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Pal-Mac Comes Back and Wins First Title Since 2017

After appearing in the finals the last two seasons, Pal-Mac came into tonight’s game looking for their first win since 2017.  The Red Raiders fought back hard with last four goals of the game to defeat HF-L 8-5. Pal-Mac vs HFL A key factor in that win was Red Raider goalie Will Nichols.  He finished the game with nine saves, including six in the first half and was named the All Tournament MVP for Class C.  The defense for both teams was impressive with six of the eleven All Tournament Spots going to defensive players.  HF-L Defenseman Tyler Emerson, LSM Owen Smith and midfielder Patrick Donahoe were all named to the team.  For Pal-Mac, defenseman Jakob Day and Kyle Hoestery were both named alongside Nichols.

Rounding out the All Tournament team were Geneva attackman Curtis Denison, Pal-Mac attackman Logan Babcock and midfielders Quinn Nolan and Riley Lich.  For the Cougars, Chase Perryman rounded out the list.

Pal-Mac vs HFLThe opening goal was scored three minutes into the game with Babcock scoring his first goal.  He scored off a drive down the left side of the restraining line.  Keagan Hoesterey also drove from the left side (from behind the cage), after the slide, he found the open Babcock for a mid range shot.  Less than 30 seconds later, he scored again with an unassisted drive from the top of right corner.  The Red Raiders kept the ball for nearly the entire quarter.  The Cougars only had a handful of possessions, but lost the ball shortly after getting the ball each time.  The Cougars only had a single shot on cage (save) during the entire quarter.  The Red Raiders took the 2-0 lead into the second quarter.

HF-L finally got on the board just under 16 minutes into the game.  With 8:08 remaining in the second quarter, freshman midfielder Quinn Kailbourne scored off a loose ball pickup on the crease.  Nichols stopped an inside dodge from the right goal line, but failed to control the ball.  The loose ball was grabbed by Kailbourne and after multiple fakes, finished into the back of the net.  Pal-Mac vs HFLThree minutes later and the Cougars tied the game up at 2-2.  After a bad pass by the Red Raiders, the Cougars got the ball and pressed up on a fast-break.  Defenseman Owen Smith scored off a feed from Drew Angelo on the give and go.  Smith scored with a hard shot to the lower right corner.  The Red Raiders won the ensuing draw; however, they could not push the advantage and HF-L won the ball back off a weak shot on the cage.  Goalie Trevor Reese finished with 6 saves on the game.

HF-L cleared the ball up and called a time out just over the midfield line at 3:25.  The Cougars worked the ball and scored their third straight goal to give them the lead.  Freshman attackman Matthew Brassie scored with a drive from behind the cage.  Pal-Mac ended up the penalty box with 2:00 left on the clock; however the Cougars could not capitalize.  The Red Raiders got the ball on offense during man-down and ran out the clock.  When they were even, the ball was knocked down behind the cage.  HFL grabbed the loose ball under pressure and looked to outlet the pass to his team.  This gave Quinn Nolan a shot at the interception.  He grabbed the loose ball near the crease and finished into the back of the net with 0:09 left on the clock.  The game went tied 3-3 into halftime.

Offensive Player of the YearPal-Mac came out of halftime and set the tone only 11 seconds into the quarter.  Face-off midfielder Nolan grabbed his own ground ball off the face and took it straight into the cage.  They won the second face-off as well, but couldn’t convert.  HF-L kept in the game with two back to back goals to take the lead.  Brassie scored his second off a feed from his brother David Brassie with a shot from the high crease.  Two minutes later, the Cougars took back the lead during a man-up goal from Perryman to Drew Angelo.  The Cougars led 5-4 with 6:59 left in the third quarter.  The Red Raider defense, led by Nichols kept them scoreless for the final 18 minutes of play.  The final goal of the third quarter was scored by Matt D’Arduini during a fast-break, with an assist coming from Riley Lich.  The game was tied 5-5 going into the final quarter.

Pal-Mac ChampsPal-Mac controlled the entire fourth quarter adding three of their own and holding the Cougars scoreless.  The Red Raiders scored two goals in the first two minutes with unassisted goals from Hoestery and Babcock.  The final goal of the contest was a man-up goal with Babcock assisting Nolan.  The Cougars had a few late shots at the goal; however, they could not capitalize.

The Red Raiders are back in action on Saturday for the first round of the State Tournament.     [BOX SCORE]       - - More images in the photo gallery.