RFA Edges Whitesboro In UC Classic Championship

Brian Sandler has the highlights

By Sports WKTV

It may have only been the second game of the season, but the RFA Black Knights showed that they're a force to be reckoned with on Saturday night, coming back twice and coming through in the clutch to beat Whitesboro in the Utica College High School Classic Championship 6-5 at the Aud.
Tied 5-5 late in the third period, RFA's Mark Bartlett scored the go-ahead goal with 1:30 left, making a nifty move to beat a defender to a loose puck and scoring through goalie Marissa Hotaling's five-hole.  Then, with 53 seconds left, the Warriors used a scrum in front of the net to put in what they thought was a game-tying goal, but it was waved off due to the net being knocked out of place just a split second before the puck went in.  However, a penalty was called on RFA, giving Whitesboro a power play to finish the game.
With 22 seconds left, another penalty was called on the Knights, giving the Warriors a 5-on-3 advantage--6-on-3 with a pulled goalie--and a face-off in Rome's zone.  But the Knights held tough.  First, goalie Rich Metzger deflected a point-blank shot that barely cleared the crossbar.  Then, off another face-off with about 10 seconds left, Metzger blocked another shot, and then, incredibly, another goal was waved off when the net was again knocked out of place with just 1.6 seconds left.  Whitesboro was able to get one more shot off on the ensuing face-off, but Metzger knocked it away to save the win.
Rome took the first lead of the game on a Mike Barrett goal in the first period, but Whitesboro answered with two straight scores by George Hajjar and Chris Flynn to lead 2-1 at the first intermission.  In the second period, RFA scored three straight goals on a power play shot by Bryan Endres and full-strength tallies by Bartlett and Endres again to take a 4-2 lead, but Whitesboro again answered with two power play goals by Nathan Hughes and David Husnay to tie the game at four going into the third.  Less than three minutes into the final frame, Hajjar stole a pass and beat Metzger for a 3-on-5 shorthanded goal to put the Warriors back up 5-4, but Bartlett tied it less than two minutes later on another power play.  The eventual game-winner gave Bartlett a hat trick for the night and earned him MVP honors for the tournament.

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