Gilmour falls, 3-2, in OT to St. Edward in raucous pre-holiday hockey atmosphere

Nov. 23—One could have been easily convinced Nov. 23 as Gilmour traveled to Winterhurst to take on St. Edward that it was actually February, not the day before Thanksgiving.

Such was the raucous atmosphere in a state semifinal and Cleveland Cup final rematch from a year ago.

The result wasn't to the defending state champion Lancers' liking, but there were signs of encouragement.

Gilmour struck for a pair of goals in the third period to force overtime, but the Eagles had the final say on Geoffrey Lapsevich's tally nearly midway through the extra session for a 3-2 win in both teams' regular-season opener.

PHOTOS: Gilmour-St. Edward hockey, Nov. 23, 2022

A packed house at Winterhurst, from the bleachers to the boards lined a few deep in spots, were afforded a pre-Thanksgiving treat of a game.

"What a great atmosphere," Lancers coach John Malloy said. "The fans and good energy. It was a great time to have a game — the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Two schools who just happened to face off (in a state semifinal last year). That's not always going to happen.

"I think just the time — some of the alumni were able to come back from the schools and watch. Kids were able to be here. So it was a great atmosphere."

St. Edward coach Tim Sullivan, whose program is now playing as an independent after exiting the Great Lakes Hockey League, was pleasantly surprised at how well that facet transpired, enough so that the proverbial light bulb came on.

"Obviously, I've got some returning players and some new players — returning players that it didn't end the way they wanted it to last year," Sullivan said, referring to the Eagles' state semifinal defeat at the hands of the Lancers. "And the night before Thanksgiving — I've got to be honest with you: I was really shocked at how packed this place was. We're going to run this back next year. I think the atmosphere was great. But yeah, it didn't feel like a November game at all."

Down, 2-0, to start the third period, Gilmour came storming back to even matters.

First was Colton Fairchild getting his stick down for a wrister 61 seconds into the period to slice the deficit in half at 2-1. Then Brody Walnsch pounced at 6:36 to knot the proceedings, 2-2.

That aspect was especially encouraging for the Lancers, with it being the first varsity goal for both. Fairchild saw limited varsity action last winter, and Walnsch is a freshman.

St. Edward had grabbed its 2-0 lead through Dylan Vidmar with a deke between the circles and wrister wide at 13:22 of the first, then Danny Jopek cashed in a look at 3:43 of the second.

The Lancers were unlucky with bar rattlers in the second, with George Valenti dinking the post at 10:08 and Luke Radke doing the same at 13:10, before their third-period comeback bid.

#NHhockey Couldn't get this to upload at Winterhurst for the life of me, but Gilmour was unlucky with not 1 but TWO bars in the 2nd — George Valenti at 10:08 & Luke Radke at 13:10

— Chris Lillstrung (@CLillstrungNH) November 24, 2022

Because it is no longer a GLHL game, the teams opted for OT to be 3-on-3.

Lapsevich was turned away earlier in the OT before putting away a wrister shortside from high in the zone at 2:28.

"I think we won the first period, lost the second and came back in the third," Gilmour senior captain and standout forward Matt Bauman said. "And Coach always says teams are recognizable by how they play in the third period, which I agree with a lot."

Coming soon

For more from this game, as Malloy and Bauman discuss the Lancers' state title-defending campaign, check back in the coming days on and in our print edition.

#NHhockey Some quick postgame video analysis for Gilmour's 3-2 OT loss to Eds

Shaking off some rust

(Game story will be tweeted in a moment)

— Chris Lillstrung (@CLillstrungNH) November 24, 2022