WHITE TWP., Pa. — The IUP Crimson Hawks (19-7-1, 10-2 CHMA) used two goals from Dom Glavach, including the overtime game-winner, to come from behind and defeat the John Carroll Blue Streaks (17-7-2, 6-4-1 CHMA) 4-3 Saturday at S&T Bank Arena. It was a fitting end to “Sam Kelly Night,” in which IUP honored their former head coach/general manager, Sam Kelly, as he was posthumously inducted into the ACHA Hall of Fame Class of 2021 in a pregame ceremony.
Kelly, who led the team from 1988-2006, also served in several executive roles with the American Collegiate Hockey Association. He was the Men’s Division 3 Vice President from 2003-2010 and Commissioner from 2019 until his death on March 17, 2020. He was three weeks shy of his 61st birthday. He is survived by his wife, Marianne, and sons Nicholas and Sam (Sarah).
Kelly managed an overall record of 406-227-51 in the ACHA. He won 11 regular-season championships, 4 conference playoff championships, and made 10 ACHA National Tournament appearances. Those 10 national appearances translated to two trips to the Men’s Division 2 semifinals. He was also named the 2004 ACHA Men’s Division 2 National Coach of the Year. Despite all of those accolades, Marianne said that to Kelly, it wasn’t all about the wins and losses.
“Sam knew he was appreciated. Not because people would say ‘Man you had a great record’ or ‘Your team was really good.’ It was because numerous people throughout his career and his life would say ‘You really helped me at a time when I needed it the most’,” Marianne said after the pregame ceremony.
“Yes, he enjoyed his victories, but that was the aspect that meant the most to him.”
Kelly was instrumental in bring hockey to Indiana County. His countless youth hockey programs, time as head coach of Indiana High School, and his love of both the game of hockey and seeing it’s players grow on and off the ice are just a few of the reasons why the ACHA Hall of Fame is the perfect place for Kelly.
Pregame photos: https://majorphoto.zenfolio.com/p981100197
Saturday night’s game ended in exactly the way that most would agree Sam Kelly would have enjoyed. After Gavin Cummings scored with just 45 seconds remaining in the third period, Glavach tied the game 3-3 with 19 seconds remaining. It was Glavach again, this time in overtime, who scored the game-winning goal to secure the 4-3 victory.
”We know Sam was smiling down on us at the end of the game and we hope that he was able to see the game and pray that he enjoyed the results,” head coach Joe Honzo said after the game.
With two minutes left in the game and a power play coming up, IUP trailed 3-1 and called a timeout. Honzo knew he had to draw up the right play. It all started with the faceoff. “We diagramed what we’d do if we win the draw, what we’d do if we lose the draw,” Honzo said after the game.
“The main goal was just to get everything to the net,” Glavach elaborated. That was actually the plan for the entire game, but John Carroll goaltender Nate Canva made that difficult for most of the game.
Except for a first period Jordan Adams goal from a 2-on-0 rush by Adams and Jamie Mauro, Cava stopped everything IUP threw his way.
His stellar goaltending was enough support for his Blue Streaks teammates to score three unanswered in response to IUP’s opening goal. Early on the second period, Tyler Putnam tied the game 1-1 for the Blue Streaks. James Grable scored just five minutes later to give John Carroll it’s first lead of the game, 2-1, at 11:25 of the period.
Then, at exactly the same time of the third, Ethan Miller added to John Carroll’s lead to make it 3-1 Blue Streaks. That’s where things took a turn back to IUP. With a power play and an extra attacker from goaltender Tyler Hawk heading to the bench, it was too much for Canva or his Blue Streak defenders to handle.
Canva ended the night stopping 32 out of 36 shots. IUP goaltender Tyler Hawk stopped 26 out of 29 for the win.
The Crimson Hawks will play their final conference games next weekend, hosting the Pitt Panthers on Friday, Feb. 4 and traveling to face the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday, Feb. 5.
John Carroll will look to clinch a playoff spot next Friday, Feb. 4, against Robert Morris at Gilmour Academy Ice Arena.
MAJOR FOCUS: IUP DEFEATS JOHN CARROLL IN DRAMATIC COME-FROM-BEHIND FASHION