Adam Rossit couldn’t believe his good fortune. The Cardinal Newman Cardinals centre collected a lead pass as soon as he exited the penalty box and raced in to score the winning goal on a breakaway.
That marker came with one minute, 39 seconds left in the third period, lifting Newman to a 2-1 victory over the St. Thomas More Knights at Rosedale Arena on Wednesday (Jan. 15).
Adam Rossit, No. 71, scores the winning goal for Cardinal Newman. (Photos: Gerry Graham)
The first-place Cardinals (7-0-2) remain the only undefeated boys’ high school hockey team in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association. The Knights are third in the seven-team standings with a mark of 3-3-2.
“It was like every player’s dream,” Rossit said of how his goal unfolded. “You jump out of the box at centre for a breakaway. It happens once in a blue moon. I got in and was fortunate enough to bury it.”
Rossit, 18, deked goaltender Danny DeFeo after taking the feed from teammate Joey Brown.
Newman trailed 1-0 entering the final period but tied the score with three minutes, 45 seconds remaining. Nathan Armstrong got credit for the goal, firing in a wrist shot from a scramble in front of the More net. The Cardinals received a penalty on the play, however, setting the stage for Rossit’s heroics.
“It could have been something that hurt us (Rossit’s roughing penalty) but it ended up helping us,” said Newman coach Anthony Macaluso.
More took advantage of a defensive miscue in the Newman end to open the scoring in the first period. A Cardinal giveaway near their net enabled Jordan Lenko to hit teammate Daniel Palladino with a short, quick pass in front. Palladino, a fifth-year centre, outguessed goaltender Michael Stramenga with the shot.
“They got a lucky break with the kid coming out of the penalty box,” Knights’ coach Ken Chesla said. “It was a good shot on his part, though.
“Our kids played great. We had more opportunities than they did. And we had a goal called back, which I thought was definitely a goal. That would have put us up 2-0 and changed the whole tempo.
“The entire league is tight this year. There’s been a lot of ties. But I think these are the two best teams in the league.”
Considering Newman was missing several players due to playoffs involving their rep clubs, Macaluso was pleased at his squad’s gutsy performance against More. Good teams, as they say, find ways to win.
“Our guys kept working, working, working,” Macaluso said. “I told them it would come eventually. If you never give up, good things will happen.”
Macaluso said Stramenga was again solid in goal, giving his short staffed team confidence to be aggressive and not worry about every mistake leading to a goal against.
In the girls’ game, Brianne Burrough scored in the first period to propel the St. Thomas More Knights to a 1-0 victory over Newman. Amanda Mercuri and Gabby Bellavia drew assists for More, which improved its record to 5-1-1. Newman slipped to 2-4-1.