NEVILLE TWP., PA — Matty Knizner played the role of hero in overtime as the Franklin Regional Panthers defeated the South Fayette Lions 3-2 in overtime on Tuesday night at the Robert Morris Island Sports Center.
The outcome wasn’t etched in stone at any point, really, as the Panthers never held a lead before a Zachary Zeto point shot was tipped through Timmins via Knizner.
“That was what we didn’t plan on,” Panthers head coach John Winebrenner said. “We wanted to start with the lead and get the first goal, but unfortunately we didn’t so we had to work harder and get back in this one”
To get his team back into the game, the team relied on senior captain Chase Williams, who scored the first tying goal on a bouncing puck at 1:17 of the third, and his second of the contest after Jackson Brandebura covered the puck in the crease with his glove at 13:15.
Who else but Chase Williams.
— Mitch (@PHD_Mitch) March 16, 2022
After South Fayette took a 1-0 lead only :17 into the contest, the two teams shifted back to the calculated, fundamentally sound styles they’ve been known for for years, and allowed their pillars Alex Rauber (Franklin Regional, 28 saves) and Timmins (23 saves) to carry them through the remaining 33-or-so minutes remaining before the cut.
The Lions regained the lead prior to the second Williams goal as Wes Schwarzmiller’s backhand shot through the legs of Rauber at the 8:26 mark regained the lead for South Fayette temporarily.
Franklin Regional heads to UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township, PA for the Class-2A championship, where the Thomas Jefferson Jaguars await. Face-off is scheduled for 6:30p.m. on March 22.