The Toll Gate Titans were startled 7-5 on Saturday night by the South Kingstown Rebels at Thayer Arena in a high-scoring Division II hockey affair.
The score was deadlocked at 3 after two periods of play, but South Kingstown netted the first two goals in the third frame and the Titans were playing catch up from there.
“It’s tough to come from behind,” Toll Gate head coach Mike Champagne said. “You know and give up some goals like that, and each time we tried to crawl back in late we gave one back. We tried to catch up on each play instead of just focusing on the details and it cost us a little bit.”
South Kingstown took a 1-0 lead at 6:08 of the first period when George Cairns III, a junior defenseman, buried a slap shot from just in front of the blue line after an assist from Andy Sprague.
Thirty-eight seconds later, Toll Gate evened the score at 1 after Max Grossguth lit the lamp following a pass from Kiernan Habershaw.
Then, the Rebels seized a 2-1 edge at 1:44 of the second period when Evan Adams, a junior forward, found the back of the net during a fast break following passes from Sprague and Cairns.
Four-and-a-half minutes after that, the Titans knotted the score at 2 when Teagan Stringfellow, a senior, flew down and lit the lamp on a breakaway for an unassisted tally.
Next, the Titans obtained a 3-2 advantage three minutes later when Nathan McCamish scored a power play goal during a second chance opportunity after assists from Cameron Saccoccia and Camden Palumbo.
However, with 1:23 left in the second period, South Kingstown evened the score at 3 when senior forward Colin Leclerc punched in a goal from the doorstep after passes from Zacharie Hupf and Ezra Gonsalves.
Seven minutes into the third frame, the Rebels took a 5-3 advantage on goals from Cairns and O’Grady.
Toll Gate got within one with 5:14 remaining when Max Savaria scored a power play goal on a putback following assists from Palumbo and Stringfellow.
But, with 2:26 left, South Kingstown pushed its lead to 6-4 when Hupf scored his second tally on a wrister after assists from Sprague and Aidan Moriaty.
Toll Gate cut it to 6-5 with 1:48 left, when Stringfellow and Habershaw assisted in front to Savaria, who lit the lamp for his second score.
But, with 1:05 remaining, South Kingstown struck again when Adams scored following assists from Caorms and Sprague and put the Rebels up 7-5.
Joseph Bruno, a freshman, made 29 saves in net for South Kingstown while Toll Gate freshman Sam Noel made 31 stops.
Toll Gate falls to 1-5 in the league with the loss and plays next on Friday at 8:10 pm at Cranston Veterans Memorial Ice Rink against the Cranston West Falcons.