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Doherty holds off Palmer 7-4 in hockey slugfest
A couple of punches short of a boxing match, Doherty held on to win a 7-4 hockey decision, despite losing its leading scorer early and blowing a three-goal lead late.
In front of a bipartisan smear of winter coats at the World Arena Ice Hall, winless Palmer slugged back, scoring three consecutive goals to even the game at 4-apiece midway through the final period. Spartans forward Brennan Ward scored the game-winning goal with 11 minutes remaining.
“The goalie fumbled around (Eric Veren’s) shot,” he said, “and I just finished it off.”
And so, finished off Palmer (0-4) in the process.
Doherty (5-1) cushioned the final tally with two late goals, but the Terrors never seemed more than an ice shaving from stealing Saturday’s game.
Doherty coach Will English admitted that.
“It was a roller coaster. We’d get up and they’d come right back,” English said. “I’m glad with the way we responded when things broke down for us.”
But he wasn’t exactly thrilled with how things broke down.
Less than 3 minutes in, Doherty’s Evan Weidner scored his team-leading seventh goal, before he and Palmer’s Tyler Elwell were ejected moments later for exchanging fists.
“A little bit of a discipline issue,” English said. “Can’t do that.”
The Terrors tied the game 20 seconds later, when Brandon Driscoll spilt a scrum in front of the net, and swished the first of his two goals in the game.
“We always fight back, never quit and go all out for all three periods,” Palmer coach Paul Bingham said. “And then for some reason this year, the puck decides not to go our way.”
Saturday was no different.
Doherty broke the tie late in the first period, with a short-handed goal from Patrick Alldredge, on its way to three consecutive goals to take the 4-1 lead late in the second period.
Palmer kept the intensity and rallied for three goals when Austin Storm and Driscoll each added a goal and an assist in a 10-minute burst, tying the game at 4-4 5 minutes into the third.
But momentum again shifted.
“We were hanging our heads after that,” Ward said. “But then we stepped up.”
Doherty’s Jared Wolf made 34 saves while Palmer’s Josh Robinson turned away 36 pucks.
But the most glaring stat in the 64-penalty-minute slugfest was four of the Spartans’ goals came on a power play — three power-play goals and one short-handed.
“This one always goes something like this. It’s always crazy,” Ward said. “It’s to see who is the best D-11 school, and tonight, we showed we were.”