Dargai’s goal gives Eagles OT win over Chagrin Falls
Avon coach Kyle Botos can see the future.
After all, how else could he have known that sophomore Ian Dargai would score in overtime to secure Avon a 1-0 win over Chagrin Falls in a Brooklyn District first-round game on Feb. 14 at Brooklyn’s John M. Coyne Recreation Center.
“I told him (Dargai) today before the overtime period, ‘You’re going to score the goal,’” Botos said. “He turned around and he just looked at me dumbfounded. I told him, ‘Listen. You’re going to get a chance and you just got to go with it.’ And he did.”
With the win, Avon advances to face St. Edward in a sectional semifinal on Feb. 18 at noon.
Chagrin Falls ends its season at 10-21-0.
The win also marks the second straight year that the Tigers jumped at the Eagles in the tournament draw, and the second time that Avon ended Chagrin Falls’ season.
After three scoreless periods, Dargai ended the gam with a goal 4:45 into the overtime period. The sophomore got the puck near center ice on a steal, skated into the offensive zone and gave a little deke before beating Chagrin Falls goalie Ben Winovich
with a backhanded shot.
“I just saw that the guy made a mistake and I was able to capitalize off of it,” Dargai said. “There was a guy coming at me and I had to evade him. Then I saw the goalie was a bit out of place and I took the shot and it went in.
“I was just trying to fake the goalie a bit, I guess.”
While Dargai emerged as the hero, it was a senior stalwart in goal who helped get Avon to the overtime period in the first place.
Senior Danny Fielding saved 24 shots on the night, including 11 in the third period.
“I love getting more shots,” Fielding said. “I feel like we do better when we get more shots, in my opinion. I just think we play better.”
Fielding was quick to give his defense praise for the shutout.
“They saved me a few times,” Fielding said. “I mean, it was a team effort really.”
While the key moment came in overtime, it does not mean that regulation did not leave an impact on the Eagles and those in attendance.
With 10:52 remaining in the second period, Chagrin Falls’ Brig Lowry leveled Avon’s Nick Koepp with a very hard hit.
Coming at each other full speed, Lowery raised his arms and extended at Koepp’s head, knocking out Koepp and delaying the game for nearly 10 minutes as medical staff attended to him. Koepp was able to leave under his own power, a cut across his forehead, but his game was over.
Lowry was given a fiveminute major for head contact and a 10-minute misconduct for his actions.
Botos did not comment on the hit, but mentioned that he had to pick up shards of Koepp’s helmet from the ice.
Botos was not afraid to comment on the upcoming showdown with state power St. Edward.
“We want to take down the beast,” Botos, a St. Edward graduate, said with a smile. “We’re going to battle. Obviously, we’re the underdog. We know it. I don’t care. My goal is to take a public school and beat a Catholic school. That’s what it is.
“I’ve always heard the saying, ‘I’m here to win championships.’ Anything less is doing it wrong. You have to beat them in the quarterfinals, the semifinals. I don’t care. You have to go through them. If they’re in my path, I don’t care. We’re going for it.”