Mount Olive’s Jordan Bustard remembers all too well the feeling of losing in overtime to Park Regional in the Haas Cup final last season. So on Saturday, the senior goaltender and his teammates simply turned the tables.
Sophomore winger Matt Sanchez scored at 2:27 of overtime off a slick rush and setup from senior Ethan Hendrickson (2 goals, 1 assist), and Bustard stopped 30 shots to lead the Marauders to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Madison and the Marauders’ first-ever Haas Cup championship.
“Losing in overtime last year plays into your mind a little,” said Bustard. “We didn’t want to lose again in overtime and we were still pretty confident even though they scored two in the third to tie the game. We just took the same approach we took all tournament. We went at it one period, one shift at a time and it paid off.”
A cautiously played, scoreless opening period saw a total of just five shots on goal through the first eight minutes until the pace picked up in the final minutes and led to a few quality scoring chances. Madison had a late power-play opportunity but failed to capitalize, with defenseman Kyle Midlige having the best chance from just below the hash marks in the face-off circle but missing the net. The Dodgers outshot the Marauders 11-5 in the period with their initial power play carrying over to start the second.
Mount Olive killed off the remaining 44 seconds of the Dodgers’ power play but found itself shorthanded again moments later when Casey Delorenzo was whistled for a hooking penalty. However, it was the Marauders who had the best scoring chance during the penalty kill when Hendrickson was denied on a partial breakaway.
Hendrickson did give his team the lead moments later at 6:50 when his quick shot from inside the faceoff circle beat Madison goaltender Peter Andersson for an unassisted goal. The senior sniper would strike again less than two minutes later on the power play when he took a centering feed from Delorenzo and slipped a low shot past Andersson to extend the lead to 2-0.
Bustard continued to frustrate the Dodgers, turning aside all 23 shots he faced through the first two periods.
The Marauders came out fast to start the third period, but it was the Dodgers who finally solved Bustard on their first shot when senior defenseman Danny Nisivoccia floated a shot from the point that found its way through traffic and off the glove of Bustard and into the net to cut the deficit in half. Michael Gleason assisted on the goal that seemed to spark the home team.
Madison kept the pressure on looking for the tying goal and gained its third power-play advantage of the game with just 3:43 left. That’s when Gleason unloaded a slap shot from the high slot that found the back of the net, beating Bustard high over the glove hand to tie the game at 2-2 and force overtime. Midlige made a key play to trigger the scoring play, keeping the puck in to the offensive zone at the blueline.
Mount Olive 0 2 0 1 — 3
Madison 0 0 2 0 — 2
Second period: 1. MO, Ethan Hendrickson, 6:50; 2. MO, Hendrickson (Casey Delorenzo), 8:27 (pp).
Third period: 3. Mad, Danny Nisivoccia (Michael Gleason), 2:15; 4. Mad, Gleason (Kyle Midlige), 11:30.
Overtime: 5. MO, Matt Sanchez (Hendrickson), 2:27.
Goalies: MO, Jordan Bustard (32-30). M, Peter Andersson (30-27).