Shea's third-period hat trick leads Amity hockey team's rally past Milford
WEST HAVEN — Adam Shea takes his role as captain of the Amity hockey team seriously.
With the Spartans playing less than their best game through two periods, it is no surprise the Spartans turned to the senior leader.
Scoring three times in the third period within a span of 3 minutes, 35 seconds, Shea helped lead the Spartans to a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over Milford Wednesday at the Edward L. Bennett Rink.
“I feel as a captain, I have to be a leader,” said Shea, who finished with four goals as Amity improved to 4-2. “It is just not being vocal. It is leading on the ice as well. I love the opportunity to help my team. This is a big win for us.”
Trailing 4-2 after Milford’s Will Vitelli scored with 8:09 remaining in the third period, Shea went to work. Just 1:09 after Vitelli’s goal, Shea gave the Spartans some confidence with his goal from in front past Milford goaltender Noah Ericson.
Just 1minute later, the game was even at 4 when Shea’s shot from the left side eluded Ericson with 6 minutes to go.
After Milford (1-4-1) tried to slow the Spartans down with a timeout, Shea was at it again.
On a perfect give-and-go with Keating Seymour, he quickly knocked the puck past Ericson to give Amity the lead for good with 3:25 remaining.
“What can you say about him?” Amity assistant coach Mike Richetelli said. “He is the top player on the team and one of the top players in the state. He knows when he has to put the team on his back.
“He knows when to take the shot and when to pass. He is by no means selfish. But, he understands we need him to put the puck in the net.”
While Shea’s three goals late in the third period were decisive, it was a pass he made to Brett McNeil that turned the game around.
With Amity on the power play, Shea quickly found McNeil, who beat Ericson to cut the Amity deficit to 3-2 with 9:40 remaining in the final period.
“I feel like we can handle anything that is thrown at us,” Shea said. “We were able to come back. We did not play our best game in the first two periods. We knew we had to pick it up early.”
Amity nearly dug a hole it could not climb out of as the Indians took a 3-1 lead just 17 seconds into the third period. Zach White recorded the hat trick when he took a pass from Jonathan DePascale and beat Amity goaltender Brian Mosher on a breakaway for a shorthanded goal.
“We had them,” Milford coach Sal Follo said. “We hit the post and we had opportunities. We knew they were a good team. They came back against Cheshire and scored three goals in 40 seconds.
“We knew they weren’t going to back down. It was a good performance by us if you take away that lull. That lull killed us. We were right there with them.”
After a scoreless first period, Milford took a 1-0 lead when Jarrod Butts set up White for a breakaway goal with 7:58 left in the middle period. Amity needed just 18 seconds to respond as Zach Shelnitz and Seymour set up Shea for the equalizer.
“This team is resilient,” Richetelli said. “They never stop. We did not play our best in the first two periods and they knew it. They responded in the third period.”
Milford took a 2-1 lead with 2:50 remaining in the second period. While falling to the ice, White beat Mosher, setting up the dramatic third period.
Seymour finished with three assists for the Spartans and McNeil added a goal and an assist. Mosher played well in goal for Amity. He finished with 25 saves, including 19 in the final two periods.
“Brian Mosher was amazing again,” Richetelli said. “He did a heck of a job. As a senior, he is taking the bull by the horns. He made some huge saves to keep us in the game.”
Ericson made 29 saves for Milford. DePascale finished with three assists for the Indians.