Gericks Sports clung to its playoff hopes in Trail Commercial Hockey League action with a pair of victories last week over Arlington including a dramatic 6-5 win in the final seconds on Sunday.
Down 5-3 heading into the third period, Gericks made a spectacular comeback tying the game in the final frame, then winning it when Gord Aiken converted a set up from Craig Clare and David Moorehead and beat Arlington goalie Eric Volpatti with 11 seconds remaining for the victory.
The win draws the sportsmen to within three points of the Big A for the fourth and final playoff spot, with just three games remaining in the regular season.
Gericks opened the scoring when Moorehead netted his seventh on the season on an Aiken setup. But the Arlington scored four times in the last eight minutes and 30 seconds to take a 4-1 lead, on goals from Al McMartin, Jeremy Robinson, and a pair from league leading scorer Pat Iannone. Gericks d-man Al Benson got one back in the second period to draw within two, but former Portland Winterhawk Joey Baker scored an unassisted marker with 12:20 to play for his fourth point of the night for a 5-2 edge.
Cue the comeback, as Nathan Stanton scored with 6:15 to play in the second period, then made it 5-4 on a gutsy individual effort just 24 seconds into the final frame. Two minutes later, Matt Langille banged in a Travis Drake pass to tie it, setting up the dramatic Aiken winner.
Despite the loss the Arlington has the softer schedule heading into the final three games, with two matches against Re/Max and one against the league leading OK Tire, while Gericks will face the Tire twice and Allstar once.
Iannone’s two goals gave him 48 on the season and 97 points to equal his output from all of last year, and three off the unprecedented century mark.
In Sunday’s other match, OK Tire coasted to a 2-2 tie with Allstar after a 4-4 deadlock versus Re/Max on Friday, to maintain a strangle hold on top spot. The Tire’s Troy Palmer popped two goals in a 70 second span to take a 2-0 lead in the first, but a rare goal from Allstar defenceman Brady Glover made it 2-1 and Andrew Jenner tied it at the seven minute mark of the second. Goalies Rocky Dickson of the Tire and Allstar’s Cody Deadmarsh stood tall the rest of the way battling to a 2-2 stalemate.
It was the 10th tie for the Allstar this season, by and far the most of any team, but the single point gave them 30 on the season and brought them to within two points of the 13-12-4 Re/Max for second place.
The other match on Friday saw Arlington play to a 6-6 tie with Allstar, while Gericks thumped the Big A in a Thursday match 6-1.
The TCHL’s next games go on Thursday when Arlington plays Re/Max at 7:15 p.m. and Gericks faces Allstar at 8:30 p.m. Sunday’s games will see Allstar play Re/Max at 2:15 p.m. and OK Tire take on Gericks at 3:30 p.m.