Ciotti Nets Game-Winner For Cadets

Linsly rallies late to stun Whg. Central

Photo by Kyle Lutz Linsly’s Zachary Taylor controls the puck while Wheeling Central’s Caleb Karnell defends during Monday’s game at WesBanco Arena.

WHEELING — It was a game of runs during Wheeling Central and Linsly’s hockey match Monday at WesBanco Arena. And when a game has multiple runs, the team that has the final one, usually comes out on top.

Case in point, the Cadets.

Linsly scored the first three goals of the game and led by three twice, before squandering its early in the third period.

However, the Cadets capped the game off with two consecutive goals to get the upperhand over the Maroon Knights, 7-6.

“It was like our fifth game of the year, so for us it was more important than anything to get into a rhythm,” Linsly coach Stefan Brannare said. “Obviously Central around here is a gold standard. So it was pretty nice for us to come back in the third period after leading in the first and giving it all up to them.”

Elijah Ciotti netted the game-winning goal — while securing a hat trick — with 2:15 left as he was able to get a shot off a deflection and get the puck in the back of the net.

After giving up four consecutive goals, Linsly faced its only deficit of the game at 6-5.

However, Hunter Koch lit the lamp with the game-tying goal with 4:05 left in the third period.

“It feels like guys that won’t stop this year,” Brannare said. “It’s kind of a relentless team. We have a lot of guys that will keep going up until the final buzzer. That’s probably what showed the most, but we still have a long way to go and a lot of things to work on. We found that out pretty quickly.”

Wheeling Central, though, showed its resiliency.

After the Cadets scored the first three goals of the game, the Maroon Knights got on the board with a goal by Kyle Newmeyer with 42 seconds left in the first period.

Then 45 seconds into the second, Clay Slyder found the back of the net as the Maroon Knight took advantage of a power play to make it, 3-2.

However, Linsly secured a pair of goals by Ciotti and Zachary Taylor less than two minutes later in a span of 12 seconds to put the score at 5-2.

“I tell them every time that we have to come out and work the opposition, work harder than the opposition” Wheeling Central coach Jake Fullerton said. “We have 12 skaters and a goalie. When you are that short of a bench, if you don’t give your best effort every shift, every second of the game, the results aren’t going to be there, There just not going to be there. We have some good players. Our senior leadership is bar-none. But the skill is there and we take leads, but then we let up. That can’t happen. It’s unfortunate, but we’ll get back to work.”

The Maroon Knights, did not throw in the towel as they reeled off four consecutive goals to take their only lead, 6-5, with 16:26 left in the third period.

Wheeling Central went 3 of 6 on the power play. One of its goals was within five seconds of Linsly killing a power play.

Chase Edgerton secured a hat trick as he had the final three goals for the Maroon Knights, while Newmeyer had two,

“With sports comes adversity,” Fullerton said. “And if you can’t respond to it or deal with it, you got to take a long look in the mirror. Like I said, we’ll get back to work. We play really, really solid teams in the Pittsburgh league that we play in. And some of them are going to bring a lot more to the table.

“Losing to a local team isn’t fun. But I admire the hatred of the boys when they lose to kids they know and kids they have grown up with, but you got to love having the upperhand. But adversity happens and true colors come out when you respond to it and answer back from it.”

Matthew Maroney got the scoring going for the Cadets while Michael Campbell got the second goal of the contest on a power play. Ciotti made it 3-0 Cadets late in the first period with his first goal.

“We took too many penalties and we have to get more disciplined in that regard,” Brannare said. “But they have some great players too. They have Edgerton out there and Clay Slyder out there. You got to worry about them all the time. They’re about as good as any player we will face all year. It was a good test for us.”

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