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Firework finale

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio – The Rocky River offensive attack exploded for a season-high in goals, as the Pirates drubbed the Walsh Jesuit Warriors, 18-3, in Saturday’s regular-season finale.

Nine different River players found the back of the net in a contest that saw the visiting Pirates pot multiple goals in each quarter of action. Aaron Kosmerl stuffed the stat sheet with four goals and two assists to log a six-point game for the Pirates, who finished their regular-season campaign with a record of 10-7. The Men in Maroon outshot their Walsh counterparts, 50-11, and scored all but one of their goals even strength.

Nolan Weaver (four goals, one assist), Brian Hollis (three goals) and Matthew Willse (two goals, two assists) turned in the biggest performances of the day for the Pirates. Rocky River had its passing game in high gear: no less than 14 goals were accompanied by assists, and about 10 of those were of a spectacular, threading-the-needle variety. River scored three goals in the first quarter and four in the second in building a 7-0 lead by halftime. The Warriors (8-7) did manage three goals in the third, but that was a 12-minute period that saw the Pirates collect eight goals on 15 shots (nine on goal).

An overshadowed-but-staunch River defense held Walsh shot-less in the fourth. For the game, the Pirates put a season-high 34 shots on goal while holding the Warriors to six. Rocky River tied a season-high with 18 caused turnovers. Junior defenseman Ben FitzGibbon led the squad with four caused turnovers; senior middie Ian Herrmann added three. River was a plus-14 in the turnover exchange, committing just eight to Walsh’s 22.

Senior midfielder Keller Fisher led a faceoff corps that went 15-9 on the afternoon. The Pirates also managed a positive exchange of possessions in the transition game: River went 15-of-17 on clears, while the Warriors went just 10-of-18.

With the victory, Rocky River now moves into Ohio playoff tournament action. The Pirates will host Padua Franciscan in a first-round game on Tuesday. The opening faceoff between the Pirates and Bruins is slated for 7 p.m.


NOTES …

NICE TIE!: River’s 18 goals tie a program record for most netfinders in a single game. The program has tallied 18 in a game four times now. Prior to Saturday’s outburst the last time River scored 18 in a single game was May 18, 2012.

FRAMING THE NUMBERS: On the season, Rocky River is now averaging 7.7 goals per game, just a shade under the 8.2 GPG the Pirates averaged a year ago. Defensively, Rocky River has yielded 6.9 GPG. … In shots on goal, the Pirates’ 34 from Saturday stand as their most in any game over the last two seasons. The six SOG allowed against the Warriors mark the fewest yielded in a single game since April 12, 2016, a stretch of 30 games. … With his six-point afternoon in Cuyahoga Falls, senior attackman Aaron Kosmerl is now within range of notching a 50-point season. Kosmerl (47 points) has scored 30 goals and garnered 17 assists this season.

FROSH PIT: Three freshmen contributed to Saturday’s success. Netminder Mylett was between the pipes in relief of Chris Welch for the back half of the fourth quarter. Midfielder William St. Pierre earned his first game action. And midfielder Andrew Snow scored his first varsity goal while going 2-0 on a pair of faceoffs.

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