Boys Varsity Hockey · Bengals Defeat NDCL 5-2 in Game #2 of Heights Holiday Tournament

Two goals by Matt Carson, 3 assists by Andrew Schiffer, and 25 saves by Tristan Cotter led Benedictine to a 5-2 victory over the NDCL Lions in their 2nd game of pool play of the 2017 Heights Holiday Hockey Tournament on Thursday morning, December 28th at the Cleveland Heights Ice Pavilion. The Bengals record is now 6-4-1 overall and 2-2-0 in White North Division league play, while NDCL’s record is 5-8-1 overall and 2-2-0 in the White North Division.

Benedictine was forced to play shorthanded for 7 minutes of the opening period, including a 5 minute major for checking from behind, but strong penalty killing by senior defensemen Henry Jacobs and Ted Houser kept the Lions away from the Bengal net, as Cotter was only required to make 5 saves in the opening period, the biggest coming on a breakaway with just under 5 minutes left in the period. Junior co-captain Matt Carson capitalized on a Lions turnover when he ripped a wrist shot from the top of the right face-off circle past the Lions goalie at the 1:25 mark. Schiffer was credited with the assist on Carson’s 1st shorthanded goal of the season.

Freshman Mike Price gave the Bengals a 2-0 lead early in the 2nd period when he made a strong move down the right wing, skated past the Lion defenseman, and beat the keeper with a nifty backhand from close range. The goal was Price’s 4th of the season with Schiffer adding the assist.  NDCL struck back four minutes later when a Bengal turnover in the neutral zone led to an odd man rush. Lion defenseman Trent Szmania’s hard wrist shot from the right face-off dot found the far side of the net. Senior Luke Brown quickly restored the Bengal lead to 2 goal with a backhand rebound with 8:30 left in the 2nd period.  The goal was Brown’s 5th of the season and was assisted by co-captain Jacobs and junior forward Mike Iammarino. Before the period could end, the Bengals converted on their only power play chance of the game when Carson maintained control of the puck for nearly 20 seconds in the offensive zone before beating the keeper to the far-side from the left face-off circle with a hard, low wrist shot. The unassisted goal was Carson’s 6th power-play goal of the season and team leading 18th goal of the season.  Cotter turned aside 8 of 9 Lions’ shots in the period.

NDCL narrowed the gap to 4-2 at the 10:14 mark of the 3rd period, but could get no closer the rest of the way. The Lions pulled their goalie with 2 minutes left in the game in hopes of reducing the deficit to 1, but the strategy backfired when freshman defenseman Luke Faulisi’s clearing attempt ricocheted off the side boards and into the empty net for his first career high school goal. Schiffer picked up his 3rd assist of the game and team leading 14th assist of the season on the play. The game ended with the final score Benedictine 5, NDCL 2. Cotter stopped 9 of 10 Lion’s shots in the 3rd period and his record now stands at 6-4-1. The Lion’s goalie stopped 11 of 12 Benedictine shots in the 3rd period and 24 of 29 in the game.

The Bengals next game of the Heights Holiday Hockey Tournament is Thursday evening, December 28th @ 6:15pm vs. the Columbus Bishop Watterson Eagles. The Bengals and Eagles are currently tied for 1st place after 2 games of the 3 game pool play portion of the tournament. If the Bengals advance past pool play, they will play on Friday, 12/29 at either 4:30pm (consolation) or 7:00pm (championship). All games will be contested at the Cleveland Heights Ice Pavilion.

Box Score

Team 1st 2nd 3rd F
  NDCL 0 1 1 2
  Benedictine 1 3 1 5
NDCL (5-8-1 overall, 2-2-0 league)
Benedictine (6-4-1 overall, 2-2-0 league)
Team 1st Period
Benedictine Matt Carson (Andrew Schiffer) SH 1:25
2nd Period
Benedictine Mike Price (Andrew Schiffer) 13:13
NDCL Trent Szmania (unassisted) 9:36
Benedictine Luke Brown (Mike Iammarino, Henry Jacobs) 8:30
Benedictine Matt Carson (unassisted) PP 1:07
3rd Period
NDCL Will Ferrell (Connor Zoul, Trent Szmania) 10:14
Benedictine Luke Faulisi (Andrew Schiffer) EN 1:45
NDCL Matt Antczak (Loss, 29 shots, 24 saves)
Benedictine Tristan Cotter (Win, 27 shots, 25 saves)
Power Plays NDCL (0 of 2); Benedictine (1 of 1)