MANCHESTER, N.H. – In 45 seconds, a seemingly solid lead suddenly disappeared and then reappeared as Bedford escaped with a 3-2 overtime NHIAA Division I boys’ ice hockey tournament victory against Trinity on Wednesday.
Bedford sophomore Dalton Roberto scored the contest’s first goal 4:25 into the first period, with Trinity managing avoid more damage on a Bedford power play beginning just a few seconds later.
The Bulldogs held on tight to that lead into the first intermission, with a goal from Bedford senior Quinlan Kerr providing the only goal during a second period that saw the two teams combine for eight penalties.
“These kids grew up together, they want to hit each other. It’s a small rink that lends itself to more physical play. I think we gave as good as we got,” said Trinity Head Coach Mike Connell. “If you’re at JFK, you’re going to hit. There’s not enough room to be dancing around.”
Despite Bedford’s momentum from the goals and three separate penalty kills in the second period, including two that saw 5-on-3 disadvantages, the fact that Trinity was not further behind left some room for hope.
Trinity’s tenacity was further put to the test in the third period as Trinity freshman Jordan Joyal faced a five-minute major for a head-on-head collision with Bedford senior Arhat Vaidya, just three minutes after Joyal cut Bedford’s lead in half.
However, Bedford was unable to press the advantage during the long power play and Trinity sophomore Quinn Booth equalized with just 23 seconds left in regulation.
Despite the momentum shift that came from that goal, Trinity’s hopes were quickly dashed as Owen Roberto made the most of a 2-on-1 rush, finding the sudden death winner just 22 seconds into overtime.
“We always have faith, we’ve come from behind before even though that’s not how we like to play. Even though we were tied that’s how we felt, like we were behind,” said Bedford Head Coach Marty Myers. “But we knew we could win, we knew our offense had one last goal.”
Bedford now heads to the Rinks at Exeter for a 4 p.m. contest on Saturday against Exeter.
The Bulldogs will seek to avoid their fourth loss so far this season at the hands of Exeter, which defeated Manchester Central/West 8-0 later in the day.