HOCKEY: Iadipaolo's Late Shorthanded Heroics Lift Saline into a 4-4 Tie, Keep SEC Red Title in Reach


Mateo Iadipoalo completed the hat trick with 1:15 remaining in regulation to lift Saline into a 4-4 tie with Skyline as the SEC Red rivals battled Tuesday at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube.

Saline is tied with Pioneer atop the SEC Red with 13 points. Skyline has 12. Saline finishes the conference schedule with home games against Huron and Bedford.

As ties go, it felt like a victory for the Hornets who, in the thick of the race for the SEC Red, could not afford to finish the game without a point. The Hornets were down 4-2 with 5:18 to play when Chris Thornell was assessed a major penalty. Things couldn't look much bleaker for the Hornets, as Skyline appeared poised to pass Saline and leapfrog Pioneer in the standings.

Early in the five-minute major, Captain Iadipaolo raced down the ice, forced a turnover behind the goal, and centered it to Blake Woodall. Woodrel's shot was stopped, but the rebound slid into the low slot where the always-moving Iadipaolo got there first and slid a backhand into the goal to make it 4-3 with 4:43 to play.

Iadipaolo didn't even celebrate. He glared at the Skyline bench on the way back to the Saline bench, where he didn't crack a smile during the goal celebration.

Time still wasn't on the Hornets' side. Nor was the manpower advantage for Skyline. But the PK units mostly kept the Eagles' skaters to the perimeter, and goalie Tyler Schroeder, breakaways and odd man rushes through the night, held the Hornets in the game.

Then, with 1:15 to play in the third, Iadipaolo raced down the center of the ice, one-on-one with a defenseman. The Eagle forced Iadipaolo wide of the net, but Iadipaolo got to the loose puck and, from behind the net, quickly whipped the puck into the goalie's pads. The puck ricocheted off the pads and into the net.  


Iadipaolo scored two shorthanded goals in the final in a little more than 3 minutes and the game went to overtime, where neither team could solve each other's goalie one final time.

Early in the game, it didn't feel like Saline would need a miracle comeback to salvage a point out of the game. The Hornets carried the play and Iadipaolo opened the scoring 12 minutes into the contest.  Iadipaolo was on the right wall when he took a pass from Woodrel, turned on the jets and curled into the center of the ice, split two Eagles and then fired the puck past Benny Billings, who played very well in the first period for Skyline. 


A couple of late penalties in the period seemed to sap the Hornets of some of their energy. A goalie interference call on Iadipaolo late in the period resulted in Skyline's first goal. Schroeder made a good save on the first shot, but Aidan Moran got the rebound and put it under Schroeder's pad to tie the game with 10 seconds left in the period.

The Hornets lost all their mojo in the second period. They had trouble making passes and accepted passes. In transition, the Hornets coughed up the puck in the neutral zone, leading to several great scoring chances. 

Eric Van Alstine scored two goals in the second period to give Skyline a 3-1 lead, which could have been bigger if Schroeder hadn't held the fort for Saline.

The Hornets were outshot 14-5 in the second period.

That malaise continued to infect the Hornets into the third period until the Hornets' third line scored a goal in lunchpail fashion. The Hornets cycled the puck around the zone for a while when Wyatt Church got the puck at the right point, skated along the wall, and whipped a low wrister toward the net, where Jack Boyle got a stick on the puck and deflected it past Billings. Saline was within 1.


Unfortunately for the Hornets, a neutral zone turnover led to another breakaway and Shane Roberts went to the backhand to beat Schroeder.

Schroder was perfect from there, helping kill off the five-minute major and making four saves in overtime. He stopped 32 of 36 shots.

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