Boys Varsity Hockey · Bengals Tie Strongsville 2-2 in Heights Holiday Tournament Opener

Luke Brown’s 3rd period rebound backhand goal off an assist from Mike Iammarino gave the Benedictine Bengals a hard fought 2-2 tie with the Red South Division Strongsville Mustangs in the opening game of the 2017 Heights Holiday Hockey Tournament on Thursday evening, December 27th at the Cleveland Heights Ice Pavilion. The Bengals record is now 5-4-1 overall and 2-2-0 in White Division league play, while Strongsville’s record is 9-3-2 overall and a division leading 2-0-1 in Red South league play.

Strongsville took a 1-0 lead at the 8:32 mark of the 1st period and controlled much of the play in the opening stanza, but sophomore goalkeeper Tristan Cotter saved 11 of 12 Mustang shots to keep the Bengals within 1 goal.  Benedictine managed just 4 shots on the Strongsville keeper in the 1st period.

Junior Matt Carson tied the game at 1-1 at the 9:14 mark of the 2nd period with his team leading 16th goal of the season. Mark Tisdale recorded his 3rd assist of the season on the play. Shortly after Carson’s goal, two quick penalties left the Bengals shorthanded by 2 men. They managed to kill off the first Mustang power play, but Strongsville scored a go ahead power play goal at the 6:27 mark of the 2nd period before the 2nd penalty could expire. Cotter was strong the remainder of the period, stopping 12 of 13 Mustang shots, while the Bengals picked up the pace in the latter part of the 2nd period and finished the frame with 10 shots on goal.

Luke Brown’s equalizing goal at the 11:42 mark of the 3rd period came after hard work by center Mike Iammarino, who created a turnover behind the Mustang net and fired a low, hard shot that the Mustang goaltender could not control, resulting in Brown’s backhand rebound tally. The goal was the 4th of the season for Brown, while the assist was Iammarino’s 5th of the campaign. The Bengals survived a subsequent Strongsville power play and turned up the pressure during two power plays of their own, but neither team could manage the go ahead goal. Cotter stopped all 8 Mustang shots in the 3rd period and 31 of 33 for the game and his record now stands at 5-4-1. The Mustangs goalie stopped 9 of 10 Benedictine shots in the 3rd period and 22 of 24 in the game.

The Bengals next games of the Heights Holiday Hockey Tournament are against NDCL (Thursday, 12/28 @ 9:45am) and Columbus Bishop Watterson (Thursday, 12/28 @ 6:15pm). 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
  Strongsville 1 1 0 2
  Benedictine 0 1 1 2
Strongsville (9-3-2 overall, 2-0-1 league)
Benedictine (5-4-1 overall, 2-2-0 league)
Team 1st Period
Strongsville Logan Schramm (unassisted) 8:32
2nd Period
Benedictine Matt Carson (Mark Tisdale) 9:14
Strongsville Josh Grady (Devyn Martineau, Chris Wade) PP 6:27
3rd Period
Benedictine Luke Brown (Mike Iammarino) 11:42
Strongsville Clay Larissey (Tie, 24 shots, 22 saves)
Benedictine Tristan Cotter (Tie, 33 shots, 31 saves)
Power Plays Strongsville (1 of 4); Benedictine (0 of 4)