MORRISTOWN, NJ - Down 1-0 going into the third period, Chatham ice hockey coach Frank Gilberti's message was the same as any other period: play hard, tough hockey.
With only 15 minutes to score at least two goals against Randolph High School, the Cougars put three pucks in the back of the net to beat the Rams 3-2 at Mennen Arena on Saturday night.
"It was a good game against a very good team," Chatham head coach Frank Gilberti said. "Obviously the third period is the difference."
Luke Wright put Randolph ahead with just under four minutes to play in the first period, scoring from the top of the two circles off passes from Michael Slavin and Stefan Tamminga.
After battling through the second period, the score remained 1-0 into the second intermission.
The Cougars scored twice in the first five minutes to start the third period and take the 2-1 lead.
Gilberti said the message is consistent every period.
"Its go out, finish your checks, be a hard team to play against, compete in all three zones," he said. "We know the way this team is built, we're built for third periods, so they did a great job tonight."
Forward W Barnett scored first for Chatham off a rebound from Graziano's shot from the right point.
Two minutes later, forward Ted Simson received a pass from freshman Pierce. Simson beat the Randolph goal tender to take the 2-1 lead.
Simson returned the favor to Pierce with three minutes to play, leading to Pierce's first career goal.
Simson said its the closeness of the team that led Chatham to their third period surge.
"I don't think there was a momentum swing that caused it," Simson said. "It was the camaraderie we have as a team."
Randolph made it interesting late, when Liam Finneran scored on a loose puck in front of the goal with 14.6 seconds to play, but Chatham held on for the win.
Gilberti said it was nice to see the team perform the wy they did.
He said: "Its an excellent job for our team and its one step in the right direction on a very long journey."
Chatham returns to the ice on Monday when the Cougars host Morristown-Bead at Mennen Arena.