BROOKLYN — The king is dead, long live the king.
Defending Baron Cup II champion and top seed Amherst just couldn’t put eighth-seeded Solon away as the Eastside Comets scored on a power play, their third of the game, with just 12 seconds left in the game to knock off the Lorain County Comets 7-6 at the Brooklyn Rec Center.
“We just made too many mistakes,” Amherst coach Steve Morris said after his team fell to 21-5-1. “If you’re in a playoff game or anything like this, if you make mistakes against a team that can skate like Solon, they’re going to capitalize.”
Neither team could shake the other as the largest lead all night was just two goals with Solon jumping out first less than three minutes into the game.
Every time Solon (9-13-1) took the lead, Amherst found a way to knot the score, but Amherst’s only lead came in the first period after Connor Morris scored the first of his three goals at 10:38 and Paul Miller followed with a score for the lead at 7:59.
Solon finished the first period with a Zach Mandry goal and a power-play goal by Ben Peterson to carry a 3-2 lead into the second period.
Solon scored its second straight power-play goal to start the second as Sam Littman scored at 13:04, but then it was Amherst’s turn to string together a couple of scores to get right back in the game.
Morris took a long pass from Kevin Burgett and skated in to cut the lead to 4-3 at 10:16, and Miller then finished of a long cycle down low with a couple of one-touch passes to beat Solon’s Kyle Peterson at 7:47.
The score stayed that way until Amherst made a defensive mistake allowing Littman to skate in, split two defenders and score with just three seconds left in the period.
“That was such a big goal,” Solon coach Mike Stephens said. “It set everything up in the third period. Turns out though, it was only the second-most-important goal of the game.”
As much damage as the late goal did, Amherst seemed to minimize it by scoring just 45 seconds into the third on Morris’ hat-trick goal to tie the game at 5.
With 8:32 left in the game, Solon’s Adam Weisfeld took a cross-ice pass, split defenders as Solon had several times against the Amherst defense and scored to go up 6-5.
The clock kept winding down, making victory more difficult for Amherst, but Michael Dzoba took a pass from Phil Sheffield across the crease and back-handed the puck into the net to tie the game for the fourth time. There was 2:48 remaining.
With Solon pressing for the game-winner in its zone, Amherst was called for a hook with just 2:07 left, and it seemed like it would finally kill off a penalty. But with six seconds left in the penalty and 12 left in the game, Alex Wu found the net to send the top seed home.
Contact James Brady at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Solon 7, Amherst 6
FIRST PERIOD: (S) Dan Roberts (Mike Krenn), 12:48, (A) Conner Morris (Kevin Burgett, Paul Miller), 10:38, (A) Miller (Joe Masters, Morris), 7:59, (S) Zach Mandry (Ben Peterson, Sam Littman), 7:38, (S) Peterson (Mandry, Littman) PP, 2:23. Penalties — (S) Mandry (high-sticking), 4:43, (A) Jordan Reynolds (high-sticking), 2:23.
SECOND PERIOD: (S) Littman (Krenn) PP, 13:04, (A) Morris (Burgett), 10:16, (A) Miller (Morris, Burgett), 7:47, (S) Littman (Krenn), 0:03. Penalties — (A) Burgett (tripping), 14:14, (S) Mitch Neides (interference), 12:26, (A) Joe Masters (unsportsmanlike), 8:42, (S) Mandry (interference), 8:42, (S) Krenn (holding), 4:04.
THIRD PERIOD: (A) Morris (Burgett), 14:15, (S) Adam Wesifled (Don Roberts, Jake Pierce), 8:32, (A) Michael Dzoba (Phil Sheffield, Miller), (S) Alex Wu (Littman), 0:12 . Penalties — (A) Reynolds (hooking), 2:07.
Solon 3 2 2 — 7
Amherst 2 2 2 — 6
Shots on goal: Amherst 32 (9-12-11), Solon 34 (9-13-12). Goalies: (A) Kevin Kuhn (34 shots, 27 saves), (S) Kyle Peterson (32 shots, 26 saves). Power-play opportunities: Amherst 0-2, Solon 3-3.