BROOKLYN — Avon Lake didn’t fool around Sunday in its first Baron Cup championship game.
The Shoremen scored three goals in the first period and rolled to a dominating 8-1 win over Normandy for their first Baron Cup III title at the Brooklyn Recreation Center.
“We’ve been working for this for three years,” said senior goalie Cameron Stepka, who had one of her best games of the year, stopping 21 of 22 shots. “We’ve had it stolen away from us one way or another the last two years. We didn’t just win, we stole the Baron Cup. We didn’t just play to win the game, we played to make a statement.”
“This is amazing, I’m almost kind of speechless,” Avon Lake coach Fran Sullivan said. “There are a lot of people that put a lot of time and effort into this thing. I’ve got a great group of parents and a great group of kids and it’s emotional to say the least.”
Jarad Aslaksen set the tone for the Shoremen (25-6), scoring on a long pass from Connor Koncelik just 54 seconds into the game to put the Invaders on their heels.
“We needed that more than I think anyone realized,” Aslaksen said. “When we played them last on Senior Night we were down 2-4 and finally came out flying in the third and scored four straight goals.
“We knew they would come out flying, so it was great to finally put one up. I think we worked harder today than we did yesterday (in a 2-1 win over Lakewood).”
Murphy Mohar made it 2-0 at 9:48 on an assist by Tommy Kacmarcik and then Koncelik scored his first goal of the day with just 1:32 left in the period on assists by Nick Ospelt and Tim Lubertozzi for a 3-0 lead.
Koncelik was just getting started, scoring the first of four straight goals with the final three coming unassisted, going the length of the ice to beat Normandy goalie Alexis Ryan, who was named first-team All-Blue League before the game.
“It wasn’t just me, all my teammates were out there getting me the puck and working hard,” said Koncelik, who also had three assists. “Everyone worked hard. All three or four lines contributed and they all knew their roles.”
Koncelik went through four Invaders defenders to score the only goal of the second period then got his third after being hit four times while skating across all three lines just 28 seconds into the third period.
Koncelik scored again at 12:30, negating Normandy’s only goal just 37 seconds prior. Aslaksen added a power-play goal at 11:16 and sophomore Nick Ospelt finished the scoring with another power-play goal with nine minutes left in regulation.
“He (Koncelik) stepped up big time,” Sullivan said of Koncelik. “He’s obviously a good hockey player. I said to him before the game that he had free rein, if you see an opening — go. There was no tomorrow in the league.”
Contact James Brady at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Avon Lake 8, Normandy 1
FIRST PERIOD: (AL) Jared Aslaksen (Connor Koncelik), 14:06; (AL) Murphy Mohar (Tommy Kacmarcik), 9:48, (AL) Koncelik (Nick Ospelt, Timothy Lubertozzi), 1:32. PENALTIES: (AL) Kacmarcik (2:00 tripping), (N) Devin Bitzen (2:00 interference).
SECOND PERIOD: (AL) Koncelik (unassisted). PENALTIES: (N) Alex Franke (2:00 elbowing), (AL) Aslaksen (2:00 unsportsmanlike embellishment), 4:11, (N) Brennan Sutton (2:00 tripping), 4:11, (AL) Luke Farthing (2:00 unsportsmanlike), 4:01, (N) Franke (2:00 cross-check), 2:03.
THIRD PERIOD: (AL) Koncelik (unassisted), 14:32, (N) Devin Bitzen (Lukas George, Brennan Sutton), PP, 13:07, (AL) Koncelik (unassisted), 12:30, (AL) Aslaksen (Koncelik, Lubertozzi), PP, 11:16, (AL) Nick Ospelt (Koncelik, Aslaksen), PP, 9:00. PENALTIES: (AL) Luke Farthing (2:00 interference), 13:18, Franke (2:00 tripping), 11:55, (N) Philip Kostal (2:00 high-sticking), 9:30, (N) Sutton (2:00 elbowing), 7:27.
Normandy 0 0 1 — 1
Avon Lake 3 1 4 — 8
Shots on goal: Normandy 22 (6-8-8), Avon Lake 55 (26-18-11). Goalies: (N) Alexis Ryan (55 shots, 47 saves), (AL) Cameron Stepka (22 shots, 21 saves). Power-play opportunities: Normandy 1-4, Avon Lake 2-6.
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