It didn’t take long for the Rocky River hockey team to run away with the game against Cleveland Heights at the John M. Coyne Recreation Center in Brooklyn on Feb. 12.
Within seven-and-a-half minutes, the lead was 7-0 and triggered a running clock. By the time senior Luke Mallett’s goal made it 10-0 just 27 seconds into the third period, the Baron Cup quarterfinal was called and the Pirates moved on.
“We were just trying to get the boys going right away,” said Pirates senior winger Logan Fortune, who finished with two goals and three assists. “We were trying to get shots on net and move fast, and we were able to get a lot of goals right away. We got five right away, which was great for us.”
Hayden Weaver and Matthew Steuber scored two goals apiece in the dominating first period, with Brodie Reid, James Byall and Fortune also scoring to give the Pirates a 7-0 lead. Fortune and Byall scored within four minutes of each other in the second period for a 9-0 lead, and Mallett’s goal with 14:33 left in the third period officially ended the game.
Cleveland Heights freshman goalie Johnny Cheshire was under siege from the beginning, absorbing 30 shots on net in the first period and 50 for the game. He made 40 saves.
Conversely, Pirates goalie Ethan Mylett made five saves against the Tigers (8-23).
“It’s Baron Cup time. It’s a different time of year,” Pirates coach Chris Cogan said. “We’re not trying to overlook anybody and you just never know how you’re going to come out. We told (the team) to come out strong and play our game and try and dictate the play, so I think they did a good job of coming out fast.”
Rocky River and Mentor met in last season’s Baron Cup final, with the Cardinals pulling out a 7-2 victory. In four regular-season meetings this year the Cardinals hold a 3-0-1 edge, with two games decided by a single goal.
“Starting the Baron Cup, everybody’s fired up,” Fortune said. “We’re very excited. We definitely want to take it from Mentor. They took it from us last year so we’re ready to go. We’re looking at the future, but we’re also trying to take it game by game, step by step.”
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