Ford City hockey team gets revenge on Hollidaysburg
By Bill West
Published: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, 11:50 p.m.
Because of a 35-minute delay caused by a puck stuck in the Belmont Complex's Zamboni, the Ford City hockey team's much-anticipated Open Class rematch with Hollidaysburg began later than expected.
But once the Sabers started, they seemed unstoppable.
A dominant opening period set the tone for Ford City's 6-2 win over Hollidaysburg, which edged the Sabers, 5-3, earlier this season.
“I wasn't going to play on dirty ice — I would've rescheduled it — and we really wanted to get the game going,” Ford City coach Glen Kilgore said. “Thank God they got it fixed, and we definitely came out jumping.”
When Ford City (11-2-1) visited Hollidaysburg (9-3-1) in November, the Tigers zoomed to a 3-0 lead in the game's first 11 minutes and then spent the rest of the night staving off a Sabers comeback.
In the rematch, it was Ford City that found scoring opportunities early and often. And the Sabers' defense stifled Hollidaysburg enough to eliminate any hope of a comeback.
“I think once we got out of shape, and we were playing out of control, it kind of just snowballed from one thing to another,” Hollidaysburg coach Brad Blair said.
Jesse Valasek scored the host's first, third and fourth goals — all during the first period. Less than six minutes in, the senior forward sped down the right board for a shorthanded breakaway and roofed a backhanded shot.
With 5:15 left in the period, Valasek swept in from the left wing, sneaked his way across the front of the net and beat goaltender Charlie Lafferty to the far side.
And four minutes later, Valasek, posted on the backside of the crease during a five-on-three power play, tapped in an easy one for his hat trick.
Sandwiched between Valasek's first and second goals was a tally by linemate Joe Cippel, who received a breakout pass from Valasek just as he entered Hollidaysburg's zone and then fired a wrist shot over Lafferty's shoulder.
“We were real fired up because we lost to Hollidaysburg but also just seeing our fans. It really helped us out and pumped us up,” Cippel said. “We wanted to give them a show.”
Hollidaysburg cut into Ford City's lead with a goal two minutes into the second period. William Power, the team's leading scorer with 37 goals through 12 games, collected a puck right in front of goaltender Adam Cogley and slipped it just inside the left pipe to make the score 4-1.
But the Sabers answered less than a minute later with a poke-in by Jacob Miller, and they led, 6-1, through two periods.
Ford City allowed several more shots in the rematch than it did in the December meeting — 21 compared to 14 — but with Cogley, who missed the first Hollidaysburg game, in net, the Tigers hardly seemed better off, even when afforded nine power plays, including a five-on-three late in the second period. Cogley finished with 19 saves.
“Adam is an all-star for a reason, and when he's got his head turned on right, he plays the way he did,” Kilgore said. “During that five-on-three, he made three or four extraordinary saves.”
Blair noted that he lacked his first-string goaltender, Matt Gregory, who made 34 saves in the win over Ford City but suffered an injury in mid-December.
“I think the issues with the ice didn't help, either,” Blair said. “The kids were all fired up, and then there was that delay.”
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.