The Gateway varsity ice hockey team fell behind in the first period of Friday's game against Keystone Oaks at Center Ice Arena in Delmont.
The Eagles led 2-0 going into the third, but the Gators started to mount a rally.
Gateway got one goal to cut the deficit in half and produced a late charge to try and tie the game.
However, Keystone Oaks held off the Gators' rally, added an empty-net goal and scored a 3-1 win in an Open Class contest.
Gateway fell to 1-6 with the loss and will try to get back on track Friday at home against Altoona. The game against the Mountain Lions will be at 8:45 p.m. at Center Ice Arena in Delmont.
Keystone Oaks got goals at 6:45 and 10:00 of the first period.
Neither team was able to get one past the opposing goaltender in the second period.
Freshman Tanner Davis tallied his second goal of the season off an assist from senior Zach Dusch to make it 2-1 with 8:38 to play in regulation.
Dusch now is tied with freshman Matt Doman for the team lead in assists with five.
Sophomore Ryan Taylor has a team-best four goals.
The Gators pulled junior goaltender Griffin Ware late in the game, but Bradley Mauser put one into the empty net with 38 seconds left.
Ware made 20 saves on 22 Keystone Oaks shots.
Gateway fired off 37 shots, but Eagles netminder Jonathan Mead stood on his head and made 36 saves.
The Gators and Eagles meet again Monday at 9:10 p.m. at the Mt. Lebanon Recreation Center.
After Monday's game, Gateway takes a break from PIHL action until a game on Jan. 2 against Greensburg Central Catholic at Kirk S. Nevin Arena.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825, at email@example.com or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.
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