CHAGRIN FALLS — Avon’s Danny Fielding was unbeatable for more than 44 minutes, stopping 59 shots on goal from Midview on Tuesday night, but it wasn’t enough as the Middies scored three times in a 55-second span to snare a 3-2 win over the Eagles in the opening day of the Solon Christmas tournament at The Pond.
“We played really well. We just couldn’t get it by Danny (Fielding),” Middies coach Rick Verlotti said. “That’s a frustrating game to play, when you feel like you are carrying the play and you just can’t get a puck to go in.”
Fielding frustrated Midview (5-4-1) over the first two periods, turning away all 40 shots he faced and prompting Verlotti to ask him between the second and third period if he could “just let us put one in, please.”
Middies goalie, freshman Braden Rapp, only saw nine shots over the first two periods, but one slipped past him when sophomore Christian Rietmann floated a power-play shot from the blue line that went over Rapp’s shoulder for a 1-0 lead with 9:40 left in the second period.
Avon’s lead went to 2-0 only 41 seconds into the third period when Varum Sripada scored unassisted for a seemingly huge lead with the way Fielding was playing in goal for the Eagles (3-15).
A series of five back-and-forth penalties left the Middies on the power-play and Jonathan Rodgers was finally able to get a puck past Fielding with 4:24 left in regulation, cutting a lead to 2-1 on assists from Jeff Mullins and Heath Naso.
“Jonathan’s goal really gave us the motivation that we were still in the game,” Mullins said. “We felt like we could come back and take the game no matter how much time is left.”
Mullins took the motivation to heart scoring an unassisted goal and another on a Nichols Veroltti assist in a 17-second span to put the Middies in front 3-2 with 3:29 remaining.
“(Fielding) is a really good goalie, probably the best one in our league,” Mullins said. “Getting all those goals against him is real motivation for us going forward.”
“I feel like I lost focus during that stretch and stopped playing my game,” Fielding said. “I’m hard on myself as it is, but when I gave up those goals, I really was trying to do too much.”
For Avon coach Kyle Botos, it was another step toward improvement for his young team.
“It’s always fun playing Midview and we are all about progressions right now,” Botos said. “We’re taking things period-by-period and just trying to get better every time we get on the ice.
“I can’t fault us at all. We had a brain (lapse) for a minute-and-a-half when they scored all their goals, but we’re learning and taking the right steps.”
The Middies play two more games today, facing host Solon at 10:20 a.m. and Olmsted Falls at 1:40 p.m. Avon faces Kenston at 3:20 p.m. and Falls on Thursday at 10:20 a.m.
Contact James Brady at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Midview 3, Avon 2
FIRST PERIOD: Penalties: None.
SECOND PERIOD: (A) Christopher Rietmann (Gabe Intagliata), PP, 9:40. Pentlies: Jeff Mullins (2:00 slashing), (M) Heath Naso (2:00 roughing, 2:00 holding), 7:59, (A) Tyler Zajankala (2:00 holding), 7:59, (A) Caleb Ferchen (2:00 roughing), 7:59, (A) Reitmann (2:00 slashing), (M) Bryan Weaver (2:00 holding), 0:22, (A) Zajanlaka (2:00 roughing), 0:22.
THIRD PERIOD: (A) Varum Sripada (unassisted), 14:19, (M) Jonathan Rodgers (Mullins, Naso), 4:24, (M) Mullins(unassisted), 3:46, (M) Mullins (Nicholas Veroliiti), 3:29. Penalties: (A) Ian Dargai (2:00 tripping), 9:56, (M) Mullins (2:00 interference), 8:54, (A) Ferchen (2:00 tripping), 8:18, (M)Verlotti (2:00 interference), 8:05, (A) Dargai (2:00 tripping), 6:10
Midview 0 0 3 - 3
Avon 0 1 1 - 2
Shots on goal: Midview 62 (21-19-22), Avon 13 (2-7-4). Goalies: Midview: Braden Rapp (13 shots, 11 saves), Avon: Danny Fielding (62 shots, 59 saves). Power-play opportunities: Midview 1-3, Avon 1-4.