WILKES-BARRE —In his moment of greatness, Back Mountain goalkeeper Corey McAndrew was thinking about cake.
Crestwood’s Thomas Armstrong escaped McAndrew and his Blackhawks defenders for an open-shot opportunity at a game-winning overtime goal.
everting back to teammate Logan Obes’ promise of his grandmother’s post-victory strawberry-with-vanilla-icing cake, McAndrew lunged in front of an empty net and miraculously deflected it away with his paddle.
Seconds later, Tom Brady scored the game-winning goal to give Back Mountain a 5-4 overtime victory over Crestwood in Monday’s Casey Classic championship at the Toyota Sportsplex.
“Logan Obes told us that we’d get cake if we won the game,” McAndrew said. “(Armstrong) got by me, and I was like, ‘I want cake’. I was thinking it was my all-or-nothing save. I just went for it.”
Eric Yenchak cleared the puck from the defensive zone. Brady picked up the puck and skated off on a breakaway. He connected on a high-left shot that went past the goalkeeper for the win with 7:32 remaining.
“He said he took a slapshot, which is kind of weird. I ended up getting a breakaway off the corner,” Brady said. “I hit it. I didn’t see it going in. The minute I realized it went in, I had people jumping on me from behind.”
Crestwood dropped its fourth consecutive Casey Classic championship. Back Mountain takes its first Casey Classic championship since 2010, with Valley West winning the last two titles.
After dominating the second period to give it a 4-1 lead, Crestwood was plagued by four penalties in the third period. Sporting a two-goal lead in the final 10 minutes, the Comets allowed two power-play goals.
“Some penalties hurt us,” Crestwood coach Paul Eyerman said. “They took some key people off the ice in key times.”
Back Mountain’s Eric Smith finished a hat trick with the game-tying goal at the 7:53 mark in the third period. Smith also added an assist on the game.
“We had momentum,” Smith said. “We were just having fun. We were just out there playing hockey. They had a couple of opportunities; we buried the one. That’s all that matters.”
McAndrew finished with 36 saves. Crestwood’s Max Kushner had 20 stops.
“(At one point), I lost my total energy. I was done,” McAndrew said. “I went back to the bench. The whole team was screaming. They kept me going.”
Smith started the Blackhawks’ scoring barrage just 19 seconds into the third. He threw it on net and escaped a screen to poke it into the net to make it a 4-2 deficit.
Andrew Bobynskyj scored two goals for the Comets. Armstrong provided one goal, and Matthew Madry scored one.
Back Mountain 5, Crestwood 4, OT
Back Mountain`1`0`3`1` — 5
Crestwood`1`3`0`0` — 4
1st Period- 1. CRE Thomas Armstrong (Tanner Kahlau), 6:22; 2. BM Eric Smith (Tom Brady), 5:33. Penalties- CRE Skylar Swavely (interference), 13:32; BM Logan Obes (tripping), 9:09
2nd Period- 3. CRE Andrew Bobynskyj, 9:01; 4. CRE Bobynskyj, 5:11; 5. CRE Matthew Madry (Ryan Kelly), 4:18; Penalties- BM Obes (holding), 3:43; CRE Madry (high sticking), 2:38.
3rd Period- 6. BM Smith (Alex Frear), 14:41; 7. BM Brady (Smith) PP, 9:42; 8. BM Smith (Obes) PP, 7:53; Penalties- BM Brady (cross-checking), 13:41; CRE Kelly (tripping), 11:24; CRE Kelly (roughing), 8:39; CRE Kelly (head contact), 8:39; CRE Kelly (misconduct), 8:39
Overtime- 9. BM Brady (Eric Yenchak), 7:43
Shots on Goal- BM 7-9-8-1-25; CRE 14-9-13-7-40
Power Play Opportunities- BM 2/5, CRE 0/3 .
Goalies- BM Corey McAndrew 36, CRE Max Kushner 20