Rocky River falls in Baron I cup fi­nal

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

Rocky River falls to Men­tor, 7-2, in the Baron Cup I fi­nal. Chris Lill­strung has the de­tails from the game.

THE SCORE MEN­TOR 7, ROCKY RIVER 2

Rocky River faced a foe on the op­po­site bench in Men­tor on Feb. 10 for the Baron Cup I fi­nal that had just played a five-over­time game the pre­vi­ous night. Un­for­tu­nately for the for­mi­da­ble Pi­rates on the ven­er­a­ble ice at Brook­lyn, they played like the team that had played five over­times in­stead. In­ef­fec­tive­ness in slot­ting good, deep looks in the of­fen­sive zone and a costly turnover early set the tone in a 7-2 loss to the Car­di­nals. River (17-10-4), seek­ing its ninth Baron Cup cham­pi­onship and fourth since 2014, was not lack­ing in puck pos­ses­sion or qual­ity with 29 shots. But on this oc­ca­sion, it didn’t mat­ter. “I think of­fen­sively, we did have a lot of good op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Pi­rates coach Chris Co­gan said. “We were con­trol­ling a good amount of it. But they started off with those two quick ones. We got one, but ev­ery time we’d be on the right track, we’d make a mis­take and turn the puck over in a crit­i­cal area or sit­u­a­tion. And they would cap­i­tal­ize. “That’s what good teams do is they cap­i­tal­ize on sim­ple mis­takes. So we could never build any mo­men­tum off it that we had go­ing.” Men­tor jumped to a 2-0 lead. Evan McBride threw a wris­ter on net that snuck in low at 4:30 of the first. Then at 6:48, the Pi­rates tele­graphed a zone break­out, on which Car­di­nals stand­out sopho­more An­drew McBride pounced for a turnover and de­liv­ered a snappy wris­ter. River got a much-needed boost at 9:09, when Hay­den Weaver took care of a wris­ter top shelf to make a 2-1 game go­ing into in­ter­mis­sion. The Pi­rates came out with en­ergy to start the sec­ond, with a cou­ple early snipes go­ing high or wide. Jack Heller cleaned up a re­bound for Men­tor at 2:17 to make it a 3-1 game. Luke Jef­fery made it 4-1 at 7:50. River got it back to 4-2 at 10:30, when Danny As­mar got to a re­bound off an ini­tial Luke Witzi­greuter look. But Jack O’Don­nell re­sponded as a crasher at the right bar for the Car­di­nals with 1:12 left in the pe­riod for a 5-2 ad­van­tage, and Jef­fery con­trib­uted a lovely deke into the zone and fin­ish on the crease at 4:07 of the third to es­sen­tially take the drama out of the equa­tion. Even com­ing off a fiveover­time marathon, Co­gan was not sur­prised by the en­ergy ex­erted by Men­tor, which had dis­patched River, 4-2, on Feb. 2 to close Red North East play. But af­ter his club’s most lop­sided loss to the Car­di­nals since 2005, at the most in­op­por­tune time, Co­gan hopes to see the proper re­sponse in the Brook­lyn District. “Th­ese guys play two games in a day over breaks, Christ­mas and stuff like that,” Co­gan said. “That was a lot of hockey for one night, but this is play­off hockey. This is what you play your reg­u­lar sea­son for. Ev­ery­body’s go­ing to have a lot of en­ergy. If they were tired, it def­i­nitely didn’t show. “We just dis­cussed our road (at Brook­lyn), and we don’t have an easy one. But I think they’re on the same page on kind of what our plan was as a coach­ing staff. They’ve got to re­group af­ter tonight and get back at it to­mor­row and stick to the plan. And I think they’re go­ing to be fine.”

TIM PHILLIS — FOR THE NEWS-HER­ALD

Rocky River’s Tommy Kelly reaches his stick out as Men­tor’s Jack Heller takes a shot Feb. 10 dur­ing the Baron Cup I fi­nal at Brook­lyn.

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