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February 14, 2013

Athens and Troy hockey teams play to a 3-3 tie in Valentine's Day meeting

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Troy's Nik Bester moves in on goal during the Feb. 14 game. The Colts and Athens played to a 3-3 tie and could meet again in the playoffs.

TROY — Should they meet again, this sort of finish won’t be tolerated.

In fact, it’s not even an option.

But as the Troy High and Troy Athens hockey teams played for the second and final time this regular season, 59 minutes of hockey gave way to some excellent action, and a 3-3 tie.

Now both programs can keep their fingers crossed for a regional semifinal rematch when the state playoffs get going.

“This was a pretty good game,” Troy coach Tim Zimmerman said following the Thursday afternoon affair from the Troy Sports Center. “I think both teams had a good go at it.”

“We were able to hang on,” Athens coach Joe Barone said with a smile. He was playing with just 11 guys due to an array of reasons. “It would have been great to steal one here today, but it was a pretty good game.”

Troy, which won the only other meeting 3-2, opened the scoring 53 seconds into the game on an Anthony Wilson tally.

But power-play goals got Athens back in the game, and then in the lead when Dylan Kotora and Nathan Gurzell each scored with the man advantage.

Trailing 2-1 entering the second, Troy got a pair of goals as John Hunter scored 1:49 into the frame and then Nik Bester scored eight minutes later.

But Brad Merola’s power-play goal at the 13:38 mark evened the score for good.

For more on this game, a quick preview of each team’s pre-regional opener and possible semifinal meeting, see the Feb. 21 edition of the Troy Times.