The Benedictine Bengals hockey team defeated the North Olmsted Eagles by a score of 6 – 4 on Sunday afternoon, January 27th at the North Olmsted Rec Center. The win moved the Bengals into solo possession of 3rd place in the Red Central Division of the Greater Cleveland High School Hockey league with 2 games remaining in the regular season before the Baron Cup I playoffs start the week of February 4th. The Bengals are now 3-6-1 in league play and 9-12-1 overall, while North Olmsted fell to 2-8-1 in league play and 7-11-2 overall.
The Bengals scoring was led by seniors Andrew Schiffer and Matt Carson. Schiffer had 3 goals and 2 assists while Carson had 1 goal and 3 assists. Junior Mike Wilk added a goal and an assist, sophomore Jack McBride had a goal, while single assists were provided by senior Mike Iammarino, senior Mark Tisdale, junior Mike Price, and sophomore Luke Faulisi. Freshmen defensemen Jack and Will Kehres helped backstop a defense that killed 5 of 6 North Olmsted penalties on the afternoon. Junior goalie Tristan Cotter stopped 20 of the 23 shots he faced in nets to earn the win. Carson contributed 5 saves in an unexpected 3rd period back-up goalie role (without goaltender equipment) when Cotter was assessed a 5 minutes major penalty for high sticking.
Benedictine came out slowly after a 2 week break and allowed North Olmsted to jump out to a 2-0 lead just 3 minutes into the first period. Schiffer got the Bengals on the scoreboard with a power play goal off of a beautiful pass from behind the net by Carson. Two minutes later Carson added his own power play goal with a hard wrist shot from between the circles. The goal was Carson’s team leading 23rd of the season with Price and Schiffer adding the assists. Schiffer appeared to give the Bengals a 3-2 lead with just 7 seconds in the first period when he buried a slap shot after a nice feed from Carson, but the referees disallowed the goal, due to a phantom high sticking penalty on Carson after he passed the puck to Schiffer. The period ended at 2 all, but the Bengals had regained the momentum.
Schiffer opened the Bengals second period scoring at the 12:28 mark when he intercepted a North Olmsted clearing pass and rifled a slap shot from the top of the right face off circle through the Eagle goalkeeper. Just over 3 minutes later at 9:06, Schiffer completed his second hat trick of the season when he flipped a centering pass from Carson over the fallen North Olmsted goalie for his 16th goal of the season. Tisdale had the second assist as his initial slap shot from the point had been deflected by Schiffer behind the net to Carson. Nearly 6 minutes later, sophomore McBride tallied the Bengals 5th goal of the game on a no-look behind the back backhand shot from the slot after a great pass from Iammarino. Faulisi had the second assist on the play, while Price’s hard work in front of the net had caused the Eagles to take a delayed interference penalty. Cotter had 11 saves in the period to bring his two period total to 13.
Wilk expanded the Bengal lead to 6-2 just 46 seconds OT the 3rd period after being sprung in free by a pass from Schiffer. Wilk beat the Eagle goalie short side top shelf to notch his 12th goal of the year, while Carson had the other assist. It appeared as if the Bengals would comfortably win the game, but with until just under 9 minutes remaining, things got interesting. Bengal defenseman Faulisi absorbed a late check from behind to the head from a frustrated Eagle forward, but the referees did not call a penalty. Faulisi protested the non call and was assessed a 2 minute minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and a 10 minute misconduct. Bengal Coach Bob Kehres tried to come to the defense of Faulisi, but was assigned a 2 minute bench minor penalty which was quickly followed by an ejection after Kehres continued to provide the referees with unsolicited feedback. North Olmsted also picked up a penalty in the aftermath, but the Bengals were still short handed for 2 minutes.
The Bengals successfully killed off the Eagle power play, but as Faulisi’s penalty was expiring, goalkeeper Cotter picked up a 5 minute major for high sticking a North Olmsted player that he had become tangled up with in his crease. Because it was a major penalty, Cotter was forced to go the penalty box and serve his own penalty. The Bengals do not have a back-up goalkeeper, so Carson took over in nets for the 5 minute disadvantage. Despite not having any goalie equipment, Carson kept the Eagles off the scoresheet for nearly 3 minutes, making several key saves with his gloves, stick and shin guards, not to mention taking a hard wrist shot off of his shoulder, before the Eagles finally scored with 3:53 left in the game to narrow the margin to 6-3. The Bengals survived the remainder of the Eagle power play thanks to saves by Carson and outstanding team penalty killing by Tisdale, J. Kehres, W. Kehres, Price, Iammarino, Wilk, McBride, and Schiffer. North Olmsted managed one goal after Cotter returned to the nets following his penalty, but the Bengals held on for the 6-4 victory. Cotter was credited with 20 saves in nets in picking up his 9th win of the season.
The Bengals return to the ice next weekend when they host the Solon Comets at 4:45pm on Friday, February 1st and the Hudson Explorers at 3:30pm on Saturday, February 2nd. Both contests will be played at the Cleveland Heights Ice Pavilion. Saturday afternoon’s game is senior night and the Bengals will honor and recognize their 4 seniors, including:
#10 Assistant captain and defenseman Mark Tisdale: Mark is a 4 year letter winner who has scored 7 goals and 14 assists for 21 points in 64 career games at Benedictine. Mark’s totals include 1 power play goal. Mark also plays lacrosse at Benedictine.
#13 Two year captain and center Matt Carson. Matt is a 4 year letter winner and the all-time goal, assist, and point scoring leader at Benedictine. He has tallied 106 goals, 74 assists and 180 points in 101 career games. Matt has 13 power play goals, 3 short handed goals and 9 game winning goals. Matt also plays lacrosse at Benedictine.
#14 Assistant captain and center Mike Iammarino. Mike is a 4 year letter winner and the 8th all time leading scorer at Benedictine. He has recorded 20 goals and 47 assists for 67 points in 102 career games. Mike’s totals include 1 game winning goal. Mike also has one win as a goaltender to his credit, thanks to a 8-4 win over Brecksville his junior season. Mike also plays lacrosse at Benedictine and is a member of the jazz band.
#24 Assistant captain and right wing Andrew Schiffer. Andrew is a 4 year letter winner and the 4th all time leading scorer at Benedictine, with 48 goals and 69 assists for 117 points. His assist total is 3rd all time behind Carson (74) and Tom Hongosh (71). Andrew has 5 game winning goals, 2 power play goals and 1 short handed goal. He has not missed a game in his 4 year career as a Bengal. Andrew plays soccer and lacrosse at Benedictine and also is in the marching band, the jazz band and the men’s choir.
Please come out to the Cleveland Heights Ice Pavilion on Saturday afternoon and help Benedictine recognize these four Men of Benedictine The ceremony will start at approximately 3:20pm before the 3:30pm game vs. Hudson.