Newtown High School’s hockey team overcame deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 to salvage a 3-3 tie against unbeaten Wilton, at Danbury Ice Arena on January 5.
David Brestovansky scored twice and Mike McCann also it the lamp for the Nighthawks who skated away with a record of 3-4-1, handing the Warriors (4-0-1) their first blemish of the campaign.
Wilton led 1-0 after one period of play and the score remained the same until late in the middle stanza.
The Warriors seized a 2-0 lead at 12:26 of the second, only to see the Nighthawks tally 1:17 later.
Brestovansky was set up by Jack O’Connell and Mattias Paltauf to pull the Nighthawks to with a goal.
Newtown evened the scored just 1:01 into the third, capitalizing on a power play when Brestovansky took a nice pass through the slot from Paltauf and netted the equalizer.
The Warriors went back in front only 38 seconds later but, undeterred, the Hawks again had the answer. McCann tied things again, with a top-corner shot assisted by Dillon Larkin and Jack Stanton, 4:08 into the final period.
Newtown threatened to go ahead less than a minute later and late in regulation but was stymied by Wilton goaltender Logan Motyka.
Paltauf was stopped on the rush just under five minutes into the third. And Paltauf set up Philip Makris for a chance which led to another Warrior penalty, with just over five minutes remaining.
Newtown couldn’t cash in on its power play chance, but continued to apply pressure.
Paltaf used his speed to get behind the defense but was denied by Motyka’s leg fully-extended toe save on a breakaway with just four seconds remaining.
Newtown goaltender Markus Paltauf previously came up with a key stop to help send the game into overtime.
Newtown, once behind 18-6 in the shots on goal department, turned things around in the second period and ended regulation being outshot just 25-23.
“As a group, their intensity level increased as the game went on,” Newtown Associate Coach Karl Boswick said. “When you look at puck possession for the whole game it was almost equal.”
Wilton had the bulk of the chances in the eight-minute overtime period, finishing the game with a 34-25 advantage in shots on goal.
Markus Paltauf came up big, including an arm save that left him hurt, causing a stoppage. Because of the injury timeout, the Newtown netminder had to exit until the next whistle, and backup Carter Ballard came in cold and came up with an essential stop on his only chance before Markus Paltauf returned to the crease to finish out the game.
In OT, Newtown’s Adam Kliczewski and Brestovansky were strong on the backcheck to prevent Wilton from compiling even more shots on net. Jonathan Radatovich blocked a shot down low and Jetson Ku had a takeaway just inside the blue line.
The game could have gone either way, the Hawks certainly had chances to win, but there is something to be said for fighting back from not one but two deficits earn a tie.
“We’ll be happy with a tie and putting a ding in their perfect record,” said Andrew Tammero, also an associate coach with the Hawks.
Tammero said Newtown has been in contention for the win in each game thus far thanks, in large part, to Markus Paltauf.
“It all starts with our goalie. He’s a freshman and he’s been lights out,” Tammero said.
“He always makes the first save in net,” added Boswick, adding that the defense is there to clear the rebound every time.