PITTSFIELD -- Taconic's hockey team had experienced too many third-period letdowns this season. They didn't want another one Wednesday night -- especially against a county rival like Wahconah.
"I know I was thinking about it. These guys probably were, too," Braves forward Shane Tierney said. "We didn't want to let it happen again."
The Braves finally got their scoring opportunities in the third, and turned those into some big goals. Three goals in the first 4 minutes of the final period allowed Taconic to erase a Warrior lead, and the Braves hung on for a 4-3 win at the Boys & Girls Club.
After a pair of slow periods, the Braves' pace car showed up in the third. Connor Conant put a wrist shot past Wahconah goalie Nico Romano just 45 seconds into the period, and that was followed by Steven Poripski's power-play goal not even a minute later. Brandon Peaslee, who had assisted on Poripski's goal, scored off a Harrison Rapant feed 3:47 into the third to give Taconic its first lead of the game at 3-2.
Tierney's goal at the 7:13 mark gave the Braves breathing room they'd need in the last minutes of the game. Braves coach Stephen Terpak said the third-period flurry was a result of both paying attention to X's and O's and motivation -- which he said the entire Taconic staff emphasized in the second intermission.
"We had a lot of opportunities, but we didn't capitalize [in the second period]," Terpak said. "They responded to both of those. It was all the kids that executed."
With his team on a power play, Wahconah's Pat Jamross beat Taconic goalie Brenden Leary at the 8:25 mark of the third to cut the Braves' lead to a goal. From there, though, Leary and the Braves' defense -- which, like the other Taconic lines, had been switched up with strategies in mind -- kept the Warriors from getting the tying goal.
Wahconah pulled Romano for an extra skater in the final 30 seconds, but couldn't score the equalizer. Taconic's bench emptied for a quick celebration of the Braves' biggest win so far this season.
"We were forechecking more and just pounding the net with everything," Tierney said. "[Romano] made some good saves the first two periods, but we just cracked the code."
Nate Lapine scored the game's first goal, beating Leary 3:12 into the first period. Devon Battaini assisted on both Warrior goals in the first period, as Mike Bloom's goal at the 8:15 mark of the first made it a 2-0 Wahconah lead.
Harrison Rapant had a pair of assists for Taconic.
"I think the first two periods, we came out playing our game plan," Wahconah assistant coach Chris Montferret said. "We were moving our feet and skating hard getting to the puck.
"Frankly, we came out very flat in the third period, and we let Taconic take the play to us. They skated really hard and we didn't recover well."
With his team picking up two straight wins over county opponents, Tierney hopes the Braves can continue their solid play both on offense and in general.
"I feel like we're on a roll, and I really hope it keeps going," he said. "We have to keep attacking, [and] just getting the puck [in] the net by doing whatever we can."
- - -
Taconic 0 0 4 -- 4
Wahconah 2 0 1 -- 3
W -- Nate Lapine (Devon Battaini), 3:12
W -- Mike Bloom (Jeff Hancock, Battaini), 8:15
T -- Connor Conant (Shane Tierney), 0:45
T -- Steven Poripski (Brandon Peaslee), 1:33 (PP)
T -- Peaslee (Harrison Rapant), 3:47
T -- Tierney (Andy Cella, Rapant), 7:13
W -- Pat Jamross (Bloom, Dan Flynn), 8:25 (PP)
Goalies: T -- Brenden Leary. W -- Nico Romano.