By Peyton Celesti | Sports Writer
BRIGHTON HEIGHTS — The Team Pittsburgh Dek Hockey summer season is now underway, and the Cadet Sabres have the rest of their division at bay. The Sabres (4-1-0-0) remained in sole possession of first place after a regulation win over the Rangers (1-0-3-1) 3-2 in Cadet division action on July 12.
Early on in the first period, the Sabres struck first with a deflection by Ethan Vann in front of the Rangers net from a shot at the blue line. The towering Vann was the most dominant player on the dek for the Sabres, and set up a lot of offensive opportunities throughout the game.
The first period turned out to be the most contested one of the night, as the action went back and forth. Both teams had their best opportunity of the period around the three-minute mark. The Rangers had a wide open mid-range slap shot hit the top right crossbar, which eventually led to a two-on-one for the Sabres on the other end. Rangers goalie Christian Morrissey corralled the ball after it was mishandled to end that threat. Morrissey was 21/24 in save opportunities for the night.
After a first period where shots on goal from both teams were even at seven, the offensive action in the second period was all from the Sabres. Similar to the first period, the Sabres put up a goal within the first two minutes of play. Ethan Vann got an assist with a long pass from just beyond mid-ice to Josh Boreland. Boreland had his defender beat by a couple of steps to create a one-on-one opportunity against Morrissey, which he cashed in on to put his team up 2-0.
The Sabres accumulated enough pressure offensively to put up another goal late in the second period. Jason Madden scored on an assist from Gino Perrino to extend the Sabres lead.
Entering the third period, the Sabres had all of the momentum and seemed to be in total control, looking like a faster and more confident group. But the Rangers quickly caught a second gear to turn the game on its head.
The Rangers started their comeback with the cleanest passing combo of the night in the Sabres zone, but a wide open slap shot sailed just above the top crossbar. Shortly after, a slap shot from Anthony Magliocco created two rebound opportunities, with the second one getting past Sabres goalie Parker Talerico. The goal was scored by Nick Lugin to put the Rangers on the board.
About two minutes after Lugin’s goal, a slap shot from Logan Dobrowski cut the Sabres lead to one with a good chunk of time remaining.
With 1:27 left in the game, Rangers Head Coach Dan Powers called timeout to give his guys a breather and to put his best line on the dek for their final push to tie the game. That line included David Klecha, who at times looked like the best player on the ice, setting the Rangers offense in motion.
The Rangers were able to put on the pressure offensively after the timeout, but sharp defense from the Sabres and a few key saves from their goalie Parker Talerico helped them secure a regulation win. One of Talerico’s saves came within the last 10 seconds of the game on a ball that almost snuck past his left pad. Talerico earned the win with 15 saves on 17 shots on goal.