Just 10 seconds into sudden death overtime, Davis broke loose from the center-ice faceoff, cut right to the Francis Howell Central goal and slipped a shot past Spartans goalie Ethan Taplin for a shocking an euphoric 4-3 victory in the Founders Cup Championship on Friday night at Hardees Iceplex in Chesterfield.
The victory was the number two seed Indians first in three games against Howell Central, and their second championship in four seasons since winning the 2014 Wickenheiser Cup.
“I saw that guy cut to the left, so I went to the left a little bit, and it came back and hit my stick and I ended up going to the left side and was able to get it into the five-hole,” Davis said. “Coach told us the whole game just put the puck on the net and it will go in and it finally did.”
Goals were tough get early in the first period, as each club had decent chances but could not score.
Late in the first period, Howell Central (5-15-2) got on top thanks to a power play goal from forward Tyler Bradley for a 1-0 edge.
Cory Moats extended the lead to 2-0 with a goal with 3:18 left to go in the second period and the Spartans looked like they would run away.
Holt (7-13-2) was not about to let that happen. “We told the kids, it’s hard to beat a team three times,” Holt coach Tim Corry said. ” Maybe the kids thought we lost the game the way it started, but we always tried to remind them that its hard to beat a team three times and as long as their is time on the clock there is a chance.”
Austin Schocklee got Holt back into it with a goal in the final minute of the second frame to make it 2-1.
Moats answered for Howell Central with another goal just 12 seconds into the third stanza to reestablish the two-goal cushion.
Then Holt junior forward Logan Conroy came up big, reviving the Indians with a goal at 7:43 and then Conroy scored the equalizer for the Indians with just 1:19 left to force a 5-5.
Conroy’s tallies erased the second two-goal deficit of the night for Holt.
“Conroy is a kid who scores a lot of clutch goals,” Holt coach Tim Corry said. “He scored a lot of big goals for us, we rely on him and he came up big today.”
In the overtime, the Indians had the momentum, and wasted no time capitalizing as Davis got the biggest goal of his prep career just 10 seconds into the extra period to send the Holt faithful into a frenzy.
“Coach told us not to look down at this game because they had beaten two times already,” Davis said. “He just to us to come and play hard and It’s pretty nice. It’s good feeling to get this one.”
Frustration was the primary emotion for top-seeded Howell Central, as the Spartans, who fell to Marquette in the Wickenheiser Cup Final last year, dropped their second straight championship game appearance after watching two two-goal leads vanish.
“We knew they had it in them to beat us and late in the game we thought we kind of had it,” Howell Central coach Adam Saito said. “I thought we got a little bit complacent and it kind of costs us but it happens. We’ve been here twice now and as an organization we now have to figure out a way to put games away.”