West Genesee forward Shawn Lynch (3) thought he had beat Suffern goalie Tyler Stark in the shoot-out that decided last Saturday’s state Division I semifinal. Officials ruled that Lynch had hit the crossbar, and the Wildcats lost to the Mounties after a quadruple-overtime, 2-2 draw.
For much of the rest of regulation, WG went all-out on its attack trying to pull even. Suffern, attempting to hang on, committed a pair of its own penalties that gave the Wildcats its own two-man advantage as time wound down.
Though the Mounties killed one of the penalties, the Wildcats pulled Pelton - and with 23.4 seconds to play, off a scramble in front of the net, Erik Kurz beat Stark for the tying goal.
So it was 2-2 going into overtime, each period lasting seven minutes, 30 seconds. Through one OT frame, and then another, the Wildcats and Mounties squared off, rarely getting good scoring chances as the ice surface broke down.
Following a much-needed rest and some work from the Zamboni, it went to a third OT, and then a fourth. Suffern and WG both had opportunities to end the marathon, only to squander them.
So now they were headed for the first-ever state semifinal decided by an NHL-style shoot-out, each side getting three opportunities for a breakaway and single shot at the net.
Suffern went first, and Sanchez beat Pelton. Then they traded stops, Stark stuffing Michel and Pelton answering with a save of Redgate’s attempt.
On the second try, a controversy erupted that might have decided matters. Shawn Lynch thought he had put his high shot past Stark, but the officials and goal judge ruled that the puck crashed off the crossbar.
Moments later, Suffern's Ian Adler drove to the goal and flipped a shot that eluded Pelton and found the net. The Mounties' players mobbed Adler, while the Wildcats were crestfallen, a feeling their opponents knew all too well.
Stark, more than anyone, kept WG from victory. His 39 saves negated the fact that the Wildcats out-shot the Mounties by a better than 2-1 margin.