Gaels lose title game in OT after leading by 2

Last night's Maryland Scholastic Hockey League championship game was supposed to be a victorious swan song for Mount St. Joseph's nine seniors. Unfortunately, the end turned into the same old song and dance.

Gonzaga captain Ryan Holley scored on a backhand 1:33 into overtime to give the Eagles a 3-2 victory over the Gaels before 1,308 at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel. The championship was the third straight for the Eagles, a first in the 19-year history of the league.


The loss marks the second straight year Mount St. Joseph has lost to Gonzaga in the championship. The four-year senior Gaels finish their careers with three championship losses (two in overtime) and an overtime semifinal loss.

The Gaels took a 2-0 lead on a goal by Brady Earle 11:48 into the first period, but were unable to hold the lead. Matt Buonato had the other Mount St. Joseph goal on a power play 10:04 into the period.


"We blew a two-goal lead, and that doesn't usually happen to us," Earle said. "They are a really good team, but it's hard to swallow that we could have beaten them. For a lot of us, there is no next year."

Holley's game-winner came on a two-on-one breakaway. The senior skated in front of partially screened goalie Brooks Shilling, and put a backhand over his left glove.

"I was nervous entering the overtime," said Holley, whose team never trailed after any period this season until last night. "I came in off the wing and the pass [from Patrick Foster] was there. I just threw it on net and it went in."

"[Gonzaga] gave us the worst loss in the history of our program [an 8-2 loss on Dec. 4], and we came back and took them to overtime in the final," Gaels coach Erv Terwilliger said. "That showed the heart these kids had."

In the Public School Championship, South River used four goals by Adam Mitchell - including the game-winner with 55 seconds left - to rally from a two-goal deficit to defeat Frederick County's Linganore (15-1), 9-8. Mitchell also contributed two assists.

"I got a perfect pass from Chris Devore from behind the net," Mitchell said of his game-winner.

The title by the Seahawks (14-1) was the first by a non-Montgomery County School since the public schools got their own division after the 2002-03 season. High school ice hockey in Maryland is a club sport in the public schools.