Shen hockey team loses regional heartbreaker in overtime

Hitchko struck again for Shen barely three minutes into third period to tie the game at 2. That tie held up the rest of regulation, as Schlegel and Mellow took turns making superb saves.

Not only were the goalies solid, but each team's defensive unit also continued to shine. Tim Bubnack and Ryan Michel were excellent for West Genesee, while Scott Brayden and Alec Pacheco led Shen's back line. They also each finished with an assist.

"It's always defense first with us," Schlegel said. "We always make sure we do the right things and get our chances.

"The three overtimes, we were all exhausted, but the adrenaline was just pumping through us, and we knew that we had to bury our chances," he added. "We were all confident that we would get it done."

After two 7-minute, 30-second extra periods with no scoring, the teams went back to the locker room for a much-needed break as the ice was cleared one last time. According to state tournament rules, if neither team scores after four overtimes, then a shootout would occur.

The game was now into its fourth hour, and it was evident that fatigue was setting in on both sides. The first five minutes of the third overtime were sloppily yet evenly played until Haney ended the hard-fought and exhausting game with his 21st goal of the season.

Schlegel shined in the net for the Wildcats during a night where Shen took more than twice as many shots as West Genesee. He made 35 saves in all, while Mellow finished with 17 saves for the Plainsmen.""

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