ADRIAN, Mich.--The Adrian College American Collegiate Hockey Association Division 2 men's hockey team saw a 3-1 lead evaporate late, as the visiting Toledo Rockets scored three times in the game’s final nine minutes, including a game-winner with just under 50 seconds remaining to escape with a hard- fought 4-3 win over the Bulldogs in Adrian’s season opener on Thursday night at Arrington Ice Arena.
In a physical game which saw the two teams combine for 22 penalties for 47 minutes, Toledo’s Eric Marson scored the only goal of the first period to give the Rockets a 1-0 advantage after twenty minutes.
Adrian roared back in the second period as Jack Clary connected on the power play goal with an assist from Ben Hamilton at the 8:39 mark of the period and Hamilton scored again fifty-nine seconds later to give Adrian a 2-1 lead.
Dalton Anderson raised the Bulldog advantage to 3-1 early in the third period on a beautiful breakaway goal that beat Toledo goaltender Brendan Duff over the shoulder to the delight of the partisan Bulldog crowd.
Penalties would catch up to the Bulldogs, however, as Toledo got back into the game with a pair of power play goals from Ian Rapp and Zach Felsner, to tie the game at three. The game looked to be headed to overtime after Adrian goaltender Drake Koegel turned in several outstanding saves down the stretch, including stopping Toledo’s Ryan Rapp point blank on a breakaway, but Cody Estrel was able to produce the game winner for the Rockets with just 49.7 seconds on the board, his first goal of the season.
In all, Koegel was able to stop 26 shots for Adrian while Duff turned away 36 shots in the Toledo net.
The Bulldogs next action will be Friday, October 13, when they welcome the Central Michigan University Chippewas to Arrington Ice Arena for a 3:00 pm matinee.
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--David Van Geison