Pelham picks up area and rivalry win over Helena

Published 12:05 pm Friday, March 24, 2023

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

PELHAM – The Pelham Panthers bounced back from their lone area loss a week earlier, and they did so in a big way by taking down their biggest rival in a two-goal win on Thursday, March 23.

The Panthers, who shutout Boaz 2-0 earlier in the week, continued an impressive stretch of defensive play against rival Helena on Thursday night, limiting the Huskies to one goal, which was more than enough in what became a 3-1 victory.

Pelham led 1-0 at the halftime break, creating a tight game, but the Panthers came out of the half with two goals to jolt out to a 3-0 lead that became insurmountable in the final minutes for Helena.

With the win, the Panthers improved to 11-4-2 overall and 3-1 in area play, while they have now given up one goal or less in five straight matchups.

Pelham jumped out to the early lead in the first eight minutes of the game when Radostin Richardson scored early in the opening period.

That put the Panthers in front 1-0, which was already a good sign with the recent success of the defense.

Ultimately, both teams fought the rest of the first half to try and find a goal, as Pelham searched for a 2-0 lead and Helena tried to get the equalizer, but neither happened in a physical battle.

That led to a 1-0 advantage for the Panthers at the break.

Similar to the first half, however, Pelham started hot in the second half and it was largely thanks to Richardson again.

The senior scored his second goal of the night within eight minutes of the period starting, striking a shot that found the back of the net for a 2-0 lead with 32:32 to play.

That really put the pressure on Helena, but the Huskies dug in and continued to fight on the defensive end, while the offense searched for a goal to get back into the game.

For a while, they were able to remain within striking distance, but the final blow came with 10:30 remaining when Enrique Madriz drilled Pelham’s final goal into the back of the net for a 3-0 lead.

Helena was able to scrap together a late goal in the final 10 minutes to trim the deficit to 3-1, but it was too little too late at that point, as the Panthers finished off the two-goal victory.

Pelham has now won six of the last seven games, with the lone loss during that stretch coming to Briarwood 1-0, who the Panthers beat in PKs a week before. During that stretch, they have four shutouts and have given up two goals or less in each game.

Helena is now 8-8-1 on the season, while the Huskies are 0-3 overall in area play.