Despite injuries, Norwin edges Freeport in shootout

Forward Sean Hanley was forced to play goalie for the Knights

Fri Jan 27, 2023 - 11:22PM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Fri Jan 27, 2023 - 2:07AM

Playing without All-Star netminder Owen Burmeister, the only goalie on the roster, Norwin turned to senior forward Sean Hanley to play in net Thursday for its road matchup against Freeport Area. Hanley made several key saves to help Norwin secure a 3-2 shootout victory at the Belmont Ice Complex in Kittanning.

Hanley denied both Nick Dobransky and Joseph Liput in the shootout, while Dom Cerilli’s goal in the fourth round secured the victory for the Knights. Dominick Costantino and Alex Thomas also tallied in the shootout for Norwin, which was without a pair of All-Star forwards in the lineup, as well.

With the win, the Knights improved to 10-4-1, and with 21 points, Norwin remains in fourth in the PIHL Class A Blue Division. The Yellowjackets, meanwhile, fell to 6-8-1, increasing their point total to 13.

Freeport opened the scoring nearly seven minutes into the first period, as Zachary Bowser found the back of the net. Norwin answered late in the first, though, as Costantino scored on an assist from Cerilli.

Although Norwin dominated the possession and vastly outshot Freeport, the contest remained deadlock until the final five minutes of regulation. The Knights gained their first lead when Logan Robb roofed a backhander following a faceoff win by Thomas. That advantage was short lived, though, as Freeport scored the equalizer just 24 seconds later on a shot by Aiden Bauman from above the circle.

Norwin generated numerous opportunities in the three-on-three overtime, but could not beat Yellowjackets goalie Tyler Lang, who made 48 saves, which set the stage for the dramatic finish in the shootout.

The Knights return to action on Monday, hosting Hampton at the Palmer Imaging Arena in Delmont. Freeport Area, meanwhile, will travel to play Westmont Hilltop next Thursday.