By Mitch Silver
A week ago, Rye Country Day led the Fordham Prep hockey team by 3-1 in the middle of the game. The home side was clearly the better team at even strength. Three days later, they were up on the Harvey School 2-0 after one. Again, they were in the driver’s seat. So how did they find themselves trailing by two to Fordham in the third? And how did they find themselves fighting for their lives in overtime against Harvey?
In a word…penalties. A hooking minor at 12:53 of the second period gave Fordham a power play. The Little Rams scored 40 seconds later. Another hook gave the visitors another 6-on-5 a minute later. They took only 17 seconds to tie the game at 3-3.
When Country Day’s senior center Will Dodge hit the twine at 5:52 of the period on an assist from junior Niklas Goulet, they were back on top. But the Wildcats couldn’t stand prosperity: they slashed and Fordham scored with 18 seconds to go in the period. Worse, the Ramlings netted another just eight-tenths of a second before the buzzer to go up 5-4.
The hole got deeper 40 seconds into the final period when Danny Heslin registered his fourth assist, setting up Colin Rucda to establish a two-goal margin for Fordham.
Okay, the easy way was out. So the Wildcats proceeded to score five goals the rest of the way to snatch a 9-7 victory from the jaws of defeat. Afterwards, Head Coach Brett Farson chose to look on the bright side.
“Of course no team wants to give up a touchdown, but there were key stretches of the game — including the last half of the third period — when we played well in our end. Fordham threw a lot of firepower at us; holding them scoreless for the final eight and a half minutes gave us a chance to stage a comeback. We got outstanding goaltending out there from senior Eddie Abrams.”
He added, “To come from behind three separate times and twice in the third period…those are the ones players and coaches remember.”
The Kardiac Kids were at it again against league foe Harvey. After netting another goal early in the second period to pad their lead to 3-0, the Wildcats gave up a pair in quick succession to the Cavaliers. When the team from Katonah scored with three minutes left in the game, they forced OT with, seemingly, all the momentum.
But these are the Not-the-Easy-Way Wildcats. First, Abrams had to slam the door in goal, which is exactly what he did. “Eddie Abrams stopped 42 shots; among them were some spectacular saves,” Coach Farson said. “When your goaltender takes a few away from the other team, that turns the tide in a close game.”
And when scorching hot junior winger Josh Cohen (five goals and five assists in two games) takes a beautiful feed from classmate Isaac Sacks from below the goal line and puts it in for the winner to keep his team undefeated in the Fairchester Athletic Association, all the bad stuff is forgotten.
The coach hastened to praise his defensemen after the contest. “Seniors Will Dodge and Harrison Kadish anchored the blue line for us. They’ve both put in outstanding effort in recent weeks, and will do anything to help the team.”
The Wildcats met South Kent School post-press time, and will host Greenwich High tomorrow afternoon at 2:45.
“The plan is usually to win a 2-1 game, but we’d rather be a team that can adapt to any type of hockey game and record a win in a high scoring affair as well.”
Sophomore Jake Oddi, alone on the keeper, scores against Fordham.
Junior Josh Cohen nets one of his three goals against Fordham Prep.