Lyndon tops Johnson in OT, earns NAC playoff berth
JOHNSON, Vt. – Lyndon erased a seven-goal, second-half deficit by scoring nine fourth period goals to force overtime. Chris Mansour (Mansfield, Mass.) scored the game-winning goal with :23 seconds remaining left in the extra session to lift the Hornets to a 14-13 victory over Johnson. The win propels Lyndon into the North Atlantic Conference playoffs where it will face Maine Maritime Academy. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday in Castine, Maine.
Mansour would finish with a game-high six goals on the day while Ryan Brown (St. Johnsbury, Vt.) and Dan Randall (Delmar, N.Y.) each added a trio of scores for Lyndon. Johnson saw Alex Petti scored five times with Justin Connolly tallying four goals and Matt Dekens netting three. Lyndon's Matt Reynolds (New Fairfield, Conn.) made 11 stops to pick up the win in goal for Lyndon. Branden Sawyer played all but four minutes to open the fourth period making 10 stops.
Johnson's Justin Connolly scored just :22 seconds into the contest to give JSC the early lead but Lyndon would respond with three consecutive goals to gain a 3-1 advantage.Another Connolly goal and a Justin Nelson knot the score at 3-3 at the end of the first period. The host Badgers would rattle off six unanswered goals in the second stanza with three coming from Petti and two from Dekens as Johnson appeared to be in control with a 9-3 lead at the half.
JSC's Dekens and Lyndon's Brown would trade goals in quiet third period to make the score 10-4 and set the stage for the Lyndon comeback.
Randall opened the period with a man-up goal with 14:29 left to play and Mansour would win the resulting face-off and drive the Johnson goal for another score just 12 seconds later to make the score 10-5 and the give the Hornets momentum. Both teams would score three times each over the next three minutes the tired teams exchanged quick strikes. Two more quick Lyndon goals, one by Mansour and another by Brown with 9:29 left to play made it 13-11. There the score would remain until the 2:45 mark with Mansour took a feed from Brown and scored to cut the lead to one.
Randall would knot the score at 13 just 10 seconds on a feed from Nathan Rivard (Enosburg Falls, Vt.) later beat Johnson's Sawyer with 2:35 left in the game and setting the stage for Mansour's overtime heroics. Mansour's would receive a pass from the right side as he cut to the middle, take a step, and sling the shot to the top left corner lifting the Hornets into the playoffs and ending the Badgers post-season hopes.