MONSEY – It always seems like an insignificant goal at the time.
Suffern long ago established a habit of scoring in the final minute or two of the first period to steal momentum and trigger comebacks.
Reed Stark did the honors in the season-opener.
Pelham came out and established an insane pace of play, but the sophomore forward scored on the power play with 1:08 left in the first period. It halved an early deficit and changed the game.
Evan Cama and Matt Olsen kept the run going.
The Mounties closed with three unanswered goals Saturday, defeating Pelham 3-2 in a breathless game at Sport-O-Rama.
It happens a lot here.
“The pass from Timmy (Patwell), it couldn’t have been any better and I got a good grip on it,” Stark said. “We as a team pulled it together. We realized we were in trouble.”
Nick Davidow got the Pelicans in front 3:15 into the game. A little heart and hustle from Ben Hurd created a turnover along the boards, later in the first period. He jetted up the ice and set up short-handed goal by Stefan Miklakos.
Pelham was rolling, but the answer from Stark came 35 seconds later.
“Those are momentum boosters for you when you score late in the period like that,” Suffern coach Rob Schelling said. “It kept us under control and got us back to playing our game.”
Pelham used a lot of calories in the first period, which left the legs a little weary later in the game.
Cama energized the crowd when he knotted the score with 3:24 to go in the second. Olsen practically belly-flopped when he slipped the game-winner in with 5:20 to play in game.
The Pelicans had some chances, but were unable to stop the run.
“Cama had an awesome face-off win and it was just a lucky bounce,” Olsen said of his goal. “I was able to get on the puck and go 5-hole and it went in. I got tripped up going for the celly … so I just went for the Superman. It’s crazy feeling. It’s life-changing. I love it. I’ve never scored in a home-opener before.”
Players of the game: Olsen and Cama. They each came up with one goal and one assist, filling a scoring void left when C.J. Greco went down with an injury before the season.
Turning point: It has to be the Stark goal, which got a near-capacity home crowd in the game.
Stat line: Sean Gordon had 24 saves for Suffern. A.J. Gugliara had 21 saves for Pelham. … The Pelicans were called for six penalties. The Mounties were called for two penalties.
Quotable: “It seems like we got a little cautious when the game was tied,” Pelham coach Ed Witz said. “It’s our nature to play tight defensively. I think we came out in the first period and opened up, and once we got the first goal we opened up even more. We felt comfortable and that is the way I’d like them to play because we have lot of speed out there Once they tied the game it almost seemed like we were a little more cautious and I think that hurt some of our offensive chances.”