Hawks stun Bulldogs in Game One

By Joel Charron

The General Amherst boys hockey team learned the hard way that just because you are the number one seed in the playoffs, does not mean you get a free ride.

Amherst’s world came crashing down Thursday afternoon as the 1-11 Harrow Hawks stunned the first place Bulldogs with a 4-2 win in Game One at the United Communities Credit Union Complex.

“Not exactly the kind of performance I wanted in any aspect of the hockey game,” said head coach Pat Garrett, after Thursday’s game. “If I said that I could take anything positive out of that game, I would be lying.”

The Bulldogs looked lifeless in all aspects of the game from the opening puck drop, which Harrow capitalized on by scoring the opening goal just minutes into the first period.

The Bulldogs would draw even when Amherst’s captain Zoran Popel scored on the powerplay after the Hawks were assessed a four minute double minor.

Amherst's Blaine Bechard (18) fights for the puck with a Harrow defender draped over him.

In the second, the Bulldogs came out flat and once again, Harrow took advantage, scoring in the infant stage of the second period. Although Amherst would get several chances to even the score, they were unable to find the back of the net.

It was not until the opening minute of the third period that Popel was able to tie it up with his second goal of the game.

The score remained tied for just over a minute before Harrow notched their third goal of the game and took control of the lead.

The Hawks would score once again with less than three minutes left, leaving the Bulldog stunned on their home ice.

“We just gave the last place team in our division the biggest confidence boost in the playoffs by giving them a game in our own barn,” said Garrett.

The Bulldogs will have to find answers before they square off against the Hawks in Harrow next week. However, they will have to find those answers without any practice time.

“I’m going to have to count on these guys to be the veteran players that some of these guys are,” said Garrett. “We have to regroup and make a three game series out of this.”

After the game, a stunned Popel said the team might have been over looking the 1-11 Hawks.

“We probably underestimated them a little bit and we can’t be doing that to a team when we are in the playoffs,” said Popel. “The playoffs are what matters, not what happened in the regular season.”

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