ROCKY RIVER, Ohio – Rocky River lost at home for the first time this season, as the No. 8 (Ohio Coaches Poll) Holy Name Green Wave rallied from a 2-1 deficit to down the Pirates, 3-2, on Wednesday night.
Rocky River (13-9) scored a pair of first-period goals but could manage no more offense on 17 shots over the second and third periods. Holy Name (13-7-2) got goals from Milo Henry, Tyler Guarniere and Spencer Melcher in the victory. The Green Wave have now won three straight games and six of their last seven.
With the loss, the Pirates are now 2-7 this season in games decided by one goal. River had been unbeaten in seven home tilts prior to Wednesday.
“I though this was the fastest game up and down the ice we’ve been a part of all season,” said Head Coach Chris Cogan.
Speedy senior Eddie Zuercher opened the game’s scoring with his second goal of the season at the 11:22-mark of the first. The Green Wave would shortly thereafter wrest away the momentum of the game; they would control the puck often through the middle minutes of the period. The pressure applied culminated in a Milo Henry goal at the 7:20-mark.
In a mostly conservative opening frame, the score of 1-1 seemed to be destined as a carry-over to the second period, but senior forward Ben Brej gave River a lift with his eighth of the season 40 seconds before the first period expired.
The blueliners on both sides controlled the action for much of a second period hotly contested in the corners but with few shots on goal to show for the hard work. Senior netminder Ryan Dunning made a fine blocker save mid-period and Holy Name goaltender Anna Cvitkovich stopped quality efforts by Nolan Weaver and Teddy Stueber late in the period. And it was late in the period when a fourth digit was mobilized on the Hamilton Ice Arena scoreboard.
And it went the way of the visitors in road green.
Holy Name’s Tyler Guarniere collected a puck that had squirted off the half-boards and all the way into the high slot in front of Dunning. Beating a Pirate defenseman to the puck and then Dunning with a shot slipped into the net,
Guarniere scored and knotted the game at 2-2.
That score accompanied the two sides into their locker rooms after the second period.
“They are a fast team that moves the puck well,” said Cogan. “If you get caught out of position, they make you pay with odd-man rushes.”
It would be another productive rush up the ice early in the third that put Holy Name on top. Spencer Melcher got free and went five-hole on Dunning at 10:20 of the third.
River did have chances over its scoreless second and third periods.
“I thought we had more scoring chances then they did,” said Cogan, “but we couldn’t find the back of the net.”
Wednesday’s contest is part of the Cleveland Jesuit Classic. Rocky River will continue its participation in the tournament on Saturday with games against Culver (Ind.) and Padua.
CANNON FIRE …
ICE CHIPS: Logging assists on Wednesday were Teddy Stueber (two) and Eddie Zuercher. Stueber now has 13 assists on the season; he’s two behind Nolan Weaver for the team lead. … Rocky River went 0-for-2 on the powerplay Wednesday; the Pirates had scored extra-man goals in each of their two previous games. … The Pirates outshot the Green Wave, 23-14. River has now outshot foes in three straight games and nine of the team’s last 11.
NAME GAME: With Wednesday’s victory at Hamilton Ice Arena, Holy Name has now defeated Rocky River in three straight games over three straight years. Since 2000, the Pirates and Green Wave have met 25 times; River is 16-9 over those 25 meetings.
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