ICE HOCKEY Poland tied, 6-6, by Hoover on Bush's goal with :18 left
Robby Wyand and Brett Pitzulo had given the Bulldogs a 6-5 lead.
By GREG GULAS
BOARDMAN -- Brian Bush's goal with 18 seconds remaining lifted North Canton Hoover to a 6-6 tie with Poland, in Northeast Ohio High School Hockey Association action Saturday at the Ice Zone.
"Our kids played hard tonight, especially in the third period," Hoover coach Blake Little said. "We pulled our goalie with 42 seconds remaining, hoping to put the pressure on, then dodged a bullet when one of their shots narrowly missed going into our net.
"We got a shot off the face-off, then got the rebound off the net, which allowed Brian to bury it."
First tie: The tie was the first this season for both teams, as the Vikings moved to 16-6-1 overall and 3-2-1 in the league, while Poland, which entered the game having lost four of its last five contests, now sports a 10-7-1 mark and a 3-5-1 ledger in league play.
"We would have liked to have finished the game but just couldn't," Bulldogs' coach Jim Cowan said. "It was a good effort by our team, but we needed to be more aggressive on both our shot and rebound attempts.
"Our goalie, Cody Hiznay, had a good game, having stopped 29 shots by the Vikings. It was an aggressive game that was well played by both teams."
Crish score: Brandon Palsa got the Vikings on the board first just 3:15 into the game, but the Bulldogs stormed right back 26 seconds later on a Jack Crish goal to knot the score at one goal apiece.
Bush then scored the first of his three goals, the only unassisted goal of the game at 7:39, and it was 2-1 in favor of North Canton Hoover after the first period.
Brett Pitzulo, Kenny Toth and Drew Souder added goals for the Bulldogs in the second period, offsetting goals by Bush and Glenn Ireland. After the first 30 minutes of action, the game was knotted at 4-4.
"Robby Wyand and Brett Pitzulo work well together," Cowan said. "They have been like that all season long for us."
Poland leads: An Ireland power play goal at 11:54 of the third period gave the Vikings a 5-4 advantage, but Wyand (6:38) and Pitzulo (5:25) scored 1 minute, 13 seconds apart in the middle of the period for a 6-5 Bulldog advantage.
Ireland then assisted on Bush's goal that tied the score, giving both he and Bush three goals on the night for their efforts.
"Glenn Ireland has been our go-to guy all season; he's there when we need him and tonight was no different," Little said. "We have three lines and were able to utilize all of them tonight. That was definitely an advantage for us."
Both teams had 35 shots on goal. In addition to the Vikings' Bush and Ireland with three goals apiece, Pitzulo finished with two goals and two assists for Poland, with Wyand adding three assists and a goal for the Bulldogs, as well.