LAUREL -- When Mount St. Joseph and DeMatha meet in hockey, the margin of error is usually razor thin.
Last night's game was no exception.
The Gaels saw a three-goal lead late in the second period slip into a 4-4 tie that lasted through an overtime, then lost to the archrival Stags in a shootout, 2-0, in a Maryland Scholastic Hockey League Private School semifinal at the Gardens Ice House.
The Stags (19-10-3) advanced to the MSHL semifinal, where they will meet Bullis Prep, a 10-0 winner over Landon, in Monday's 8 p.m. final at the Gardens Ice House.
Chris Chambers scored three goals for DeMatha, which forced overtime by rallying for a 4-4 tie. He added a penalty shot in the extra session. Patrick Riley had two goals for Mount St. Joseph.
The game, played before an overflow crowd, was another in a series of classics. In the past 10 years, DeMatha has won the MSHL championship five times. Mount St. Joseph (20-2-0) won it the other five times.
DeMatha got on top just 33 seconds in but Mount St. Joseph pulled even on Riley's first goal with 50 seconds left in the first period.
Riley's second goal, 4:55 into the second period, gave the Gaels the lead. They made it 3-1 1:12 later, when Kevin Miller beat DeMatha goalie Ned Dixon. Only 1:07 after that, Ricky Haiber beat Dixon for a 4-1 lead.
"I thought we were playing good hockey, and I was just waiting for us to get a break," said DeMatha coach Matt Revkin. He didn't have to wait long.
With 34 seconds left, Haiber was skating around with the puck in his defensive zone, trying to kill a penalty. Chambers stole the puck and beat Gaels goalie Patrick Street low, cutting the lead to 4-2.
"That goal was huge," said Mount St. Joseph coach Erv Terwilliger. "We had the momentum, and that turned the game."
The Stags scored again 37 seconds into the third period, on Chambers' wrist shot from just inside the center blue line.
DeMatha tied the score at 4-4 with 5:45 left, when Shane Fendlay tipped in a shot from the point.
After a scoreless overtime, the teams went to penalty shots. Chambers put DeMatha up on the Stags' second shot, and Chris Sams put the game away on the fourth shot, beating Street in the upper left corner of the net.
"This was a great game," Chambers said. "The reasons I go to DeMatha are the academics and to play Mount St. Joe in hockey. I told my team [at the end of the second period] that a 4-2 lead is the shakiest in hockey. We never had a doubt we could come back."