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Secret Service ERA Hockey Team Wins Director’s Cup, Ends FBI Streak

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ARLINGTON, VA — An instant classic between the Secret Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation unfolded at the MedStar Capitals Iceplex Saturday night, ending with the USSS triumphant, 3-2, after scoring the game-winning goal 70 seconds into the third overtime period.

Secret Service Director Kim Cheatle, FBI Director Chris Wray and Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson were on hand as DC101 host “Elliot in the Morning” emceed the ceremonial puck drop. 

Action ramped up quickly following the puck drop. Forward John Petricig scored the first two goals for the Secret Service Employee Recreation Association hockey team, while defenseman Jacob Faiella sealed the win with a close-range shot in the third overtime. The three-goal and 57-shot performance was enough to upend the FBI’s five-game winning streak in the annual charity game.

The Secret Service struck first, jumping out to an early 1-0 lead in the closing minutes of the 1st period after forward Ronald Corcoran and defenseman Geoff Landry dished the puck to Petricig. 

 Puck Drop

“We knew scoring the first goal of the game was going to be important for both teams, so we were glad that we were able to be the ones taking the 1-0 lead into the first intermission. The goal was really a result of our consistent pressure in the second half of the period,” Geoff Landry said. “All four lines, doing their jobs on both ends of the ice, had the Bureau on their heels. [Dustin] Gomez was solid in the faceoff circle all night. I knew there was a high percentage chance that he was going to win the draw cleanly and all I was looking to do was get the puck on net quickly. Kudos to Ron [Corcoran] and JP [John Petricig] for getting to the front of the net and cleaning things up after their goalie made the initial save.”

Petricig elaborated on the action and the juicy rebound that led to his first goal.

“I saw Gomez win the face-off clean and just went to the net hoping for a rebound,”Petricig said. “Corcoran and Landry did a great job getting the puck through traffic to the net and the goalie made a stop but luckily the puck popped right out front for me.”

However, it wasn’t long before the FBI answered back with two consecutive goals by Pete Onorato and Chris Hickey: one in the 2nd period and one in the 3rd period, taking the lead and threatening to continue their win streak to six games. 

While the FBI club hockey team played a solid game, they were certainly helped by the plethora of Secret Service penalties. In the 2nd period alone, the Secret Service team was called for six penalties; twice during the 2nd period, the FBI held 5-on-3 advantages, but couldn’t find a way to score against the USSS. 

“As much as the momentum swings in favor of the team receiving a power play, it can equally swing back to the penalized team when the penalty is killed,” Landry said. “We never want to be shorthanded, let alone for 12 minutes in a single period, but those penalties simply became part of the story enroute to the third overtime win.  Mugs [Melissa McKenzie], B [Brendan Westphal] and Keith [Wojcieszek] did an excellent job adjusting lines all night putting us in a position to succeed when we were on the penalty kill. Our ability to shut down the Bureau’s power play unit time and time again, not only frustrated them, but energized us – ultimately resulting in JP scoring a shorthanded goal in the second half of the third to tie it up.” 

By the end of the night, the Secret Service ERA team received eight penalties, including a double minor for roughing in the 3rd period, while the Bureau was whistled for four violations.


Secret Service shoots Goalie defends Secret Service defends


Despite the hostile crowd constantly chanting, “F-B-I” through the first two periods, cries of “SE-CRET SER-VICE” hit their peak in the 3rd period when the team in black and white rallied behind Petricig’s tying goal with 6:27 remaining in regulation. Defenseman Brandon Perdon and forward Jamie Nichols assisted on the shorthanded goal, and from there, the Secret Service controlled the tempo for the remainder of the night. 

“I knew with being shorthanded for four minutes we were going to have to take some chances,” Petricig said. “Nichols got control of the puck along the boards and made a great play to get it to me in the neutral zone. I was just trying to get the puck on net and hopefully catch the goalie sleeping a bit.”

However, Secret Service Goalie Brent Taylor was wide awake all night, making life hard for the FBI throughout the contest by saving 32 of their 34 shots on goal. His efforts were enough to close out 60 minutes of hockey with a 2-2 tie and take the game into a fast-paced series of overtimes.

The first two overtime periods, each 10-minutes of 5-on-5 play, included opportunities for both sides to end the game. The tension and anxiety in the Iceplex was palpable going into the third overtime, as the fans in attendance yearned for someone to break the stalemate. 

Just minutes after 10:00 p.m. local time, Faiella would be the one to answer the call, sending the USSS supporters home happy. Faiella slipped in the goal on the right side of the net and was then immediately chased by teammates as the celebration on ice commenced.


Celebrating the win



Hoisting the cup


“It truly was such a great experience to even be out there with the team,” Failla said. “I was just happy I could contribute, Jones and everyone else on the ice did all the hard work that shift. If it wasn’t for them, I would not have had the chance in front of the net. The reaction from my teammates and the fans made this win one of the most special in my career.”

It took more than three hours, but much like the Secret Service’s dual mission of protection and investigations, it was a success – and another exciting chapter added to the history of the USSS-FBI hockey rivalry.


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