Coach Is Frustrated Over Weekend No-Shows
The Empire State Legend Elites battled back from a three-goal deficit twice, and tied the game only to lose in overtime on an undisciplined penalty, 8-7, against the New Jersey Surge Elites last Saturday, Feb. 23. It was the second game of a doubleheader.
Net-minder Jarred Occhicone may have deserved a better fate as he was peppered with almost 70 shots on the day.
Once again, penalties did the Legend Elites in. The Surge scored twice during a four-on-two advantage and scored the game winner in overtime as the Elites were penalized with a foolish penalty at the buzzer.
Coach Rich Ritchie was truly disappointed in his team’s mental letdown, he said, especially since they were without six regulars. As he put it, the only bright spot was how “his gladiators battled back twice after being down by three and they showed miles of heart. It was a shame to lose the way we did, as the momentum was shifting and I think we had a shot to win in overtime and salvage a split on the day.”
The team received goal production from six different players: Thomaz Zukowski, Philip Cascio, Brian Yohe, Joe Petrizzo, James Tamburino and Mike Rotola. Rotola netted two and Tamburino had the equalizer with 19 seconds remaining as Ritchie pulled Jarred in favor of the extra skater and it paid off.
Brian Yohe added two assists and had a three-point game as did James Turburino.
Ritchie was furious over the last minute no shows against the Surge Elites in the first game’s 5-4 loss in the final 30 seconds.
Ritchie knew that he was short three marque players going into the game, but a no show by one of his goalies along with one missing the railroad from Manhattan and another totally missing put the coach over the edge.
He had to scramble less than one hour before game time and asked three minors to dress to fill out the bench. One bright spot was Phil Cascio filling the void, but poor discipline didn’t help the matter after Rotola’s marker knotted the game at 4-4 with less than three minutes left.
The Elites were penalized with 2:10 left and saw the game slip through their fingers as the Surge converted on the power play with 22 seconds left.
Cascio got the Legends on the board during his first shift as an Elite player two and a half minutes in with a nifty back-hander from the slot. Joe Petrizzo and Frank Florio, who also added two assists, closed out the Legend scoring.