HARRISON – Kevin Blank found himself in an unusual situation at the start of Monday’s first-round sectional game at Harrison.
The senior attack, going up against Harrison goalie Henry Alvarado, was struggling to score.
That changed in the second half, however.
The Quinnipiac-bound scorer found his touch when it mattered most, scoring six goals after halftime to spearhead a Brewster comeback that ended in a 13-12 overtime win for the Bears.
“I had to change it up; I couldn’t just shoot my normal shot, I had to throw a couple fakes and change it up,” Blank said. “We came out in the second half and really changed the whole game around.”
Fittingly, Blank also scored the overtime winner, coming across from the right side for an overhand finish with 2:37 left in the extra session.
“He has a way of taking over the game,” Brewster head coach Mike Honey said. “When it comes to crunch time, you want the ball in his stick. He’s that type of kid.”
Harrison jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from and kept Brewster off the scoresheet until the 4:24 mark of the first quarter.
At halftime, the Huskies led 6-3.
Brewster pushed back in the second half and took an 11-9 lead with 6:36 left after a goal from John Burns.
Harrison’s Matt McLaughlin scored consecutive goals 28 seconds apart to give Harrison back the lead with 2:17 left.
Harrison’s Thomas Gresham won the ensuing faceoff and with 1:38 left, Brewster’s Luca Riolo and Nick Panucci both took one-minute penalties.
“Towards the end, there was no way we were going to lose that one,” Blank said.
Harrison tried to run the clock out, but Brewster’s Clayton Livingston got an interception, and with 13.6 left, Blank tied the game at 12.
“We’re young, but this is good,” Harrison head coach Edgar Glascott said. “As much as it stings to lose, hopefully they take that feeling and work their tails off in the off-season.”
Brewster, a team that won only three games last year, will take on the top seed of the Class B bracket in Yorktown on Wednesday.
The Bears lost to Yorktown 17-5 back on April 28th.
“We know what we have, we know what they have,” Blank said. “We know what we have to do, just go out there any play as hard as we can.”
Player of the game: Is this seriously a question? Kevin Blank. He finished with eight goals and an assist.
Turning point: Down 8-5 with 7:32 left in the third quarter, Brewster began to force turnovers. The Bears got goals from Blank, Riolo and Blank again to tie the game at eight. After a McLaughlin goal put Harrison back up 9-8, Blank scored consecutive goals to give Brewster its first lead of the game with 8:05 left in the fourth quarter.
“We just came out, scored a few goals and had some fun,” Brewster’s Kevin Moroney said. “We played for the team, pretty much.”
Stat line: Moroney finished with one goal and six assists, while Burns and Jack Guida both had two-goal, one-assist games. … McLaughlin finished with four goals and two assists, teammate Jack Wilson had four goals and Owen Van Tongren had three goals and four assists. … Kevin Heintz made 13 saves for Brewster, while Alvarado made six saves in the loss.
Quotable: “This whole year, we wanted to make up for last year, just three wins last year and now we’re 8-9,” Blank said. “It’s a big difference from last season.”