Rocky River falls in Baron I cup final
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.”
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.