preston Hopkins scored a goal and an assist while Trey Grenga and Jake Sousa both dished it once.