Dominant Comets capture Baron Cup II
Amherst captures fifth crown in school history with 30th victory of season
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.”
Amherst’s Jacob Kramer puts a shot on Midview goalie Braden Rapp on Feb. 10 at Brooklyn.