MONSEY – The disappointment that was so obvious as handshakes were exchanged began to fade once Brewster and Pearl River had a few minutes in the locker room to digest a strange game that went back-and-forth with each bump and bounce.
In retrospect, a 4-4 tie was not so bad.
Both teams created timely scoring chances, but they also failed to hold the lead on Saturday at Sport-O-Rama.
There was consolation in securing two points.
“We’ve had a lot of ups and downs this season,” Pirates captain Thomas Murphy said. “There was a lot of concern when they came back. Usually, when we fall behind in a game, we get down on ourselves, but we were lucky enough to bounce right back.”
Pearl River (6-5-2) spent a majority of the first period on defense, but was leading 2-0 at the buzzer. Dolan Ocasal and Murphy both cashed in. The Pirates were rolling a new line configuration, so adjustments were being made on the fly.
Brewster (9-1-1) responded with a string of goals 10 minutes into the second period. Aaron Treiling netted two. Kevin Moroney and Kyle Dineen also scored.
Matthew Lotto narrowed the deficit eight minutes into the third period.
And right when the Bears were on the verge of killing a questionable penalty, Ocasal tied matters with 1:21 to play.
“I saw the puck on the goal line and tapped it in,” he said. “We knew they were going to come in hard so we had to be scrappy and play for goals.”
Brewster worked hard in overtime, but could not finish.
“We can’t blame the refs,” Treiling said. “We should’ve played better in the first period. It’s just hard coming back from something like that, but we pulled together, we got a tie. At least we didn’t lose.”
Player of the game: Ocasal. Right place. Right time. He got the first and last goal of the game for Pearl River.
Turning point: After struggling to solve Pirates goalie Darragh Keetely, the Bears poured in four goals over a three-minute span of the second period.
“You have to be thinking you’re going to win the game, right?” Brewster forward Kyle Dineen said. “It’s 4-2. You come back with a huge surge of energy, the period ends. You come back for another period, and calls don’t go your way. I don’t know what happened to us.”
Stat line: The Bears came in with a nine-game winning streak. They had not given up more than three goals in a game. … Keetley made 36 saves. … Brewster goalie Stephen Fischer made 31 saves.
Quotable: “It’s different,” Treiling said of a rare game outside of Brewster Ice Arena. “I think we only go on a bus three or four times a year.”