BEDFORD – Liam Donnelly kept getting in the way of a desperate comeback.
The reactions quickly went from PG to R in the final minute of play on Tuesday as Yorktown’s standout goalkeeper made three impressive saves to lock down an 8-6 win over Fox Lane.
He refused to yield.
“That was insane,” Donnelly said. “It reminded me a lot of last year’s second game. Even the score was similar. That’s what we want on defense. We want to lock it down in that situation.”
Revenge was obviously sweet.
The Huskers (8-5) have won nine consecutive games against Section 1 opponents since falling in overtime to the Foxes last spring.
“We really wanted to get one back,” Yorktown attackman Steven Veteri said.
Fox Lane (9-4) is known for its explosive offense but was playing well on both ends of the field. Justin Cavallo and Kyle Casey, who lead Yorktown in scoring, didn’t have a lot of room.
It was a 4-4 game at halftime.
The Huskers were forced to find other scoring options. Hunter Embury and Jamison Embury finished with two goals apiece while Veteri netted three.
Matt Magnan scored 6-on-4 with 10:27 to go, bringing the Foxes within 7-6.
Yorktown has a game-changing defense and shut out the Foxes the rest of the way to clinch the League I-C title.
“We know they’ve been scoring a ton,” Donnelly said. “And they match up well with the strongest out-of-section offenses that we’ve seen. It’s a great offense so we’re pleased with the way that we played. Our offense had a rough stretch, but we’re scoring now and we’re happy with how we are playing.”
Player of the game: Donnelly made 11 saves and went home with a couple of new black and blues. He was especially good in goal early and late.
Turning point: For some reason, the Foxes were in a hurry to make something happen in the final minutes of the third quarter and committed three consecutive turnovers. Veteri converted one of those mistakes into a goal, putting the Huskers up 7-5 heading into the fourth quarter.
“That really hurt us,” Magnan said. “We have to learn to settle it and move the ball around, not go right away.”
Stat line: Magnan finished with three goals, Cullen Morgan added two and Fox Lane goalie Colin Smith made nine saves. … Dom Cioffi and Casey each had two assists for Yorktown and Brett Makar picked up nine ground balls.
Quotable: “We need to finish in big moments, but as a team, I thought we came together and played great defense,” Magnan said. “I think there is more to come. … I think it really needs to start clicking soon, but I have faith in my team.”