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Ballard’s goal lifts Hawks past Capital in overtime

Kendrick Ballard (#23) receives the game ball after scoring the winning goal in Wednesday's 9-8 overtime win against Capital. (Photo by Wesley Lyle)
Kendrick Ballard (#23) receives the game ball after scoring the winning goal in Wednesday's 9-8 overtime win against Capital. (Photo by Wesley Lyle)

By Chuck Tidmore

Sports Information Assistant 

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Kendrick Ballard scored with a little more than two minutes left in overtime to give Huntingdon a 9-8 win over Capital on a hot Wednesday afternoon.

Tied 7-7 late in the fourth quarter, Capital scored with 1:45 left to take an 8-7 lead. After winning the faceoff, the Hawks took a timeout to setup their final possession.

Huntingdon (4-3) passed the ball around and used up as much time as possible before Ballard found the back of the net with 26 seconds remaining. Neither team could capture possession on the ensuing faceoff as the game went into extra time.

Matt Murphy came up big for Huntingdon in the win. The sophomore recorded a career-high 20 saves with four coming in overtime.

The Crusaders (2-1) took the faceoff but turned the ball over in their attacking zone. The Hawks flew down the field for a game winning opportunity, but Brandon Scheele's shot was blocked and the Hawks were called for a holding penalty.

After two saves by Murphy, the Hawks cleared the ball and called timeout, once again setting up their final play. Huntingdon came out of the timeout and passed the ball around before Ballard swept across the field and scored the 14-yard game-winning goal.

Ballard finished the game with three goals and three ground balls. Scheele scored twice for the Hawks while Karson Hastings added two assists and five ground balls.

Capital opened the game with two goals in the first quarter. The Crusaders added a third goal mid-way through the second to take a 3-0 lead, but Ballard answered back just over two minutes later with an assist from Austen Saucier to put the Hawks on the board.

Hastings found Jackson Schrampfer to cut the lead to one before A.J. Harper's flip pass found Scheele to tie the game at 3-3 with just under four minutes left in the opening-half. Capital would score with less than two minutes remaining to go into halftime leading 4-3.

After a faceoff violation by Capital to start the third quarter, Sam Hitt raced down the field and tied the game 4-4 in the first seven seconds of the second-half. Capital would go onto add a pair of goals and pull ahead 6-4 with 9:53 left in the third quarter.

Saucier cut the lead to one before Zach Barnhill scored a man-up goal to tie the game 6-6 heading into the fourth.

Scheele scored 21 seconds into the fourth quarter from an assist by Mac Puller to put the Hawks up 7-6. Capital answered back and tied the game 7-7 with 12:18 remaining in the game.

The Hawks defense came up big during the game. In seven games this season, Huntingdon has given up more than 10 goals once. Josh Clayton recorded four ground balls and one caused turnover while Colton Edwards had two caused turnovers and three ground balls. Dawson Jones had one caused turnover and four ground balls.

Saucier scored one goal and had one assist. Barnhill and Schrampfer added goals for the Hawks while Harper and Puller each had one assist. Puller scooped up five ground balls while Harper had four.

Hitt finished the game 12-for-20 at the faceoff x and had one goal and three ground balls. Miles Stading added five ground balls.

Huntingdon travels to Transylvania on Saturday for a noon matchup.

 

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