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The Crusaders' anger was directed inwardly and not just because Spellman tied the game with 28 seconds left in the third period. That goal was just the culmination of a sub-par third period for McClancy."We're basically a JV team with four varsity players," McClancy coach Mike Brenneis said. "We're doing a great job, but we're young and we still need to learn how to win. We need to learn how to finish off games."Stephen Ferguson put McClancy (3-1-1 CHSHL 'C') in front 6-5, 2:53 into the third period - his fourth goal of the game. But from there, Spellman (5-0-1) dominated, especially in the final five minutes of the third period, despite killing three penalties.On the third McClancy power play, Ferguson and Anthony Vennitti both received roughing minors for a scrap with 2:41 left in the game. And the Crusaders were without two of its four players with varsity experience.Shorthanded Spellman took it to McClancy with relentless pressure inside the Crusaders' blue line but Sean Rock, the club's lone senior, stood on his head. The goaltender made 37 saves, including back-to-back stops on Steven Mele and Ben Marcus with 50 seconds left.But Spellman would get its deserved equalizer after McClancy iced the puck. The Falcons won the face-off and Joe Havranek snuck the puck past Rock through a screen. Spellman even had a chance to win it but Rock stopped Mele with 13 seconds left."We're upset at ourselves, we're upset that we took stupid penalties at the end," Ferguson said. "We should be in first place in this league but we're not playing up to our potential."McClancy took a 1-0 lead with 9:28 left in the first period on Zach Hutwagner's first of two goals. But Spellman erupted for three goals in a span of 3:06 before Ferguson ended the first period with his first goal."I don't think everyone was ready," Rock said. "Our last two games were too easy. We came in here and thought it would be a breeze. We got the first goal tonight and thought the game was over."Power play goals by Mele and Nick Bellaby as well as Ferguson's second goal of the game, put Spellman in front, 5-3, with 2:35 left in the second period.But McClancy closed the second period with goals by Ferguson and Hutwagner 44 seconds apart to reduce the Crusaders' deficit to 5-4 heading into the third period.Spellman, which has four points in two games against McClancy and is already four points clear of the Crusaders atop the CHSHL 'C' standings, dominated the final 15 minutes. McClancy is hoping to change its fortunes in a rematch Thursday in Yonkers."Hopefully," Ferguson said. "this is a wakeup call."Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2006 Community Newspaper Group
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