NORTH ADAMS -- Wahconah hockey coach Don Disbrow knew the obvious Saturday afternoon: Ludlow's boys didn't want to get run off the ice.
But he knew that the Lions' rally from three goals down to tie the Warriors at 3 wasn't just about Ludlow's intensity.
"I think we got a step slower on that forecheck," Disbrow said of the fateful third period Saturday. "I kept telling the kids we weren't getting side-to-side quick enough."
Jeff Hancock's second goal of the game chased Ludlow goalie Nick Dunn 5 minutes, 4 seconds into the third period and gave Wahconah a 3-0 lead. Ludlow, though, responded with two goals in the next 2:26 to get back within a goal.
Brad Garete's penalty shot 8:07 into the period, his second goal of the game, was the one that drew the Lions even.
It was the second time this week that Wahconah had faltered in the third period; Taconic scored four times in the final period Wednesday to beat the Warriors at the Boys & Girls Club of Pittsfield.
Still, Disbrow was pleased with goalie Nico Romano's performance. He wants Romano to make the first save, but he then expects the defense to do the rest and prevent a second shot on goal.
"His angles were great," Disbrow said of Romano. "I didn't see him off an angle the whole [game]. He didn't have to be quick side-to-side, because we were doing a fantastic job as a team. That's what we focused on this week, covering in front."
Vincent Orlandi put Wahconah on the board first, scoring on assists from Andrew Beaudoin and Devon Battaini just 2:13 into the game. Hancock knocked in a goal at the 7:03 mark of the second, and did it again a little more than 5 minutes into the third.
Ludlow's Alex Will came out in goal in place of Dunn, and made seven saves in the third.
"We were shooting, shooting, shooting and nothing was going in," Ludlow assistant Derek Chandonnet said. "The goalie [Romano] seemed like he got a lot of confidence.
"In the third period, we just kept banging away, and finally, the dam broke."
The Warriors are back on the ice Monday afternoon at Chicopee, a 2 p.m. faceoff. They return home Wednesday for an 8:30 p.m. game against Mount Everett.
Hancock said the team lifts itself and its goalie by encouraging him to push through the tough periods.
"We skate harder and harder and boost our morale," he said.
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