Although Park and Poly once again split their regular-season games this year, Poly turned the tables on the Bruins yesterday in what has become an annual overtime showdown for the MSA B Conference championship.
David Grandea assisted Albert Tyler at 26 seconds of sudden-death to cap a late three-goal rally and defeat Park, 7-6, in yesterday's final at UMBC.
Tyler, the conference C. Markland Kelly Award winner, came open on the crease to take Grandea's feed from behind and beat goalie Stefan Frank one-on-one.
In last year's championship game, Park's Michael Snyder scored on Erik Axelrod's pass after 52 seconds of overtime.
"It feels sweet, very sweet, to come back here and win it," said Tyler, a senior attackman who scored his third goal on the last of Grandea's four assists.
Poly (8-4) won because it survived a third quarter in which Park dominated, erasing a 4-3 halftime deficit and taking a 6-4 lead on goals by Josh Carlin, Matt Weiner and Axelrod.
"After that quarter, Mr. [coach Augie] Waibel gave us inspiration. He's a man with a lot of heart," Tyler said. "We put it together and won it. We knew what we had to do."
That especially included junior defenseman Miles Ware, who blanked Snyder after Park's senior scoring leader (54 goals) netted all three of his goals before halftime.
"I realized that he [Snyder] was faking left and coming back right," Ware said. "I delayed on his left, then used a quick poke to drive him straight out."
Marked by Ware, Snyder tried dishing off to his midfield. "With Poly keying on Michael and Matt [Weiner], our middies had to get more involved," said Park coach Lucky Mallonee. And although Axelrod and Carlin did score in the third quarter, it was not enough.
Poly jumped ahead on its first shot as Grandea assisted Craig Newberger. Park was off-target through much of the period, but did earn a 1-1 tie when Snyder exploited an unsettled situation to dodge Ware.
Tyler beat Frank from five yards out, but Snyder worked from the wing to maintain a 2-2 tie. Fine goaltending by Sean Dorr (seven saves) and two scores by freshman midfielder James Wisniewski helped the Engineers to their 4-3 lead at the intermission.
Poly won despite being outshot (26-24) and beaten to most ground balls (45-36). But the Engineers did not wilt, and "our kids are fourth-quarter people," Waibel said.
"We felt we came so close last year, too close to lose again," Ware said. "It's all we thought about all season. This was a total defensive and offensive effort -- a total team championship."