NORTH OLMSTED — With one goal, Midview’s Jacob Lyons did more than win a game. He may have rescued a season.
Lyons’ winner with 4:20 remaining in overtime gave the Middies a 2-1 win over North Olmsted on Sunday in a non-league game at the North Olmsted Recreation Center.
After a rough stretch that has seen the Middies (11-13) lose eight of 12 games since Jan. 1, Lyons hopes the win will give his team a confidence boost going into Tuesday’s Baron Cup II quarterfinal against Cleveland Heights.
“The last month or so has been rough, so we needed to pull this out today to keep the younger guys motivated and break the losing streak,” said Lyons, one of three seniors on the Midview roster.
Lyons scored his goal on a breakaway, receiving the puck just outside the blue line from Jacob Hack. Lyons then skated to the front of the goal and put the puck past goaltender Chase Cullinan.
“I wanted to come in and make (Cullinan) move east-west instead of north-south, then I was just hoping I would put it in,” Lyons said.
Midview scored first thanks to Kyle Kudela’s goal at the 7:02 mark of the second period. Kudela’s goal came after Cullinan turned back the Middies’ first 17 shots.
“I think that goal was an attitude adjuster for our entire team,” Kudela said. “Getting that first goal is always a huge advantage. We were able to keep going with our heads held high.
Junior Noah DeJoy tied the game for the Eagles (3-18-1) on a power play with 7:03 left in regulation. It was the only offense North Olmsted mustered on the way to its 13th consecutive loss.
“Give credit to Midview, they played well. But we were sleepwalking for the first two periods,” North Olmsted coach T.J. Murray said. “In the third period we finally decided to move our feet and we generated some offense. The first two periods we weren’t getting the puck deep, we weren’t forechecking. It took us until the third period to get going.”
Murray had praise for Cullinan’s effort. One of three players honored in a Senior Day ceremony between the first and second periods, Cullinan made 45 saves.
“Chase has been fantastic all year,” Murray said. “He held it together today and controlled his rebounds. He was a leader out there. That’s why he has a ‘C’ (for captain) on his jersey.”
It was a physical battle early on, with each team earning two penalties in the first period. After the intermission and a nearly 15-minute delay early in the second period to repair the ice, the teams settled down and let their speed and puck-handling take over.
“We needed this win today to get some momentum with a tough game against Cleveland Heights coming up on Tuesday,” Midview coach Rick Verlotti said. “I was interested in playing North Olmsted late in the season. They are a Red Division team and they play the physical style of hockey we are going to see in the Baron Cup. I felt this would be a good matchup for our team.”
North Olmsted still has one more regular-season game to play, a makeup Red South Division game against Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy on Wednesday afternoon before Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament play begins Feb. 10.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Midview 2, North Olmsted 1 (OT)
FIRST PERIOD: Penalties: (NO) Shane Malinak (roughing), 3:35, (M) Jacob Schneider (high sticking), 7:46, (NO) Malinak (tripping), 8:13, Schneider (interference), 9:21.
SECOND PERIOD: (M) Kyle Kudela(Jacob Hack), 7:02. Penalties: (NO) Tyler Merth (interference), 1:13.
THIRD PERIOD: (NO) Noah DeJoy (Shane Dunn), PP, 7:57. Penalties: (M) Tommy Coon (tripping), 7:37, (NO) Justin Malinak (high sticking), 14:53.
OVERTIME: (M) Jacob Lyons (Schneider, Hack), 3:40. Penalties: (M) Lyons (high sticking), 1:21.
Midview 0 1 0 1 — 2
North Olmsted 0 0 1 0 — 1
Shots on goal: Midview 47 (12-17-14-4), North Olmsted 24 (9-6-6-3). Goalies: (Midview) Logan Perkins (24 shots, 23 saves), (North Olmsted) Chase Cullinan (47 shots, 45 saves). Power-play opportunities: Midview 0-5, North Olmsted 1-4.