ELYRIA, Ohio -- Rocky River clocked its second shutout win of the season, as the Pirates blanked the Elyria Catholic Panthers, 7-0, on Wednesday night.
River got four goals from senior Chase DeClerck who has now found twine seven times over the team's last three games. Three of DeClerck's Wednesday scores came in an early-match, six-minute spate that saw the visitors tally four. Rocky River (5-3, 4-2 Great Lakes Conference) would net six goals in the opening half of play.
Other Pirate scorers on the night were Gold Rrustemaj, Hogan Kern, and Nathyn Marius.
With Wednesday's contest in the books, the Panthers (0-7, 0-5) have now allowed 13 goals over their last three matches. For Rocky River, the GLC road game was an opportunity to bounce back from a 3-1 loss at Westlake on Monday.
"Before the game," said Head Coach Kevin Zerbey, "I tried to emphasize to the team that it was really important that we play well and bounce back after Monday's loss."
DeClerck's fourth goal marked the 20th of his career. He has scored a team-high 11 this season. Younger brother Will DeClerck played the full 80 between the pipes and logged two saves en route to his first shutout.
"We were able to play well and move the ball around nicely," said Zerbey. "It was a good team performance. We're in the middle of our first three-game week of the season, so now we focus on Saturday's game and putting another good effort in then."
That Saturday game will be against Benedictine. The Pirates will host the Bengals Saturday at 1 p.m.
CANNON FIRE ...
PIRATE-PANTHER SERIES: Wednesday's tilt in Elyria marked the 27th meeting between Rocky River and Elyria Catholic, and the win for the Pirates tilted the balance of those 27 games just slightly in River's favor. The Sons of Blackbeard have now won four straight in a series they now lead, 13-12-2.
NET GAINS: Rocky River has now scored 30 goals in eight matches. The team's 3.75 goals-per-game average is the program's would-be highest since 2017 (5.32). River averaged 1.83 goals per game in 2019.
by Skip Snow
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