By Mike Dougherty
BREWSTER – Frank Gavigan has a habit of turning penalty kills into scoring chances.
Each lazy pass is an opportunity.
When a John Jay breakout went haywire in the second period of a tie game, Gavigan was on the puck in a hurry. The instinctive Yorktown forward zigged and zagged through a pair of defensemen and quickly deposited a timely goal that propelled the Huskers to a 5-1 win Sunday at Brewster Ice Arena.
A three-game losing streak is over.
“I just have a knack for picking off passes,” said Gavigan, who tacked on two more goals in the game’s last five minutes. “I just happened to see that one coming, got around some guys and put it home. I like playing on the penalty kill because I like a challenge. It makes me play a little better.”
The Indians (3-12-1) did not recover.
“We do work hard every game, but sometimes we’re overmatched,” John Jay coach Alex Smith said. “Against a team like Yorktown, with Gavigan and Liam Donnelly, we really don’t have an answer for those guys, so if we don’t play our very best, they’re going to take advantage.”
Ellis Maloof gave the Indians a 1-0 lead in the opening minutes of the second when his slap shot went off the stick of a Huskers defenseman, eluding Madison Drezek.
Yorktown (8-5) got the equalizer with 8:38 to play in the period when Anuj Gupta slipped in a rebound.
Gavigan moved the Huskers in front, and Donnelly made it 3-1 when he tip-toed in behind the play and converted another carom.
“We had a three-game slide there, but we’re back on the horse,” Yorktown coach Bob Fritche said. “Everybody chips in. That’s part of being a team, but I stress it because we’re a short bench. Everybody has to work together. I had to put a third line together for this one, a rest line. And that’s the beauty of what I have, I can move guys around. We’re in a good spot. We just have to keep the momentum going.”
Donnelly set up the last two Gavigan scores to get to 100 career points.
“I took the puck around and tried to jam it in, and Frank was there like he always is and put it in backdoor,” Donnelly said of the last goal. “It’s a cool thing. I was more concerned with the win, but it’s good to get that, and I thanked all the guys for it. They’re a real big part of it.
“Obviously, a slump is bad, but this is a good win. It helps us get some confidence back. We need to get a good seed for the playoffs and this will help us out.”