Senior Day tilt

Three-goal third dooms Steelers in 4-4 tie

OBSERVER Photo Seniors, from left, Cooper Harris, Zachary Korzeniewski, Austin Rott and Ethan Brunner are pictured with Head Coach Michael Rakoska following Sunday’s tie.

OBSERVER Staff Report

It was not the ending the Dunkirk-Fredonia Steelers were hoping for on Senior Day Sunday morning at the Steele Hall ice arena.

After jumping out to a 3-1 lead two minutes into the second period, the Steelers failed to finish for the second straight game in tying the Orchard Park Quakers 4-4 in overtime. Senior members Cooper Harris, Austin Rott, Zachary Korzeniewski and Ethan Brunner each tallied a point or more during a day dedicated to each of them.

It was the Quakers who got on the board first, but Steelers’ leading scorer Dawson Bird tallied the equalizer with assists credited to Alexander Paluch and Rott. For Bird, it was his 11th goal of the season. Before the end of the period the Steelers took their first lead on a goal from Korzeniewski with an assist by Brunner as a power play had just expired.

Only 1:45 into the second period, Joey Yeager extended the lead to 3-1 as Harris and Tate Olson were credited with assists. Steeler defense, led by Trevor Persch, Alex Rush and Simon Davis, also limited Orchard Park to only 12 shots, through two periods as the Steelers maintained the two-game lead heading to the second intermission.

Then the Quakers turned up the heat.

Orchard Park scored two quick goals halfway through the third to tie it up and controlled play for most of the period, in which they outshot the Steelers, 13-6.

Korzeniewski, however, had an answer with just under four minutes remaining. The team captain scored his second goal to give Dunkirk-Fredonia a brief advantage with assists from Davis and Harris. Only 50 seconds later, the Quakers would tie it up.

Dunkirk-Fredonia had the advantage with shots in overtime, 4-1, but was unable to tally the winning goal. Tim Rasey made 22 saves in net for the Steelers.

With the tie, the team sits at 7-9-1 and will play its home finale against Eden-Lake Shore-Pioneer at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 3. It finishes the season on Feb. 4 in Buffalo against City Honors. The Steelers have already clinched a playoff berth in the mixed league division of the Western New York Club Hockey League.