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Buccaneers bedevil Brunswick in NOLL opener
RR Boys Lacrosse
ROCKY RIVER, Ohio (March 21, 2023) -- Rocky River clocked a victory in its 2023 Northern Ohio Lacrosse League opener, as the Pirates routed the Brunswick Blue Devils 14-1 Tuesday.

Senior Wes Bennett rifled six shots that found nylon in what was a wire-to-wire conquest for the Sons of Blackbeard. Rocky River tilted the field its way -- to the tune of a 56-16 edge in shots -- and when the Pirate defense and goalkeeper were called up, the Maroon & White were sharp in spoiling opportunities. The lone goal River allowed came in the opening period. Senior goalie Carter Smith stopped all five shots he faced after that.

Bennett landed the first goal of the game, a man-up job assisted by senior captain Mack Massad in the third minute of play. The Pirates would outscore the visiting Blue Devils, who took the Double-R to overtime last season (12-11 Rocky River win on March 31), 6-1 in that opening stanza.

A busy Bennett, who scored 18 goals a year ago, tallied the last goal of the first period, every score in a 3-0 River second, and the first goal of the third quarter in a stretch that saw him score five in a row. Bennett would finish the night with eight points. His sixth and final goal of the evening marked the 50th point of his career.

The Buccaneers built a 13-1 lead by the final minute of the third, and the balance of the game was played with a running clock. That 13-1 advantage was constructed with multiple points coming from Bennett, Andrew Lang (2G), Matthew Malloy (1G, 2A), and Massad (3G, 1A). River's final goal on the night -- at 0:51 of the fourth -- was a career-first scored by Joseph Smith on a feed from Brody Hahn.

On the evening, the Pirates (2-0, 1-0 NOLL) put half (28) of their 56 shots on goal. And they found twine on half of those 28. All while allowing half as many shots on goal (seven) as they had goals.

Not half bad for game No. 2.


River outdueled Brunswick 11-8 on 19 faceoffs, and the Pirates took 44-of-67 (65.7%) ground balls. The Double-R was a plus-10 (13 to 23) in turnovers. ... Mack Massad went 7-6 on 13 faceoffs and had 11 ground balls and five caused turnovers. Cohen Blair had 5 GB and 1 CT. Rowan McDougal registered 4 GB and 1 CT in addition to his second goal of the season.

SIX-SHOOTERS: Rocky River has had a six-goal scorer in each of its first two games, Massad in game 1 and Bennett in game 2. Massad's half-dozen scores in last Friday's opener marked River's most goals in a single game since last season's game against Brunswick (March 31), when now-senior Ryan Hildebrand had six goals. ... With his six goals and two assists Tuesday, Bennett has now logged 51 career points (39G, 12A).

by Skip Snow

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