Going up against Forest Park junior Ryan Otterblad, one of the top scorers in the Northwestern Region, Osbourn Park needed a top offensive performance of its own. Senior midfielder Brandon Brennan provided that Tuesday night, scoring four goals to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 9-5 victory over visiting Forest Park in a region quarterfinal.
"It was a good game and a good team effort as well," said Brennan, an All-Met hockey player.
"He's a fantastic kid," Osbourn Park Coach Kevin Marsh said of Brennan. "He's a team motivator."
After Osbourn Park took a quick 1-0 lead on Brian Bagford's goal, Brennan scored the first of his game-high total about halfway through the first period. But the most important of his four goals might have been the most controversial.
Osbourn Park (13-3) led 5-1 in the closing moments of the second period, and Marsh called a timeout to set up a final scoring chance before the half. With a quick shot, Brennan scored, a ruling that was questioned by those on the Forest Park sideline, who contended that time had expired. The call stood, however, giving the host Yellow Jackets a 6-1 lead at the break.
That Forest Park kept the game close in the second half is a credit in large part to the valiant effort of senior goalkeeper Scott Scheetz, who saved 20 shots.
The Bruins (9-7) outscored Osbourn Park, 4-3, in the second half but were unable to pull closer than four goals. Otterblad, who came into the game with 51 goals and 26 assists, scored two goals to lead Forest Park, the Cardinal District regular season champions and last year's region runner-up.
Osbourn Park will host Albemarle, which defeated Osbourn 20-1 Tuesday, in a region semifinal tonight. Albemarle, last year's region champion, ended the Yellow Jackets' season last year with a 13-7 semifinal victory.
"Either team would be tough, but I want Albemarle," Brennan said before learning of the other result. "Whoever we face, we're ready to go."
Osbourn Park, the Cedar Run District regular season and tournament champions, has not advanced to the region final since 2001.