Oct. 11, 2009
BOARDMAN, Ohio - The ACHA Division I team showed a lot of heart this weekend playing three games in three days. They won 5-4 against Pittsburgh on Friday and forced overtime against Oklahoma on Saturday after trailing by four goals at one point.
On Friday morning, the club loaded up and headed to Boardman, Ohio for the first of three games in the ACHA Showcase as they opened against the Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh. Adrian found themselves snake bit the first 20 minutes as the first period ended in a goose egg for both teams with no scoring. Although Adrian outshot Pitt,15-6, they could not fill the oven. In the second period, Andrew Amodeo continued his scoring ways tallying his first two of three goals in the game while Pitt responded back in the period with a four-goal rally to put Adrian behind the eight ball at 4-2. Adrian went into the third looking for some room to work and rallied in the last minute of the game as Amodeo tallied his third of the game for the hat trick from Bonomo and Ciaverilla. Ciaverilla showed his scoring touch with 22 seconds left on the clock as he beat Pitt goaltender Cedric Brown to send the game into overtime. At the 1:03 mark of overtime, captain Jared Semple made his presence felt as he ripped one over Brown's glove to win the game for Adrian. Coffin and Ciaverilla assisted on the winner.
After a short nights rest, the Bulldogs were back at it Saturday morning as they took on the sixth-ranked Sooners from Oklahoma. For some unfortunate reason, Adrian again found themselves scratching and clawing from behind as they put themselves in a hole going down 4-0 to the Sooners all the way into the early part of the third period. At the 11:00 minute mark, the beast was awakened as Jeff LeRoy got the 'Dogs on the board scoring from Jack Goodell and Des Cowan. Oklahoma responded with a shorthanded goal at 9:46 to go up 5-1 and hopefully, for Oklahoma, put the game out of reach. As had happened less than 24 hours earlier, Adrian rallied in the last nine-and-a-half minutes to post four unanswered goals and put the game at a deadlock 5-5 and into overtime. Bonomo, Ciaverilla and Norman got the game into reach at 5-4 and Joey Coffin put the proverbial "nail in the coffin" to send it into overtime at 5-5. Bonmon, LeRoy, Lopez, Goodell, Semple and Bonomo collected an assist on the final four tallies. The overtime period saw a strong back and forth pace with Adrian seeing more quality chances than the Sooners, but came up short as the game went to a shootout. In the shootout, Spencer Bonomo tallied the only goal as the Sooners scored twice to close out the one-shot showdown and beat the Bulldogs 6-5 in a shootout. Adrian native Jeff Bernyk, although taking the loss, played an outstanding game for the 'Dogs as he stopped 34 of 40 shots including the shootout.
"This whole weekend is a true test of our fortitude to be a top-level team this season," stated Head Coach Dan Phelps. "This is a lot of hockey in a little time. I have been very impressed at this early point in the season with not only our play, but with the way the boys have come together! If we can continue to improve our defensive game and learn to maximize our strengths, it's going to be an exciting season!"
The final leg of the Ironman weekend saw the icers against the Sun Devils of Arizona State in an 8 a.m. matchup on Sunday morning. With both teams looking back at a lot of hockey over the past two days, the final game of the ACHA Showcase was a rematch from last season when Adrian traveled to Scottsdale, Ariz. and handed the Devils a 6-2 loss in January of 2009. The rematch was won in favor of the Devils as they topped the 'Dogs by one with a 4-3 decision in regulation.
Adrian again found themselves behind the curve early in the game as ASU pumped in two goals within the first four minutes of play. Adrian responded in the first as junior Tom Ciaverilla continued to prove his offensive abilities scoring an even strength goal at 13:41 with the assist going to Jared Semple. The first period ended in a 2-1 lead for ASU.
The second period was all Devils as they scored two even strength goals midway into the period to take a 4-2 lead into the third. The 'Dogs were again against the wall as they had been throughout the Showcase. Fearing no one, the Bulldogs answered at the 13:30 mark of the third as senior Tim Carlson drove a shot past the ASU net minder to narrow the gap to one. From that point on, Adrian controlled the period out shooting the Devils, 17-6, and 46-30 for the game. The 'Dogs were unable to capitalize and saw themselves on the short end of the rematch.
"We have such great signs of winning games with the tenacious style and discipline we play, but we are just not playing consistent enough to put 60 minutes all together to pull some of these games in our favor," stated Phelps after the loss. "The positive in this whole scenario is that it is still early and we have such a passion to win and succeed that circulates throughout our dressing room. I know our boys will respond to improve and get back on track to our task at hand."
The Bulldogs moved their overall record to 5-3 for the season. They travel to Annapolis, Md. next weekend for a pair of games against the Midshipmen of Navy. Game times are 7:30 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. The 'Dogs return home for a three-game homestand October 22, 23 and 24 as they play host to the #1-ranked Lindenwood on Thursday and square off with Washington and Jefferson Friday and Saturday. Game time Thursday is 7:30 p.m. with Friday's puck dropping at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m.