Georgetown Prep 4, Gonzaga 3
With his team trailing Gonzaga by two goals near the end of the second period yesterday, Georgetown Prep Coach Brian Maloney called a timeout, and senior forward Trevor Casey spoke his mind. He chastised his teammates for playing selfishly and reminded them about their previous second-place finishes in the past two Purple Puck tournaments.
The Little Hoyas responded with two goals, forcing the game into sudden-death overtime, and then Casey backed up his words. Midway through the five-minute extra period, he scored the game-winning goal, and Georgetown Prep won, 4-3, at Fort Dupont Ice Arena for its first Purple Puck championship.
"It feels great because of the past two years," Casey said. "We called a timeout, and I brought the team together and I just reminded them that we weren't going to lose three years in a row. All of the seniors worked too hard to let that happen."
Gonzaga, which lost to Georgetown Prep, 2-0, in an earlier meeting this season, took a lead when senior forward Mark Tilch scored five minutes into the game. Tilch assisted on Gonzaga's second score, a power-play goal by senior Matt Bodenheimer with 6 minutes 44 seconds left in the second period.
Two minutes later, Tilch snuck free as Georgetown Prep was making a line change and found himself one on one with goaltender A.J. Minite. Tilch's shot bounced off Minite's glove and into the goal, giving the Eagles (12-6) a seemingly comfortable 3-1 lead with less than two minutes left in the period.
"We had the same team we had last year, and we didn't even qualify [for the semifinals]," said Gonzaga Coach Paul Tilch, Mark's older brother. "So the improvement they made from one year to the next is amazing."
After the emotional timeout, senior forward Matt Egan took over for Georgetown Prep (8-1). Egan stuffed in a goal from in front of the net to cut Gonzaga's lead in half and start the Little Hoyas' comeback. Gonzaga was whistled for an interference penalty with 7:20 left, giving Georgetown Prep a man advantage. On the power play, junior defender Nikita Kashirsky found senior defender Kyle Keller in open space. With time to aim his shot, Keller flicked the puck into the upper right corner to tie the game.
Then in overtime, Casey netted the game-winner.
"Before the game, I called [Casey's] line out specifically, I talked to them about how this team needed a leader, and he responded," Maloney said. "He was on the bench, rallying the team, and obviously he showed how to be a leader on the ice with a clutch goal. Big players step up in big games, and Trevor finally did that, and that was great to see."