Pollard lifts BBA in overtime

MANCHESTER -- Brock Pollard streaked across the blue line and uncorked what looked like the game-winning shot. The puck, free behind the pads of Peoples Academy goaltender Lukas Caldwell, skidded through the crease toward the net before veering right and meeting the post.

The goal lamp flashed -- prematurely -- but Pollard never wavered.

"I didn't even see it. My eyes were glued on the puck," said the Burr and Burton Academy senior forward. "I was bummed it didn't go in and I was like, 'This puck is going in the net.'"

With a diving stab on the follow-up effort, Pollard nudged the rebound across the line to secure a 2-1 overtime victory for the Bulldogs on Saturday night at Riley Rink.

The deciding tally came more than 46 minutes after Pollard's first. Between the two, Caldwell amassed 51 saves in a standout effort that confounded the Bulldogs and nearly stole the show for Peoples (1-8).

"It was pretty frustrating to get that first goal [in the first minute] and you think it's going to be a field day out there," Pollard said.

The win was the fifth straight for the Bulldogs (6-3) since dropping three games in a row, the last a 5-4 defeat against Hartford on Dec. 28.

"Obviously we were playing against a hot goalie tonight -- he stood on his head -- and you've got to get a rebound," said BBA coach Cory Herrington. "It was fortunate Brock was able to follow his shot. We're happy to get out of here with an overtime win."

Burr and Burton got on track -- and on the scoreboard -- early when Pollard deflected a chest-high shot from Andy Izzo through Caldwell's legs for the opener 52 seconds into the contest.

But the Wolves kept the hosts from seeing many more chances like it and Caldwell was able to track most of his 21 first period saves all the way to the crease.

Sean Paradis had two clear scoring chances in the stanza but Caldwell stuffed his backhanded effort with seven minutes gone and Paradis found the right post with a wrister at the 12-minute mark.

"They did a good job boxing it in and keeping the puck on the perimeter," Herrington said. "Those guys worked hard and their goalie in particular was just outstanding."

BBA continued to dominate play into the second period but the Wolves broke through to equalize with 5:05 remaining.

In an odd sequence, a Peoples player was taken down on a breakaway as he fired at the net. BBA goalie Zack Stewart (13 saves) appeared to stop the initial shot but Gavin Judd knocked the off-balance rebound past him and, along with two teammates, followed the puck into the net.

The squads left for the second intermission tied, 1-1. The Wolves' goal was the only blemish on a strong first two periods for the Bulldogs, who held a 34-6 edge in shots by that point.

"If we compete we're going to have success and I thought we competed very hard for the first two periods tonight but unfortunately we weren't rewarded for our effort," Herrington said.


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