Mariners Pushed to Overtime


The Ventura Mariners surrendered a goal on a penalty shot with 28 seconds left in regulation Saturday night and were forced into overtime at 6-6 with Detroit's Motor City Chiefs in a pool-play game of the USA Hockey Jr. B National Championships at the Easy Street Arena.

With Ventura (18-36) clinging to a 6-5 lead, Mariner goaltender Sam Skoryna knocked the net off its moorings to draw a whistle as Motor City swarmed around him.

The Chiefs' Mike Koveleski scored on the ensuing penalty shot and the teams headed to a 10-minute, sudden-death overtime.

Kevin Meehan gave the Mariners a 6-5 lead by scoring on a pass from Nate Cockerham, who scored the team's first goal and assisted on its last two.

Motor City opened the scoring 7:34 into the game with a power-play goal. Bryan Cline won a faceoff in the Ventura zone, sending the puck back to Mike McNamara, who skated in a few strides before blasting a slap shot past Skoryna.

The Chiefs opened a 2-0 lead 12:53 into the game, again using the Cline-McNamara combination. They burst into the Ventura zone on a 2-on-1 rush that ended with Cline feeding McNamara for a short-range goal on a one-time shot.

Ventura mounted a comeback, beginning with Cockerham's goal 6:40 into the second period. Cockerham, stationed just to the left of the goal, snapped the rebound of Matt Bothwell's shot under the crossbar and over sprawling goaltender Kayle McLean.

The Mariners tied the score, 2-2, four minutes later. On a two-on-one rush, Tanner Catalano unleashed a close-range slap shot that trickled through McLean's pads. McDevitt dove into the crease, tipping the puck across the goal line.

Motor City seized a 3-2 advantage with 3:56 to play in the second period when Chad Roberts sent a 15-foot shot past Skoryna from out of a crowd in the slot.

Ventura forged a 3-3 tie 38 seconds into the third period when Buddy Bothwell took a short pass from his brother, Matt Bothwell, broke in alone on McLean and beat him with a shot into the upper right corner.

Motor City took advantage of a roughing penalty to Ventura's John Skoryna to take a 4-3 lead 5:12 into the third period. Koveleski, at the left point, sent a pass to an unguarded Roberts at the right post, where he redirected it into the net.

Ventura tied the game again, 4-4, with 14:05 to play when Rocky Reeves took a pass down the center of the neutral zone from Jeff Logas and scored on a breakaway.

Motor City went up, 5-4, with 8:35 to play. Ryan McLean scored from the high slot after Mike York cut behind the net and fed a pass from the corner.

Ventura's produced the game's final deadlock when John Skoryna, barreling unimpeded down the slot on an odd-man rush, lunged and tipped Cockerham's pass from the sideboards through McLean's legs.

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