BROOKLYN, Ohio – The Pirates defeated the Avon Lake Shoremen, 7-3, on Wednesday, as Rocky River advanced in Brooklyn
State Qualifying Tournament action.
It was a win hammered out with a Mallett and good Fortune.
And a good time was had Byall.
Traveling to the Brooklyn Recreation Center for a fifth time
in two weeks, the Hilliard Boulevard Buccaneers made sure to stow their sticks
and the jerseys numbered 15, 19, and 21 on the team bus. The sticks would be
used to crank out 58 shots in the game. The jerseys would be key in identifying
the exploits of Logan Fortune, James Byall, and Luke Mallett, teammates on what
would be the most productive line in the contest.
After having skated to a scoreless tie with the Shoremen in the first period, the Pirates got things going early in the second when that Mallett-Byall-Fortune line vaulted over the boards and onto the ice. In the frame’s third minute, Byall scored his second goal of the tournament on a feed from Mallett. A Reece Rochester goal – assisted by Danny Asmar and Brodie Reid – less than two minutes later lifted the River lead to 2-0.
Avon Lake (26-9-1) countered with a Matt Tomaselli goal, but the Pirates then blew the game wide open with three straight goals. All three were scored by Mallet-Byall-Fortune line; Fortune tallied the first two and Mallett added the third. The Shoremen – the No. 7 seed in the bracket and winners of six of their previous seven games – answered with one more goal before the end of the high-octane second period. The Maroon & White would tote a 5-2 lead into the third.
The Pirates got some insurance 62 second into the third when
Hayden Weaver potted his 9th goal of the month. Rochester and Ethan Routenberg assisted on Weaver’s goal. Rochester would add his second netfinder of the game – and his 30th of the season – in the sixth minute of the period. Avon Lake closed out the scoring with a Tommy Kacmarcik marker at the 3:14-mark. Kacmarcik finished with a goal and an assist on the night.
For the game, the Pirates outshot the Shoremen, 58-14. Ethan Mylett made 11 saves for River. Both teams went 0-for-1 on the power play. Logan Fortune finished with two goals – his 20th and 21st of the season – and has now registered three multi-goal performances over River’s last five games. James Byall logged a goal and two assists against Avon Lake. Luke Mallett finished with a goal and three assists; he has seven points over two state qualifying tournament games after garnering six in the Baron Cup two weeks back. Ethan Routenberg notched two assists and now has eight helpers over five postseason games.
The victory sends the Pirates (24-8-3) into a state
qualifying tournament (regional) semifinal for a third time in the last four
CANNON FIRE …
ON DECK: Rocky River will face St. Edward in one of two Brooklyn bracket semifinals to be held Saturday. The Pirates and Eagles will play at 5 p.m. The other semifinal game has St. Ignatius taking on Amherst Steel at 2. … Since 2000, Rocky River is 0-5 against St. Edward. All five games have been in state tournament play. The 11-time state-champion Eagles defeated the Pirates, 3-1. In the most recent of those postseason meetings (Feb. 25, 2017), the Eagles defeated River, 3-1.
ROUNDING FOR HOME: With his assist on Wednesday, junior winger Danny Asmar hit the 70-point mark (28 goals, 42 assists) for the season. Fortune’s night upped his career total to 70 points (33, 37), and Mallett’s evening crossed his career point tally over the 80-point mark (36, 45) – he has 50 points (24, 26) this season. With his two-goal, one assist Reece Rochester now has 30 goals and 30 assists this season. Ethan Routenberg’s two assists upped his career total to 70. The senior captain and stalwart blue-liner is now just two points shy of 100 for his career.
by Skip Snow
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