By: Michael Gyssels
In a thrilling contest, tightly contested until the final seconds, your Forest Hill Falcons boys hockey team advanced to the Semi-Finals with a 4-3 victory over the Lawrence Park Panthers.
With only 10 skaters standing in front of goaltender Zain Jaffrey, and without some notable players, including Captain Jonah Wood, prospects for the boys seemed grim. As if by design, the Panthers scored within the first two minutes of the game.
However, Jaffrey responded with a flurry of big saves to preserve the teams chances—and with it their hopes for the season. Adam Lim rewarded his goaltender with late first period goal, assisted by Jake Walsh, with only 34 seconds remaining in the period.
In the second period, the Falcons surged ahead with goals by Charlie Peterson (assisted by Dean Smith) and Jake Walsh (unassisted). The Falcons found themselves in hot water late in the second. After the Panthers scored to bring the game to the 3-2, Forest Hill earned themselves a 5-on-3 situation, but strong penalty-killing by Cole Chypya, Smith, Lim, and Walsh, Andrew Ellison, and Marco Della Sieppe, the Falcons avoided disaster and entered the 3rd period with a 3-2 advantage.
The Falcons opened the third period in much the same fashion that they finished the second; with superhuman endurance under the circumstances, the boys grinded down the opposing defense eventually leading to a goal on a great individual effort by Dean Smith.
After a questionably high stick brought the Panthers to within one, at 4-3, the depleted—but resilent—defense corps of Chypya, Josh Silver, Ellison, and Andrea Fabbiano weathered a furious storm for the final 8 minutes to secure the team’s first win of the season and a second round berth.
The FHCI coaching staff also wants to take the opportunity to commend the boys on a tremendous effort. They are unequivocally proud of everything the team has accomplished this year.