SALEM TWP., Pa. – There is a lot of good things both teams can take away from the matchup, but it was sophomore Adis Ultanbekov and the Bishop McCort Crushers that got the win over the Kiski Area Cavaliers, 5-4 on Monday night at Center Ice Arena.
The Cavaliers’ speed and determination gave the Crushers trouble in the late stages of the second period. With McCort up by two, Micheal Rayburg cut the lead in half and Jonathan Ayres tied the game with 23 seconds remaining in the middle frame.
Kiski Area upped the pressure in the third period when Kolin Shaffer and Mason Pierce scored for a two-goal lead for the Cavaliers.
It was McCort’s Ultanbekov that stole the show in the final six minutes. Ultanbekov finished his hat-trick before recording an assist on senior Nikita Zapolski’s goal that tie the game.
Ultanbekov then finished the night with an unassisted shorthanded goal with 41 seconds remaining in the game for the win.
Cole Bradley stopped 23 of 27 in net for Bishop McCort. Eric Petika got the start for Kiski Area. Petika stopped 26 of 31 shots on goal.
Bishop McCort will head back to Johnstown to face shared ice rival Westmont Hilltop for their home opener at the War Memorial on Tuesday, Oct. 8. The last time these two team meant was on Jan. 29, 2019, which ended in a 7-3 win for the Crushers.
Kiski Area will play their second of three home games to open the season as they host Sewickley Academy on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at Center Ice Arena. The last time these two teams played was on Feb. 12, 2018, which was a 5-3 win for the Panthers.