Lancaster hangs on to defeat Williamsville North, advances to semifinals on Monday
In the third period, the wheels came for the Redskins, but they were able to get back in control just in time to defeat the Spartans, 5-4, to advance to the semifinals of the Western New York Varsity Federation Hockey playoffs on Monday.
“Williamsville North is a good team and they have always had a good program,” said Lancaster coach Kevin Miller. And, we knew the game was far from over. As much as we had a two-goal lead, we knew it was tough to finish. The guys persevered and I give them credit for finishing the game.”
It was the Manny Manns show for Lancaster as he carried the offense scoring four goals for the Redskins, including the first two to give the Redskins a 2-0 leading into the third.
Manns would give the Redskins a 3-0 just six seconds into the third, before the Spartans tried to fight back.
Williamsville North would cut the lead to 3-1, but the Redskins would answer over a minute later when Manns tried to pass the puck over the middle, but the puck deflected off a Williamsville North defender and past the goaltender.
The Spartans would again try to make it a game and cut the lead to 4-2 when Brad Bailey beat Lancaster Justin DiChristopher with a shot low to the glove side.
But, just like before, the Redskins answered 16 seconds later then Austin Gallagher’s shot beat Williamsville North freshman goaltender Matthew Ladd.
“That is one thing we went though this season – momentum shifts,” said Miller. “Every time a team scores a goal, we try to rebound back right away and try to take the winds out of their sails. Luckily, we were able to do that a few times.”
The young Spartans wouldn’t give up as they scored twice more in the third period to cut the lead to 5-4. Lancaster, however, was able to kill off the last fee seconds to move onto the semifinals at 8:30 p.m. on Monday.
While Williamsville North is having a down year, Miller said it is still tough trying to end someone’s season.
“It’s tough,” said Miller. “I don’t care what team you are playing up against or what seed you are, it’s tough to close out another team. When you have seniors on that team and they don’t want to give up and they don’t want to quit, it is tough job for any team.”