In the 52nd minute, Taconic coach Luke Chambers called his timeout and called his Thunder to the sideline to regroup.
Seven minutes later, Ezra Ezan scored his fourth goal of the game to give Taconic a 4-2 lead en route to a 6-2 win as the Thunder went undefeated at 3-0-1 in the fall.
“Focus, focus,” Chambers said of his message to the team during this downtime. “I think the game got a little too easy. And our lack of focus cost us and brought them back into the game. And that made it a tighter game than it should have been.
“I think the timeout worked perfectly, and I think it refocused them, and then they got that next goal and just built on that.”
Ezan had a natural hat trick in the first half, giving Taconic a 3-0 lead in the 37th minute.
The Thunder could have had an even bigger lead if not for the play of Hurricanes goaltender Wesley Emerson, who made 10 of his 18 saves in the first 40 minutes.
“The first half I think we played very well,” Ezan said. “The communication was on point. Overall we could have had better games where we could have passed the ball faster. But other than that we played very well.
“And I also scored goals, so I’m happy with that.”
His first goal came with an assist from Luke Murphy, who sent Ezan deep on the left wing in the sixth minute. Nine minutes and a number of Taconic scoring chances passed before Ezan scored his second goal, this time with the help of George Aboua.
With 3 minutes and 31 seconds left in the half, Ezan took a ball deep on the 18 mark and carried it past a Hoosac Valley defender before beating Emerson to make it 3-0 then that his teammates were shouting “hat trick” from the sideline.
The party was short-lived. The Hurricanes stunned Taconic with a goal less than a minute later when Dylan Rohlfs converted a cross from Ian Godfrey from the left wing.
Hoosac Valley then opened the second half with a David Scholz goal that appeared to deflect a defender and past Taconic keeper Timmy Parsons (two saves).
On the other end, Emerson continued to play hard, keeping Taconic off the board nearly halfway through the second half.
“Wes is a monster,” Hoosac Valley coach Patrick Mahoney said. “We had a tournament in Vermont to start our preseason, and I hadn’t seen him play in a year or two. And the first time I saw him come out and eat one with the body, it was like, ‘OK, we’ve got a goalie on our hands.'”
Ezan righted the ship for Taconic with a goal to complete a run down the right wing in the 59th minute.
With 8:05 on the clock, Murphy converted an Ethan O’Donnell cross to make it 5-1. And with less than four minutes left, Reynoldo Castro, who did most of his damage as an enabler, grabbed a rebound to give Taconic their final goal.
“I think Reynoldo is technically one of the best players in the league,” Chambers said. “So in that position, him working with Ezra, we created a lot more chances, and it’s just clinical now to finish.”
Taconic hosts Pioneer Valley Christian Academy on Monday.
Hoosac Valley (3-2) travels to Putnam Voc on Monday.
The young Hurricane team will make the trip knowing that they have shown resilience against a choice opponent.
“That was really the message after the game: tough result at the end, but I think most teams that lose 3-0 to these guys don’t come back and get to 3-2 and make it one game,” Mahoney said. . “They should be proud of themselves for that.
“It’s also a very inexperienced group that we have. I think I have five freshmen. So they learn as they go. It was great to fight back, and we’re looking to keep improving as we go.
Pictures of this match to come.