ANAHEIM — Inside a makeshift dressing area near the rink at the Honda Center, Tyler Maloney changed in a hurry. He didn't have much time to celebrate the Corona del Mar High ice hockey club team's championship.
Maloney had to get to another rink in Orange County not as well known as the one he and his team skated on Thursday.
A teammate reminded him about what was next, a practice. Yeah, Maloney had a practice to get to after he helped CdM win the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League Varsity 2A Division title with a 5-3 win against Edison.
"I'm pretty worn out," Maloney said before leaving for his practice with his Junior Ducks Midget 18AA club team. "At the end, I started getting cramps in my legs."
Being tired before his practice with another team was worth it to Maloney. He sparked CdM's comeback victory in the third period, scoring one goal and assisting on another.
In CdM's first season in the league, the program claimed a crown. Maloney, a senior, said he's glad he was able to contribute before he graduated from high school.
"If I were a freshman, sophomore or junior, I would do it in a heartbeat next year," Maloney said. "A lot of fans came out from our school. It's just really exciting just playing in a championship game. Some of us haven't even played at the Honda Center."
The program's nickname isn't the Sea Kings, which most of the sports teams at CdM use. The hockey program is the "Ice Kings" and it makes sense to Maloney because his team plays on ice, not in the sea.
The Ice Kings dug themselves out of ice in the third period. They went into the period down, 3-1. Edison appeared in control with its physical play, goalie Kenneth Eakle stopping almost everything, including a penalty shot, and Tyler Connors, Jeremy McHenry and Christopher Pabitzky each scoring a goal.
But Edison hit a little too much and stopped scoring after the second period.
The Ice Kings, coached by Don Johnson, finally took advantage of the penalties committed by Edison. Early in the third period, CdM was on a five-on-three power-play situation and Maloney cut the deficit to 3-2.
Maloney's first goal turned out to be the first of four goals scored by the Ice Kings in the third period.
CdM's Jared Dror tied it at 3-3. He scored on a top-shelf shot. The shots upstairs are the ones Eakle struggled stopping in the final 17 minutes.
John Gardner beat Eakle twice with top-shelf shots. Unlike most of the players on the CdM team, Gardner doesn't go to school at CdM. He attends Mater Dei, but that didn't matter to players like Maloney.
What did was that Maloney recorded the go-ahead goal with 5:13 left to play. On a two-on-one, Gardner opted to shoot instead of passing the puck to Maloney on the left side.
"I had Tyler streaking on the other side, so [Eakle] had to worry about him, and he kind of just gave me that low rim up top and I just put it there," Gardner said.
Gardner's second goal put the game away. With 90 seconds left, he went upstairs again. This time with a backhand shot. Maloney assisted on the goal, coming on a turnover near the blue line.
"We had some penalty issues, and playing against a team of that caliber, if you can't stay out of the box, eventually it's going to catch up to you and that's exactly what happened," said Edison Coach Barry Sherer, whose team had beaten CdM by one goal in overtime earlier in the season. "We knew that it was going to be a back-and-forth game, and we knew that their better players, Maloney and Gardner, were going to be the impact players, which … they absolutely were."
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