The Benedictine Bengals hockey team took 3rd place in the 2018 NDCL Winter Invitational Hockey Tournament over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend at the Mentor Ice Arena. During the tournament, the Bengals were 1-1-1 in pool play, finishing in a tie for 3rd place with Lakewood (Blue South Division), behind 2nd place Chagrin Falls (White South Division) and 1st place Cleveland Heights Tigers (Red South Division). The Bengals then advanced to the 3rd place consolation game on Monday, January 15th, where they beat Lakewood Rangers by a 6-3 score. The Bengals record after the tournament was 9-9-2 overall and 3-3-0 in White South Division league play. Cleveland Heights beat Chagrin Falls 9-1 in the final to win the tournament.
The Bengals dropped the first game of the tournament 5-3 to the Cleveland Heights Tigers in a tightly contested back and forth affair. Heights opened the scoring in the 1st period, but Benedictine evened the score on a Mike Iammarino goal that was assisted by Mike Price. Junior Andrew Schiffer gave the Bengals a 2-1 lead early in the 2nd period with Mark Tisdale and Iammarino picking up the assists. Heights tied the game with a power play goal later in the 2nd. An early 3rd period goal put Heights back in front 3-2, but Schiffer netted his 2nd of the game at the 7 minute mark to make it 3-3. Iammarino and Price each picked up their 2nd assists of the game on the goal. Unfortunately for the Bengals, the tie was short lived as the Tigers scored just 11 seconds later. Heights tacked on a late goal to make the final score 5-3. Despite taking the loss, sophomore goaltender Tristan Cotter was stellar in nets for the Bengals, stopping 54 of 59 Tiger shots in the game.
In the second game of pool play on Sunday morning, January 14th, the Bengals used a goal by Matt Carson with 5 seconds remaining to tie the Lakewood Rangers. Carson’s game tying goal was assisted by Luke Brown and Mike Wilk. Benedictine had dug itself a deep hole as they were down 3-0 just 1 minute into the 2nd period, but the Bengals then rallied strong for the remainder of the 2nd period, getting goals by Mark Tisdale (assisted by Mike Wilk), Luke Brown ( Iammarino & Price) and Mike Wilk (Tisdale) to knot the game at 3-3 after 2 periods. A 3rd period Lakewood power play goal with 4 minutes left gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead before Carson’s last second goal earned the Bengals a tie. Netminder Tristan Cotter had 15 saves in the contest.
The Bengals returned to the ice on Sunday evening for the 3rd and final game of pool play and easily defeated the Chagrin Falls Tigers by a 9-1 count. Matt Carson led the Bengals in scoring with 5 goals and 1 assist. Sophomore Mike Wilk also had a hat trick, contributing 3 goals and an assist. Luke Brown netted the other Bengals goal, while Mike Price (3), Ted Houser (2), Andrew Schiffer (1) and Mark Tisdale (1) all had assists. Goalkeeper Tristan Cotter stopped 32 of 33 shots in picking up his 8th win of the season.
The 3rd place consolation game took place on Monday, January 15th and featured a re-match of Lakewood and Benedictine. Once again, the Rangers got off to a fast start and led 2-0 before Mike Iammarino put the Bengals on the scoreboard with scored an unassisted goal late in the 1st period. 2nd period Bengal goals by Mike Wilk (Mike Price) and Mike Price (Matt Carson, Henry Jacobs) gave Benedictine a 3-2 lead. The Rangers evened the game at 3-3 early in the 3rd period, but the Bengals responded with 3 unanswered goals to win 6-3. Those goals were scored by Carson (Wilk, Price), Mike Iammarino (Andrew Schiffer), and Andrew Schiffer (Iammarino, Luke Brown). Cotter turned aside 40 of 43 Ranger shots to even his record at 9 wins, 9 losses and 2 ties on the year.
Benedictine returns to the ice on Thursday, January 18th when they visit the Brecksville Bees at Brooklyn Ice Arena @ 7:15pm in a White South Division league game, followed by a home league game against the NDCL Lions at the Cleveland Heights Ice Pavilion @ 7:00pm on Saturday, January 20th.