Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Normandy High School
Avon Lake High School
Avon Lake took on Normandy High School In a battle of the top two teams in the GCHSHL Blue North Division. In a hard fought game that featured excellent goaltending at both ends of the ice, the first-place Shoremen prevailed 5-2 and won their fourth consecutive game. The Shoremen dominated the first period; outshooting Normandy 17-5, but went to the locker room tied 1-1 after surrendering a goal with only ten seconds to go in the period. The lone Avon Lake goal was scored by junior Jared Aslaksen after some strong work and a nice pass from freshman Nick Ospelt.
The Shoremen were flat in the second period, and the shots on goal were completely reversed with Normandy registering 19 shots to Avon Lake’s 5. Fortunately, freshman goaltender Dillon Aslaksen was particularly sharp and did not allow any goals in the period, despite constant pressure.
Early in the third period the teams traded goals and the fans were treated to a close, entertaining hockey game. Aslaksen scored again with the assist going to hard-working forward, Tim Lubertozzi. With just 2:43 to go in the game freshman Tommy Kacmarcik scored the most important goal of his young career when he buried a shot from in close into the top corner of the net. Kacmarcik’s unassisted effort would ultimately be his second game-winning goal in the last three games. With Avon Lake clinging to a one goal lead, Normandy pulled their goalie and had an extra attacker with 54 seconds to go in the game. At that point Avon Lake’s determination and resiliency was put on display. Not only did the Shoremen play lock-down defense, but they also scored two empty net goals. The first one went to Patrick Graney. After winning the faceoff to Aslaksen, Graney raced down the ice beating everybody to the puck and tapping it into the net from about 5 feet out. Graney then returned the favor as he passed the puck to Aslaksen who made no mistake and rifled the puck into the net to complete his hat trick.
Aslaksen now has 8 hat tricks and 44 goals on the season. He has already surpassed his career high of 41 goals. Kacmarcik also reached a milestone with his 20th goal of the season and is second on the team in that category. Goaltender Dillon Aslaksen turned aside 32 shots to earn the well-deserved victory. Avon Lake improved to 21-3-1 overall on the season and 10-0-1 in the Blue North Division.
By clinching the first seed in the Baron Cup lll playoffs, the Shoremen will play on Monday February 6th at the Brooklyn Recreation Center. The puck will drop at 4:30pm against an opponent that has yet been determined. In the meantime, the team travels to Garfield Heights this coming Saturday February 4th to play their last divisional game against Twinsburg High School at 3:30pm.