Third-period surge carries Thomas Jefferson past Freeport
TribLIVE Sports Videos
A two-week layoff did nothing to change Freeport's penchant for close hockey games.
The Yellowjackets got a late goal from Hunter Kepple but couldn't get the second they needed to tie, as Thomas Jefferson held on for a 5-4 win at the Belmont Ice Complex on Thursday.
Kepple and Nick Rusak both had a goal and two assists, and Mickey Frazetta and Tyler Sherrieb also had goals for Freeport (1-2-2), which has had four of its five games decided by two goals or fewer.
“The teams are all pretty closely matched this year, and if you give up a power-play goal or hit a post when you have a chance to put the puck in the net, you're going to lose those close games,” Freeport coach Mel Reichenbaugh said.
Nicholas Tamburi had two goals, including the game-winner, for Thomas Jefferson (4-3-1). Zach Uhlyar, Tommy Kimmick and Brendan Mason also scored for the Jaguars.
The teams entered the third period tied 3-3 but things quickly turned against the Yellowjackets. An elbowing call against Rusak put the Jaguars on the power play just 20 seconds into the period, and with the man advantage, Mason poked in a rebound to give his team a one-goal lead.
Tamburi made the score 5-3 on a wrist shot with 10:43 left in the game, and the Yellowjackets badly needed to swing the momentum.
“We just came out a little flat and seemed to be on our heels for the first half of the period,” Reichenbaugh said. “We made a good comeback later in the period, but it wasn't enough.”
“That was my fault on the penalty. We all make mistakes, and I made one on the penalty,” Rusak said. “We didn't give up. We just kept going.”
A penalty for too many men on the ice seemed to halt Thomas Jefferson's momentum, and with 4:30 left in the game, Kepple carried a pass from Jared Kapustik into the zone and scored with a wrist shot from the right circle.
The Yellowjackets continued to keep up the pressure and outshot TJ, 28-22, but two flurries in front of the Jaguars goal in the final minute came up empty for Freeport.
Matt Huston made 17 saves for Freeport, and Thomas Jefferson goalie Nick Ripepi turned away 24 shots. The Yellowjackets also had three shots hit the post in the game, two of which came in the first period.
The game was Freeport's first since Nov. 21 because of a snow postponement last week, and the Yellowjackets' five games played is the fewest in Class A.
“We all played together last year, but there are a few new guys, and we're all still trying to connect out there,” Rusak said. “We just have to work harder.”
“I don't want to use (the layoff) as an excuse, because in the first period, we seemed all right,” Reichenbaugh said. “It was just that third period when we came out flat, and I don't understand why we were flat at home with a decent crowd here.”
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.
- Pirates pound Padres for 7th consecutive victory
- Proposed Mt. Pleasant budget plan includes deficit, tax hike
- Connellsville students bringing Civil War to life
- Steelers’ defense unfazed by noise, believes in potential
- Former soccer coach to stand trial in Monongahela
- 24 teachers put on New Kensington-Arnold School District furlough list
- New Kensington shooting victim’s condition improves
- PennDOT vows help for Charleroi
- Properties for sale in Monessen
- Google adds HBO access, mobile payment to next version of Android
- Apollo-Ridge students connect world, science