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Arguably the biggest goal of the night for the Wildcats came just 10.3 seconds before the second intermission when senior Pat Smiatacz stuffed home a power-play net-finder to cut the 'Cats' deficit to 2-1. He was assisted by Ryan Renault.
"That goal was huge," emphasized Plymouth coach Paul Fassbender. "We had a power play the last 30 seconds of the period, so it was very important that we get at least one or two quality chances. We won the face-off and the kids got the job done. That gave us a huge momentum boost."
The scrappy Wildcats deadlocked the game at 2-2 6:19 into the third period when Ryan Brown chipped home a pretty pass from Zach Gambrell. Ryan Cigile also earned a helper on the play.
However, the hosts regained a 3-2 edge just over two minutes later when Hamill fired a laser past Plymouth goalie Michael Justus, who was screened in front by a pair of Chargers.
Per their method of operations this season, the Wildcats rallied again when Colin Wright scored an unassisted goal with 6:42 to play.
A pair of sterling Plymouth defensive gems preserved the tie during the final three minutes. With 2:39 on the clock, Churchill's Steven Klisz slid a perfect pass in front to surging teammate Michael Kutek, but Justus stoned him at the doorstep.
Then with 1:30 left, the puck was teed up just a couple feet outside the crease for Churchill's Christo Papioannou, but Sanders dove on the slab of rubber a fraction of a second before Papioannou could finish his backswing.
Plymouth peppered Crouse with five last-minute shots, but he came up big each time.
"Churchill always plays fundamentally sound, so we just had to keep battling," said Fassbender. "We got in a little bit of penalty trouble for the first time all year, but I thought we killed them pretty well.
"We faced our first sign of adversity tonight and I thought we came out pretty good. We had our chances at the end, but we just couldn't put it in the net."
Ed Wright can be reached at (734) 453-1980 or firstname.lastname@example.org.