Players from archrivals Calvert Hall and Loyola Blakefield put on a spectacular show — in what some might call an unsatisfying 3-3 tie — in double overtime Friday night in front of a big crowd at the Reisterstown Sports Arena in the 18th annual showdown for area bragging rights and ownership of the Brother Andrew Cup.
The Cardinals (10-7-1), owners of the cup for the past eight years, were fortunate to escape with a deadlock, although the same could be said for the Dons (9-5-2).
Both teams had their chances to claim a victory, despite outstanding efforts from Loyola senior goaltender Jack Lowe (30 saves) and his freshman counterpart Michael Finn (21 saves) of Calvert Hall.
There were just so many opportunities for either side to score that it appeared unlikely that the teams would skate off the ice without a deciding goal to lament or cheer, depending on their perspective.
Take Cardinal senior defenseman Ryan Schroeder, whose slap shots from the perimeter were denied three times in succession in the first overtime with his team on the power play.
In the third period, it was Loyola's Thomas Bruno and Jonathan McGrath who were frustrated at the other end by Finn after sophomore Kyle O'Malley had netted the final equalizer for the Dons with 6:49 left in regulation.
Those plays were indicative of how the game went: Lots of breakaways, odd-man rushes, crunching checks and stellar goaltending.
Loyola jumped out on top in the opening period on a power-play goal by junior forward James O'Malley before Calvert Hall freshman forward Matthew Curtin answered.
The Cardinals took a 2-1 lead in the middle period on freshman Jack Finn's tally until the Dons struck back on junior Matt Ortenzio pounced on a botched clear just 51 seconds later.
Senior Perry West notched Calvert Hall's final goal with 5:42 left in the period, setting the stage for a stirring Loyola rally and some nifty work by Calvert Hall penalty killers, who kept the status quo during two enemy power plays in the first overtime.
"It's hard to walk away from this game and still feel disappointed," Loyola coach Tim Sullivan said. "We hit the post a couple of times and their goalie made some great saves. But our confidence that we could do this came from our goalie. He played his best game of the year."