Dar­gai’s goal gives Ea­gles OT win over Cha­grin Falls

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - SPORTS - By Jon Behm jbehm@morn­ingjour­nal.com @mj_jbehm on Twit­ter

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.”

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