By Warren Kozireski–
Eighth-grader Brian Judge rifled in a pass from Brendan Haims 5:30 into the second overtime period to give Pittsford a 3-2 victory over Fairport in the Class A Section V hockey championship.
The Panthers scored at 6:48 of the first period with a goal from Hayden Feck after Zack Quinton forced an offensive zone turnover and they made that lead stand up until the third.
Fairport finally tied the game with a power play goal at 7:26 of the third as Caleb Kaiser fed Travis Knicley a cross-ice feed for a one-timer.
The Red Raiders took a 2-1 lead 100 seconds later when Mitchell Zanon banged in the rebound from a Colin Herington shot.
But the Panthers got the equalizer on the power play with Feck sitting back-door and receiving a perfect pass from Ronin VanDamme.
Judge set up to the left side of the net in the second overtime where Haims found him with a pass from the right point for the game-winner.
“He found me; we have pretty good chemistry,” Judge said about his game-winning goal. “Before the shot the puck was rolling so I thought I was going to miss the net high. Then the puck went in and everybody came over—it all happened so fast.”
Pittsford was outshot in the contest 45-23, but junior goaltender Alex Tidd was solid including a miraculous recovery to stop a rebound attempt seven minutes into the third period while Fairport was on the power play trying to tie the game.
“Going into the third period, we were trending so high,” Tidd said. “After that save on the penalty kill I knew from that instant that we’re not going to lose this game. I don’t think anything I’ve done compares to that.”
The victory marked the fifth Section V crown that Pittsford has won under head coach Steve Thering.
“It was an absolute war; guys dug deep because Fairport had us pinned down at times, but we knew it would take one bounce and Brian Judge finished it for us.”
The Panthers advance to the Division I state tournament regional round where they play Syracuse/Corcoran at 7:30pm Saturday in Syracuse.
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