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Pirates raid Mentor in 15-5 triumph
Will Bennett
MENTOR, Ohio -- The Pirates won a conference game on the road, as Rocky River earned a 15-5 victory at Mentor on Tuesday. River got multiple goals from five players in a game that saw the Maroon & White fire off is most shots (59) in six years.

The host Cardinals battled back after Ryan Hildebrand and Hayden Weaver scored two goals each in lifting Rocky River to a 4-0 lead by the end of the opening quarter. Mentor scored three of the next four goals to get within two by the 2:09-mark of the second period. But River answered with a late-period Ryan McDougal goal on an assist from Hildebrand, and the Pirates took a 6-3 lead into halftime. The visitors outshot the home side, 36-11, in the first half.

The Cardinals scored the first goal of the second half to cut their deficit back to two, but Rocky River countered with the game's next four goals -- off four different River crosses -- to put the Northern Ohio Lacrosse League game out of reach by the late stages of the period. The Pirates outscored the Cardinals, 5-2, in the third and 4-0 in the fourth.

Rocky River (3-2, 3-0 NOLL) scored three man-up goals in the contest. The Pirates got six points (four goals, two assists) from Hildebrand and five goals from Weaver in reaching their season-high in goals. Also filing claims in the dented-twine department were McDougal (three goals, one assist), Will Bennett (two goals, two assists), and Nathan Robertson (goal,  assist).

At the other end of the field, River's d-poles had a big game in causing spills and keeping goalkeeper Reece Rochester unbothered for lengthy stretches of action. Starting defensemen Kai Delventhal (three caused turnovers, three ground balls), Charlie Hudson (5 CT, 3 GB), and Robby Lang (2 CT, 5 GB) combined for 10 caused turnovers. For the game, the turnover exchange amounted to a plus-10 (16 turnovers to 26) for the Pirates.

Rochester made three saves in the victory. The Pirates put 23 shots on frame to Mentor's seven. In total shots, the Pirates had 59 to the Cardinals' 23. River's possession efforts were buoyed by Mack Massad (13-11 on 24 faceoffs), Matthew McDonald (CT, 5 GB), Weaver (5 GB), John Matis (5 GB), and McDougal (5 GB).

Rocky River's next game is slated for Thursday when the Pirates host an NOLL contest against Brunswick.

by Skip Snow
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