Fairport Rally Shocks Pittsford In Final

- Fairport was down 6-2 in the fourth quarter of the Class A sectional final against Pittsford. Their offense was as stagnant as the score indicated. So what happened next? 

"Magic happened," said Fairport senior Ryan Bowen. 

Bowen scored the game winning goal with 17 seconds left as Fairport got the game's final five goals and rallied to stun the Panthers 7-6 at Webster Schroeder Tuesday night. 

Justin Kesselrig got the comeback started with back to back goals to cut the Raiders' deficit in half. The second of which was a pretty behind the back, wraparound shot from a tough angle to make it 6-4 with 4:38 to play.

Two minutes later, Brent Mazurkiewicz got the Raiders within one on a transition goal. Fairport won the faceoff and needed just 51 seconds to get a Nick Orsini goal that tied the game at 6.

Pittsford won the ensuing faceoff, but the Raiders forced a turnover before the Panthers could get a shot off. After a timeout, Bowen drove the next from goalline extended to the goalie's right. He got in front and found the upper right corner for the winner.

The Panthers did get a shot off in the final 17 seconds, but missed wide with three ticks left and were unable to get the ball in front as the horn sounded.

"The coaches just kept beating it into us... 'Believe, believe. You're a second half team. You can do this'," Bowen said. "We understood it and we believed it. Putting home the winning goal is the most unbelievable feeling. To do it for my team in my senior year, it's just unbelievable. I can't even describe it."

Pittsford long pole Nick Panara scored what turned out to be the team's final goal of the season early in the 4th quarter to make it 6-2. It answered a Dan McAvoy goal for Fairport that hit the net only 13 seconds earlier.

Brandon Barker got the first goal of the second half to extend a 3-0 Pittsford halftime lead to 4-0. McAvoy then scored to end Fairport's 28 minute, 55 second scoreless streak to start the game. Barker followed with his second tally of the third quarter to make it 5-1 with a quarter to play.

It was Fairport's third straight championship... in an even numbered year. The Red Raiders have won titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014 and are now 17-2.

Pittsford finished the year 15-4.  

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