Butler surge dooms SV
Eagle Staff Writer
VALENCIA — Hockey is a physical sport, but it never hurts to think about it.
The Butler hockey team broke open a 2-all tie with four second-period goals — including three in a 1:41 span — en route to a 7-3 victory over Seneca Valley at the Ice Connection of Pittsburgh Monday.
“We wanted to set up the power play,” said Butler assistant coach Brad Posey. “We made good decisions and moved the puck where we needed to be. It takes all the pressure off.”
“We got pounded again,” said Raiders coach Denis Kirstein. “You don't want to see 5-2 up there. I'm tired of seeing five goals up there for the other team,” Kirstein added.
Tanner Gilliland gave Butler (3-6) the lead for good in the second period when he took a Tim McConahy pass and scored with 9:00 left in the period.
Just 52 seconds later, Jake Tomasovic doubled the advantage when he took a helper from Cody Bachman and Jake Whann. With 7:19 left, Shaun Milkovich made it a three-goal lead with assists by Rob Barnhart and Gilliland.
Throw in a Bachman power-play goal off a pass by Tomasovic with 2:08 left in the period and the Tornado took control from there.
“Our defensemen are playing soft right now,” said Kirstein. “There are five kids who are taking every shift personally and the rest are just glad to be here.”
“We moved the puck well, made some nice touch passes,” said Butler head coach Vic Whann. “It's not a hard thing to do. It looks easy, but we came out of our zone hard.”
Butler, which snapped a three-game losing skid, received a strong performance from goalie Logan Rothbauer, who made 26 saves.
In the third period, Bachman tallied his second goal of the night off a Levi Rodgers pass at 14:29 before the Raiders (1-7) closed the scoring with a Cody Siegfried goal, which he fired from just inside the blue line.
The Raiders, who reached the PIHL Class AAA championship the past two seasons, lost many seniors from last year's squad, but Kirstein didn't expect this year to be so lean.
“I didn't think we'd be 1-7 right now,” said Kirstein. “We're hanging on for a playoff spot. I knew it would be tough, but we had a good JV team last year. We're just not executing.”
Notes: Jared Domhoff and Kevin Rohm accounted for the Raiders' first-period goals while Barnhart and Tomasovic scored for Butler. ... Whann finished with three assists while Seneca Valley's Mike Dudenhaver had 2. ... Butler finished with 30 shots and were 2-for-8 on the power play while Seneca Valley was 0-for-4.