In a rematch of the 2019-2020 NE Prep Elite 8 Championship game, Dexter hosted a Salisbury team looking for revenge.
The action was fast paced, high intesity, back and forth to start until the 9:04 mark when Dylan Hryckowian undressed a defender 1v1 on a slick toe-drag and then went in all alone on the goalie who he outwaited on a deke move and slid it by to go up 1-0. Neither team would find the net over the next six minutes but there were a flurry of chances at both ends. It wasn’t until the 2:27 mark when Salisbury defenseman was hauled off for a penalty giving Dexter a chance to even the game up before heading into the dressing room.
That didn’t go quite as planned as Salisbury iced the puck off a draw and the goalie went to play the puck but it went off the side of the net and out to Ryan Walsh who gathered it, waited a second for the netminder to slide back across the crease and then lifted it up and over for the goal.
Salisbury would take the 2-0 lead into the dressing room and came out in the second period as if they were the team down by two, getting pucks in deep, winning battles along the boards and getting to the net. The Knights scored with 13:52 off a rush but it was immediately called back (the right call) due to it going off the players hand. They made the faceoff out of the zone and later that shift almost scored against on a great give and go play between Ryan Walsh and Lee Parks but they couldn’t finish it off.
For most of the period the puck was in the Dexter end and while we couldn’t really see the third goal from our angle it appeared as though the player behind the net with the puck either passed it to the slot or tried a stuff and it slid in shortside on the goalie. The goal was contreoversial and the refs discussed it for several minutes until ultimately it was ruled a goal.
Credit to a disappointed Dexter bench, they came out and scored less than a minute later with 4:56 remaining on a catch and shoot goal by Grayson Badger off a terrfic pass from the corner by Thomas Raymond.
With 2:51 remaining in the period Dexter shot themselves in the foot with a too-many-men on the ice call which gave Salisbury the powerplay and a few chances to extend the lead but the period ended at 3-1.
Dexter shortened up the bench in the third period needing a goal and they had several streches of sustained offensive zone time but struggled to penetrate the Salisbury defense and were getting shots blocked and were getting boxed out around the net. There looked to be a chance for Dexter to cut the lead when they got a power play with 6:33 remaining in the game but weren’t able to generate any quality scoring chances as the Salisbury penalty kill was superb through the game.
Dan Donato would call a timeout with an offensive zone faceoff with 2:58 remaining but ultimately they weren’t able to get a score and Salisbury forward Lee Park iced a puck with time expiring to seal the win 4-1 (if that counted?).
Salisbury will go on the road to play #1 KUA in what is becoming “the” Elite 8 rivalry as these two teams have won 7 of the last 8 Elite 8 Championships!
Three Stars of the Game:
1st Star: Dylan Hrcykowian, F, Salisbury
2nd Star: Austin McNicholas, G, Salisbury
3rd Star: Trey Deere, F, Salisbury
Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/Hickling Images