5-4 win in three OTs gives Mt. St. Joe 7th straight title

Gaels win MIAA `A' crown

Spalding blows 4-0 lead

Hockey

High Schools

February 19, 2005|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A lot was riding on Kevin Miller's second goal of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference hockey championship at Piney Orchard yesterday, like six years of tradition and the end of a long, uphill climb.

Miller's goal 2:24 into the third overtime capped a five-goal comeback and gave Mount St. Joseph (18-0-2, 11-0) the title with a 5-4 win over Archbishop Spalding (10-8, 6-5).

The victory gave the Gaels the A Conference crown for the seventh straight season. The Gaels are 76-2 in league games since the MIAA began recognizing hockey as a varsity sport in 1998.

"I looked up, and it was there," Miller said of the goal. "Someone shot the puck, and the rebound was right there."

In the middle of the second period, the Gaels looked anything like champions. Spalding used two goals by Ryan Craig, and one each by Jay Bieler and Josh Mah to build a 4-0 lead.

Even after Mike Casey scored for the Gaels with 27 seconds left in the second period to make it 4-1, things did not look promising for Mount St. Joseph.

"That goal was huge," said Gaels acting coach Gary Cremen, who was filling in for Erv Terwilliger, who suffered a heart attack last weekend. "We felt like we had a little momentum after that, and it got us back into the game."

The Gaels cut the lead to 4-2 just four minutes into the third period, when Miller passed from the right boards and found Casey open about 10 feet in front of Spalding goaltender Tyler Summerfelt. Casey beat Summerfelt low to his stick side.

Mount St. Joseph cut into the lead again, this time from Miller's stick. After a goal-mouth scramble in which Summerfelt appeared to make the save, Miller tipped home a rebound just before a disputed whistle to make it 4-3 with 9:01 left.

After Spalding was penalized for having too many men on the ice, the Gaels tied the game on John Bauman's power-play goal with 5:18 left.

The teams played two scoreless overtimes, and MIAA officials initially declared co-champions. At the urging of the players and coaches from both sides, the league let the teams play a third overtime, setting up Miller's heroics.

In the B Conference, St. Paul's (9-6-3, 6-1-2) used a great game by goaltender Doug Carpenter to beat defending champion Gilman (10-9, 7-2), 3-0. The Crusaders had lost the title game in four of the previous five years.

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