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Elyria Catholic hockey: Panthers’ Drew Beck makes magic in final game

Brooklyn District hockey games, Feb. 18, 2018

By Jon Behm, The Morning Journal
POSTED: 02/18/18, 6:06 PM EST |

Drew Beck gave the Elyria Catholic crowd one last magical game.

Skating in his last high school game, Beck scored three unanswered in the third period to finish with four goals on the afternoon and turn a running-clock situation into a 7-4 loss for the Panthers against Normandy in a Brooklyn District sectional semifinal on Feb. 18 at Brooklyn’s John M. Coyne Recreation Center.

Normandy advances to face St. Edward in a sectional final on Feb. 21 at 5:30 p.m.

Elyria Catholic ends its season at 6-13-0.

>> Photos: View a gallery from the Brooklyn District games on Feb. 18

But, as has already been mentioned, the loss did not come prior to Beck going out with a bang.

Just over 30 seconds after Normandy made it a running-clock game at 6-0 in the second period, Beck netted a goal with a nice flip-around on a deflected pass.

“Michael Boling started it off,” Beck said. “He slid that pass up — I don’t know if he meant to do it or not — but he made the play.”

But that was just the beginning for Beck.

The Invaders got it back to running clock territory before the end of the period, but it only lasted three minutes into the third period as Beck scored once again on a breakaway. He followed it with a pair of 5-on-3 power-play goals to make it a 7-4 game with 4:54 left to play, forcing Normandy to put back in starting goaltender Alexis Ryan, who had been relieved of her duties after making two saves in the first period.

The performance from Beck, who ranks third in Lorain County history for goals in a season after ending the season with 58 goals, was something that Elyria Catholic coach Rick Montgomery said has become second nature for the senior.

“In the third period, we just finally let him loose,” Montgomery said. “I told him, ‘Drew, if we’re going to create any offense, you’re got to go. You have to play forward. You have to go.’ And he did. He did what he always does. Drew is Drew. He stepped up.”

For Beck, he was simply trying to do what he always does: Put his team in the best position for success, not for personal accolades.

“I just wanted to play hockey,” Beck said. “I’ve wanted to be the best player and best teammate I can be.”

After being the glue of the Panthers for his career, Beck said it’s hard to believe it is over, but would never trade away the memories and friendships he has created.

“This is something that I have devoted 12 years of my life to,” Beck said. “To be able to go out like that, especially with my teammates behind me … every single one of them has played a huge role.

“I’ve played for a couple of other teams, but I’ve never had the sense of family as strong as with this team. Even when we’re down each other’s throats, five minutes later we’ll be hugging and saying ‘Good luck’ and ‘Great job.’ It’s a sense of brotherhood that I’ve never had before. And it’s something that I’ll never forget.”