Madison High School's hockey team fought through a tough four periods Friday to earn a 4-4 tie against Freedom High School.
It was "a classic hockey game with both teams going toe-to-toe for 3 periods, not giving the other an inch. The score was either tied or only a one goal margin throughout the game," Assistant Coach Tom Dressler said.
The Warhawks entered the third period in a 3-3 dead heat. They couldn't score on a 5 on 3 opportunity early in the period, but Freedom capitalized on the same opportunity as time wound down to up the score to 4-3 -- a goal that appeared to be the game winner.
But with under a minute to play, the Warhawks took a gamble and left their net empty for a sixth skater, keeping the puck in the offensive zone and setting up senior captain Justin Leas to score with one second left in the game.
The tie put the Warhawks at 3-2-1 -- good enough to keep their playoff hopes on track, Dressler said.
Besides Leas, senior Jeremy Park made his return from an injury to score the game's first goal. Senior Aaron Shiohama and Junior Ben Headley rounded out scoring for the Warhawks.
Sophomore goalie Andrew Herrmann led Madison with 32 saves; Zach Shiohama, Robbie Harris, Jacob Hall and Leas thwarted several Freedom chances throughout the night.
The Warhawks have four games left in the season; winning even one of them would leave Madison with a better season than last year's, which they ended at 3-6-1.
They face Centreville/Fairfax at 9:20 p.m. Friday at the Ashburn Ice House.
Tom Dressler contributed information for this story.