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Demons lose double-overtime heartbreaker; Avon wins big

Westlake goalkeeper Joey Guay tallied 23 saves in Saturday's loss to Strongsville. Photo – Ryan Kaczmarski

By Ryan Kaczmarski

With the Westlake Demons down 5-4 to Strongsville in the final seconds of the third period, senior defenseman Adam Sandor found the back of the net to tie the game and send it into overtime.

If this were a Hollywood screen play, the story would have ended with Westlake scoring in overtime and moving on to the next round of the OHSAA state playoffs. But the hockey gods were not smiling on the Demons on Saturday, as after a scoreless first overtime, a questionable hooking penalty was called on Westlake just 25 seconds into the second overtime, which set up Strongsville’s power play for the victory, 6-5.

“We kept fighting and got right back in it, then there was a tough break in the second overtime,” Westlake head coach John Duke said.

Strongsville opened the game with a quick goal, just 13 seconds in, but Westlake (17-8) followed that with three unanswered goals (two by Chris Humer and one by Rudy Keppler) before the Mustangs would answer in the second period.

Keppler added another goal in the second period on a power play, but then Strongsville rattled off three goals in a row to take the 5-4 lead with mere minutes remaining in the game.

“We just got out of our rhythm a little in the second period,” Duke explained. “We had a great first period, but they got into it in the second.

“We just couldn’t pull it out today … it’s a tough one.”

Avon center Eric Novakovic scored four goals and had two assists in Saturday's victory over Bay. Photo – Ryan Kaczmarski

Avon’s game against a Bay team, with only three reserves, was over really before it got rolling.

Before the first minute of the first period was over, the Eagles (28-4-1) led Bay 2-0, then they just kept pouring it on with Avon winning 11-1 in a score-shortened game.

Avon’s Eric Novakovic tallied six points in the game, scoring four goals and adding two assists. Left Winger Alex Guzik had two goals and two assists for Avon. Avon’s Joe Goetze had a hat trick in the game, and added an assist. Shane Docherty scored the other two goals for Avon.

Bay’s lone goal was provided in the second period by Nate Cullinan. Bay goalkeeper Nick Best saved an amazing 41 shots in the loss. Bay finishes the season with a record of 8-22.

Avon moves on to face the winner of the game between No. 2 seed Holy Name and Brooklyn, on Saturday at the Brooklyn Ice Arena.

 

Other scores:

Feb. 12

Lakewood 5, Midview 4

Feb. 13

Rocky River 8, Olmsted Falls 0

St. Edward 18, Avon Lake 0

 

 

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