NEW MILFORD -- Harrison O'Connell scored a pair of goals and the New Milford High ice hockey team had a pair of two-goal leads in the third period but had to ultimately settle for a 3-3 tie with Watertown/Pomperaug on Wednesday night at the Canterbury School.
A junior forward, O'Connell scored in the second period to give New Milford a 2-0 lead that it took into the third. He added his second goal of the game with 10:40 to go to put the Green Wave on top, 3-1, before the Indians rallied.
Garret Young scored Watertown/Pomperaug's first goal just over three minutes into the third period and Jonathan Manzer added the second from in the slot just over a minute after O'Connell's goal to pull the Indians within 3-2.
New Milford goaltender Matt DePalma had a strong game, blanking Watertown/Pomperaug for two periods and made some huge saves in the third to preserve the Green Wave's lead before the Indians finally broke through for the equalizer.
Indians winger Kyle Block scored from a tough angle from the bottom of the left circle, beating DePalma high and tying the game, 3-3. Both teams had chances in the extra session but were unable to capitalize.
Watertown/Pomperaug is now 13-4-1 on the season and 1-0-1 against New Milford. The Indians beat the Green Wave, 2-0, on Jan. 23 at home. New Milford is 11-5-2.
New Milford took an early lead thanks to its special teams. Watertown-Pomperaug took a slashing penalty at 13:05 and 1:10 later it was two-men down after a hit to the head call against defenseman David Hughes.
The Green Wave capitalized on the two-man advantage, firing pucks at the net and it eventually paid off. After a shot from the right point a rebound came to forward Tyler Kirkwood who was alone in the slot and banged one over the shoulder of Indians goalie Carl LaRosa for a 1-0 lead with 11:25 left in the opening period.
DePalma had a strong first period with a few point-blank saves and New Milford was also able to kill of a cross-checking penalty against defenseman Tyler Smith late in the period.
Watertown-Pomperaug went on a power play about halfway through the second period but New Milford killed it off. The Indians kept up the pressure when the teams were at even strength but they still couldn't solve DePalma, who robbed an Indian on the doorstep with 5:05 left in the second.
New Milford doubled its advantage just over two minutes later. After a Watertown-Pomperaug turnover near center ice, O'Connell pounced on a bouncing puck and carried into the offensive end where he ripped a slapper from the left circle that beat LaRosa to make it 2-0.