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Pirates ride the Green Wave

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio – Senior co-captain Aaron Kosmerl logged seven points and fellow senior Austin Weaver tallied his first career hat trick, as the Pirates defeated Holy Name, 12-3, on Tuesday night.

Kosmerl figured in each of Rocky River’s first four goals on the night and finished with two goals and five assists. One of his five helpers came on Austin Weaver’s netfinder at 1:08 in the second quarter. That would be the first of three goals for the senior attackman.

And those goals came on a night that saw the Pirates (3-1) reach double digits in the scoring column for the first time this season. Rocky River put a season-high 20 shots on goal (of 32 total) and had nine different players register a point. Logging multiple points on the night were Kosmerl, Austin Weaver (3g), Nolan Weaver (3g, 1a), Michael Malloy (1g, 2a), Brendan McGovern (1g, 1a) and Michael Snow (1g, 1a).

“What I saw out there was an offense more in sync,” said Head Coach Chris Skinner, whose Pirate squad has now won three straight games. “Cutters were flying in with a purpose, and passes were on target. That helped us get more quality looks.”

Those quality looks weren’t really generated until adjustments made after the first quarter of play, a period that saw Rocky River’s offense get off just two shots.

“Early on, Chris [Welch] kept us in the game,” said Skinner. “We had a number of early penalties, and our defense was put in the position of keeping the sheet clean and keeping us close on the scoreboard.”

And the River netminder and defensive backfield did more than keep it close. Holy Name put four shots on goal in the first and two more in the second, but all six were turned aside by junior goalkeeper Chris Welch, who finished the contest with a season-high eight saves. And by game’s end, the Pirates would hold the Green Wave (2-2) to a mere 1-of-7 performance on extra-man opportunities.

Rocky River scored one goal in the first quarter and five in the second as part of a 6-0 first-half shutout. The Maroon & White extended their lead to 10-0 by the end of the third; they kept Holy Name off the scoreboard until the 10:24-mark of the fourth. For the game, Rocky River potted 12 goals on 32 shots (20 on goal). Holy Name recorded three goals on 25 shots (11 on goal).

Defensemen Summie Mead and Teddy Steuber both had big games for River – each tallied three caused turnovers. Steuber added three ground balls to his line. Senior midfielder Keller Fisher went 10-4 in the faceoff department.

Tuesday’s contest concluded a four-game home stand to open the season for the Pirates. Rocky River will play its next two games – at Avon on Friday and at Toledo de Sales on April 4 – on the road. Friday’s tilt against the Eagles will be a 5 p.m./7p.m. JV-varsity twin bill.

NOTES …

STOP SIGN: Dating back to the fourth quarter the March 21 game against CVCA, goalie Chris Welch has stopped 20-of-31 shots (.645 save percentage).

YIELD SIGN: The Pirates were whistled for eight penalties on Tuesday and have thus far committed 6.0 infractions per game, up from 4.0 a year ago. … River committed 24 turnovers against Holy Name and has turned possessions over 24 times or more in three of its four games this season.

ODDS & ENDS: Tuesday’s contest at Rocky River Stadium marked the second meeting between the Pirates and Green Wave. Rocky River downed Holy Name, 18-2, in their first meeting five years ago (May 18, 2012). … With Tuesday’s victory on Detroit Road, Rocky River is now 10-4 over its last 14 home games. … Through four games, the top Pirate scorers are Nolan Weaver (12p on 9g, 3a), Aaron Kosmerl (11p -- 6g, 5a), Michael Malloy (9p – 6g, 3a) and Michael Snow (8p – 3g, 5a).