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For Fenwick, it was a chance to establish its dominance in the Catholic League coming off a loss to Providence the night before. It was also a chance to beat a team it tied earlier in the season. In the end, the first-place Friars were not able to accomplish either goal after a 2-2 draw against Benet in Woodridge on Saturday.
The Friars (20-5-4, 12-1-2), who drew an October 20th matchup against the Redwings, trailed twice in the game but showed the fighting spirit that has allowed them to enjoy a successful season so far.
Benet (14-8-3) struck first when Quincy Van Eekeren slotted home a wrist shot off a rebound at the 8:39 mark. The Redwings seemed to have control of the game before the Friars demonstrated one of their strengths, team speed.
Sophomore Joe Gurgone started a breakaway as he flew down the center of the ice on a three-on-two situation that seemed to come from nowhere. The forward found Paul O’Toole off to his right, who skated to the right of the net, drawing the attention of a defender. O’Toole than delivered a perfect center pass to an oncoming Rory Seligmann, who backhanded the puck into the net.
“It was a really nice breakaway,” said Seligmann. “O’Toole found me with a great pass and I was able to finish it.”
Early in the second period, Joe Condon gave the momentum back to the Redwings with an impressive play that saw him hold on to the puck as he approached the net, looking to pass. Finding no open lane to deliver a pass, the forward decided to shoot and scored.
Sam Gomolinski looked like he was going to tie the game at the 11:04 mark when he found himself all alone on a breakaway. The junior held on to the puck a little too long before testing the goalkeeper’s right and his shot was easily saved.
But Gomolinski seemed even more determined to score after the miss and that determination paid off only a minute and a half later when he out-hustled a Benet defender to the puck and burst down the left side of the ice before releasing a shot that went under the goalkeeper’s legs to tie the game at 2-2.
“I just skated faster than the defender. Every time I fail to score I find a way to make up for it later in the game. I work twice as hard to make up for mistakes and it worked out for me again tonight,” said Gomolinski.
The third period and five-minute overtime was largely uneventful with Ian Murdock coming up with the best chance to give the Friars the lead with a straight-away slap shot from close range that sailed over the crossbar with 7:05 left in the game.
First-year head coach Kurt Kabat said he wasn’t too upset about the draw.
We just didn’t want to fall into a mid-season stumble. I think we responded well against a solid team we tied before,” said Kabat.