Dom­i­nant Comets cap­ture Baron Cup II

Amherst cap­tures fifth crown in school history with 30th vic­tory of sea­son

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - SPORTS - Chris Lill­strung clill­[email protected]­ald.com @Clill­strungNH on Twit­ter

Per­haps one of the big­gest com­pli­ments that can be paid in Greater Cleve­land high school hockey is a team is so dy­namic it seems bet­ter suited to be else­where. Amherst Steele is a White Di­vi­sion power that passes the eye test as far as look­ing like it could hang in the Red if that call was made. Feb. 10 in the Baron Cup II fi­nal against Midview, the Comets con­tin­ued to leave no doubt who the class of the White Di­vi­sion this win­ter is. Ja­cob Kramer recorded a five­point after­noon with a hat trick and two as­sists to lead Amherst to a dom­i­nant 7-1 win on the big ice at Brook­lyn. For the Comets (30-2), it’s their fifth Baron Cup ti­tle and fourth since 2011 and se­cures a 30-win cam­paign for the fourth time in pro­gram history. “I thought it was good,” Amherst coach Steve Morris said. “We came out pretty well to­day. Some­times we come out a lit­tle slug­gish. We got off to a good start. A cou­ple lucky bounces, and the puck went in early for us.”

THE SCORE AMHERST 7, MIDVIEW 1

Early and of­ten in the open­ing pe­riod, as the Comets built a 4-0 lead go­ing into in­ter­mis­sion. Kramer took care of a long wris­ter with a screen in front from Joey Kramer 2 min­utes, 14 sec­onds in. Ja­cob Fekete slot­ted a wris­ter short­side at 6:29, and Kramer struck again at 10:24. Michael Gian­nuzzi capped a strong pe­riod with a snapper top shelf at 14:23. The Comets, paced by Kramer and Fekete, forechecked beau­ti­fully. While not overly phys­i­cal on the forecheck, Amherst is chippy and ef­fi­cient in that re­gard to make zone break­outs a night­mare for their foes. “We try to push a guy down low be­hind the net and put two on the boards,” Kramer said. “So if they try to bank it off the boards, some­one’s there to try and dump it back down. Then we can try to cy­cle. “Our coach told us, right from the get-go, we knew if we put a lot of pres­sure and started out of the gates fly­ing, we had a good shot at win­ning.” Fekete scored 51 sec­onds into the sec­ond, and Kramer got this Cup fi­nal to run­ning clock at 7:21 for a 6-0 ad­van­tage. The Mid­dies (11-8) got on the board at 9:11 of the sec­ond through Bryan Weaver, but Gian­nuzzi made it run­ning clock again and for the du­ra­tion with a goal at 12:01. Amherst has the sec­ond­most Baron Cup ti­tles among Morn­ing Jour­nal cov­er­age area schools with five, be­hind Rocky River’s eight, and has been a buz­z­saw in ev­ery sense this sea­son. The Comets went 13-0 in White Di­vi­sion play, outscor­ing their league foes, 96-8, and with this Baron Cup II fi­nal win they in­creased their goal dif­fer­en­tial over­all this sea­son to a gaudy plus-179. Amherst’s last loss came Dec. 22 to Baron Cup I semi­fi­nal­ist Ken­ston, 3-2, in over­time. The Comets have won 18 straight games since. One thing is cer­tain: Amherst looks like a Red team, and that is to its credit. “The prob­lem is the amount of guys we have,” Kramer said of be­ing in the Red as op­posed to the White. “We just don’t have 15 guys who can fly. We only have five, six, seven guys that can play con­sis­tently, and then even­tu­ally they get tired. “We’d have a good shot at play­ing Red teams for like two pe­ri­ods. I think we’d just get worn out. But I think we’d have a chance.”

TIM PHILLIS — FOR THE NEWS-HER­ALD

Amherst’s Ja­cob Kramer puts a shot on Midview goalie Braden Rapp on Feb. 10 at Brook­lyn.

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