ROCKY RIVER, Ohio – The Pirates pulled off a heart-stopping, improbable fourth-quarter comeback, defeating the Avon Lake Shoremen, 7-6, on Friday night.
With the home side down 5-2 early in the fourth quarter, senior co-captain Michael Snow whistled a heat-seeking missile into the top quarter of the Shoremen net. That shot started a march of five unanswered goals for the Pirates. The River surge was capped off by a pair of Nolan Weaver goals, one at the 3:47-mark and one at the 2:37-mark. Those Weaver shots followed Michael Malloy’s game-tying goal which was rocketed past the Shoremen netminder at the 4:58-mark.
“We had a tremendous atmosphere and feeling around the team during that comeback,” said Head Coach Chris Skinner. “Every contested play, from ground balls to goals scored, had every one of our guys engaged on the play. It was a full-roster effort and a fun comeback.”
Rocky River (2-1), which had only landed 11 shots on goal in each of its first two games this season and had only managed six shots on target over the game’s first three quarter on Friday, put nine efforts between the pipes in
the final quarter of play. For the contest, the Pirates recorded 34 shots (15 on goal) to Avon Lake’s 31 (13).
River upset an otherwise evenly played first quarter when Michael Snow found Aaron Kosmerl for an extra-man netfinder at 0:50. Both teams would get off seven shots in the first quarter, and the Snow-Kosmerl connection provided the lone goal of the period.
The second stanza was all-Shoremen. Avon Lake outshot River, 11-4, and prevented the Pirates from putting a shot on goal. The Shoremen (0-2) scored a quartet of goals, two of which came over the final 40 seconds of the half.
The two sides traded goals in the third, and that sent the Pirates to the sideline trailing the Shoremen, 5
-2, at the end of 36 minutes of play.
What happened in the 37th minute of play started a brush fire. Snow’s goal was followed by back-to-back Michael Malloy goals and then the two by Nolan Weaver. The Shoremen landed their sixth goal in the final minute of play.
Goalkeeper Chris Welch had six saves for the Pirates, and emergency backup (on a penalty) Ryan Matis had one. Senior co-captain Titus Snavely had four ground balls to lead the defensive corps.
Friday’s tilt under the lights marked Rocky River’s third straight home game as part of a lid-lifting, four-game home stand to start the season. The Pirates will conclude that stretch on Detroit Road when they host Holy Name on Tuesday (7 p.m. start time).
BABY BUCCANEERS: The JV squad won its second straight game, bludgeoning the Shoremen, 17-4. Freshman Ethan Mylett allowed just two even-strength goals while registering six saves. Ryan Kosmerl (4g, 1a), Colton Sullivan (6 gb, 1a), Logan Fortune (4g, 2a), William St. Pierre (3g, 1a), Andrew Snow (4g, 2a, 8 gb) and Danny McFarland (3 ct) stuffed the stat sheet for River. Snow went 9-0 on faceoffs.
BY THE NUMBERS: Rocky River is now 5-1 all-time against Avon Lake. … Attackman Nolan Weaver now has five goal’s over River’s last two games. … Michael Snow had a goal and two assists on Friday night. Snow has logged at least one assist in each of the Pirates’ first three games this season. … The Pirates failed on clears in seven of their first 14 opportunities against the Shoremen. But the coaches and players righted the ship: River earned clears on 12 of their last 13 attempts in the contest.