The score may imply a one-sided effort, but this game was anything but that. River Ridge tested East Lake in every way, and if it hadn’t been for ½ of this week’s senior spotlight, Goalie Anthony Samarkos, the score could have been very different.
River Ridge knew they had to start off to a fast pace if they wanted to hold strong with East Lake, and things started off right on track as Dylan Hultberg scored the opening goal unassisted at 12:24. East Lake eventually responded 10 minutes later when the other ½ of this week’s Senior Spotlight, Demitri Samarkos, found Nicholas Barnych for the first East Lake goal of the night.
East Lake sent out a message to the rest of the league with their play in the second period, and it went along the lines of, “Don’t let us find our footing. Otherwise, we will score, and score, and score again, without giving up any offensive zone chances.”. It started with Dylan Hultberg scrambling to help his goalie in the crease and covering the puck with his hand, thus receiving a delay of game penalty. For those readers unfamiliar, this doesn’t get Hultberg sent to the sin bin for two minutes, it is much crueler as he must stand behind the opposing team’s blue line and watch a player take a penalty shot. Matthew Alfaro got the chance to score on the penalty shot, and he did not let anyone down. After pulling the puck to his backhand at the bottom of the slot, River Ridge goalie Justin Cross bit, and Alfaro got the shot past him with one more deke. Four minutes later, East Lake set up a tic-tac-toe play as the forwards established themselves in the offensive zone that cycled the puck from Kyle Fink to Benjamin Lacey to the goal scorer, Nicholas Barnych. Adrian Matosevic would find Demitri Samarkos for a goal 3 minutes later, and that would do it for the period.
River Ridge put up the shots and aggressive offensive zone of a team that could’ve mounted a comeback, but Anthony Samarkos was having none of it behind the pipes. The game dwindled down to only 9 minutes on the clock when Kyle Fink made the game 5-1 after a pass from Benjamin Lacey. Two minutes later, Robert Scire would pass to Demitri Samarkos for the 6-1 strike.
River Ridge- 1 (23 SOG)
East Lake- 6 (32 SOG)
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