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MLAX: Daly’s hat trick powers Wilkes past King’s

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MLAX: Daly’s hat trick powers Wilkes past King’s

Freshman Owen Grigas gives chase to a loose ball during Wednesday night’s game against crosstown rival King’s.

Freshman Owen Grigas gives chase to a loose ball during Wednesday night’s game against crosstown rival King’s.

Nicole Gaetani

Freshman Owen Grigas gives chase to a loose ball during Wednesday night’s game against crosstown rival King’s.

Nicole Gaetani

Nicole Gaetani

Freshman Owen Grigas gives chase to a loose ball during Wednesday night’s game against crosstown rival King’s.

Ben Mandell, Co-Sports Editor

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WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Connor Daly scored three goals in the third quarter to help Wilkes rally past their crosstown rival King’s.

“The Wilkes  versus King’s rivalry means a lot to me personally and to the team,” Daly said. “It is also a chance to play my mom’s alma mater, so it adds to the already intense environment.”

Daly’s night didn’t get off to the best start. About halfway through the first quarter, he took a shot to the back.

“I initially thought that my playing time was over for the game,” Daly said. “With help from our trainers and encouragement from my teammates, I was able to get back into the game.”

Without Daly, the Colonels played their best defensive half of the season, holding the Monarchs to just one goal.

Ethan Weaver helped give the Colonels the lead going into halftime, scoring their only two goals.

Weaver started the scoring with a goal in the first quarter, to the right of the Monarch’s netminder. He ripped his shot to give the Colonels the 1-0 lead.

After King’s tied the game, Weaver answered with his second goal of the game, from the same spot of the field, in the final two minutes of the first half.

“It was one of the lowest scoring games I’ve witnessed,” Daly said. “The final score of the game was lower than a usual halftime score. We struggled on offense, but we did play our best defensive game of the year. (Whittemore) definitely deserves a lot of credit.”

The scoring picked up in the second half. The Colonels leading scorer John Wink found the back of the net, followed by three straight goals by Daly with the man up.

“My role on the man up is the same as everyone else’s role – play the system and find the best look,” Daly said. “I was fortunate to find myself in open space and my teammates were able to make great passes.”

Eric Ormsby and Alex Myers also scored for Wilkes en-route to an 8-5 win.

Carter Whittemore played a key role in net during the Colonels valiant defensive effort. The Wilkes goalkeeper made 13 saves to secure the victory.

“It’s always really easy to get excited for the King’s game,” Whittemore said. “Everyone was excited and ready to play and that helped us play well and get the win.”

Wilkes also had a tremendous performance, Andrew Moynihan who won 100 percent of the faceoffs he took by going 16 for 16, virtually guaranteed the Colonels possession on each one.

“The fans that came out were awesome,” Moynihan said. It felt like  a home game and definitely had an impact on my confidence for each faceoff.”

The Colonels came into the season with a high expectation and defeating King’s is their first step towards the playoffs.

“I think the outcome of this game is going to have a huge impact on our season,” Moynihan said. “We now have momentum going into conference play.”

Wilkes is going to have to finish in the top four of their conference to make the playoffs. After missing last season, the team is determined to take the next step.

The Colonels fell late in a tough loss to Manhattanville on Saturday.

Wilkes will play next Wednesday at home against Eastern.

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MLAX: Daly’s hat trick powers Wilkes past King’s