Victor 5, Fairport 4 (OT)
In a fantastic game that no one will forget for quite some time, top-seeded Victor topped Fairport in overtime to win the Class A Section V championship.
Victor had to battle back from plenty of adversity. Fairport scored twice in the first period, with Caleb Kaiser and Mitchell Zanon both lighting the lamp from wristers from distance. But Blue Devils goalie Pieter Bartelse shored up and gave his team a chance.
“I think guys were a little bit nervous coming out,” said head coach Mike Ferrari. “In the locker room, we got in there, guys were kind of in a bit of panic. 30 minutes left, we’ve been down before this season. Kids came out and regrouped that’s for sure.”
Victor answered with a powerplay goal from Alex Parton to make it 2-1 in the second period. Travis Knicley extended the lead back to two as his wrister put the Red Raiders in front 3-1. Victor would chip away before the third, as Nick Peluso skated to the middle of the slot and fired one in to make it 3-2 heading into the final period of regulation.
Victor tied it up at 3 as Jack McCandless scored on a one-timer on the power play six minutes into the frame. Fairport responded with a powerplay goal of their own to regain the lead, as Nick Krug fired a shot from the point that made it through traffic and into the back of the net.
With less than four minutes remaining, Steven Armstrong tied it up one last time as a loose puck sat untouched right in front which he quickly put in the back of the net.
The two teams would have chances in the final minutes in regulation but neither could breakthrough.
In overtime, it was Cal Lambert playing the role of hero as he shoved in the puck in the crease to give his team the win.
“Probably one of the craziest I’ve been a part of, just having faith in my teammates,” said Lambert on his team’s resiliency. “Going down 2-0, going into the locker room knowing that we’re going to win the game. Not having any doubt in our mind. We go into the second, 3-1, just dominating the game. We think, okay, we’re going to win this game. Go into the third, we put it in the net in overtime just to win the game. Nothing like it, just trusting your teammates and knowing we’ll put it in the net.”
Afterward, Fairport goalie Dylan Ghamemi was dejected on the bench after giving up the game-winning goal. Armstrong skated away from his team’s celebration and consoled him on the bench.
“That was a great game,” said Armstrong. “He did nothing wrong out there, every team battled. He played the greatest game I’ve ever seen a goalie play. Just to give him enough credit, that was beautiful for him to play like that.”
Victor will be back at the Gene Polisseni Center on Saturday as they take on the Section X champion at 5 p.m.