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High School Sports

High school hockey: Avon Lake can't overcome rough first period, falls to Olmsted Falls

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    Avon Lake's Murphy Mohar and Olmsted Falls' Jacob Kerkay get tangled up going for the puck Sunday at the Brooklyn Recreation Center.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

  • Avon-Lake-Olmsted-Falls-3-jpg

    Avon Lake's Tommy Kacmarcik advances the puck Sunday against Olmsted Falls.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

  • Avon-Lake-Olmsted-Falls-2-jpg

    Avon Lake's Justin Share and Olmsted Falls Ethan Ilko fight for the puck Sunday.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

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BROOKLYN — Most players would probably want to remember all the details of the best game of their career.

Details that will be told, and likely embellished, countless times at class reunions and family gatherings for decades to come.

However, there’s one little fact Avon Lake junior Tommy Kacmarcik would like to forget from his five-goal game Sunday — the final score.

Kacmarcik’s offensive heroics weren’t nearly enough to help the Shoremen overcome a six-goal first-period deficit Sunday as Olmsted Falls cruised to 12-7 Greater Cleveland High School Hockey League White South Division game at Brooklyn’s John M. Coyne Recreation Center.

Kacmarcik’s first goal got Avon Lake (14-11-3) on the board for the first time early in the second period. The junior center followed with another goal later in the second period and three more in the third to give him 27 this season.

“It’s feels pretty nice to score five goals,” Kacmarcik said.” Obviously it would have felt better with a win. But it’s still a big moment for me.”

Olmsted Falls (13-10-1) effectively put the game out of reach when it scored five unanswered goals in a span of 3:39 midway through the first period.

Two of those early goals came off the stick of Bulldogs starting center Dom Conte, who also finished the game with five goals.

“The first period was the difference. Especially the first half of the period. We just left Dillon out to dry,” Shoremen coach Steve Burns said of Avon Lake goalkeeper Dillon Aslaksen. “We didn’t come out with a good effort. Maybe we were tired or exhausted. I don’t know what the solution is but at least they came back and played hard. I was happy with the second- and third-period effort.”

Defense appeared to be an afterthought for most of the game as all three goalkeepers -- Avon Lake pulled Aslaksen in favor of Renee Roberge in the first period and Olmsted Falls’ Nathan Chandler -- were victimized by wide-open shots and attackers who were able to set up shop untouched around the crease.

How bad did it get for Avon Lake? The Shoremen were one goal away from having the game stopped due to the 10-goal mercy rule after Olmsted Falls’ left wing Max Kirth-Gruszczynski scored in the opening minute of the third period to give his team a 12-3 lead.

Avon Lake settled down and scored four goals in the third, three by Kacmarcik and one by Nick Ospelt, who finished with two goals and three assists.

“Honestly, we were just playing for pride at that point,” Kacmarcik said. “It was going to be very, very tough to come back and win at that point but we were not about to just roll and give them a free win. We decided we were going to play and make it at least somewhat of a game.”

Kirth-Gruszczynski and Noah Voelker each had two goals for Olmsted Falls, which has won five of its last seven games.

Considering Avon Lake beat Olmsted Falls 4-3 in overtime just before Christmas and hadn’t allowed more than four goals to anyone expect league-leading Amherst in its last 18 games, no one expected Sunday’s result to be so one-sided.

Now the Shoremen will focus on preparing for next week’s Baron Cup and the postseason, which begins the following week.

“We have one more game on Wednesday then we have a little bit of time to recover and rest and get some guys healthy and be ready for Baron Cup time,” Burns said. “That’s what is really important.”

Contact Todd Shapiro at (440) 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.

Olmsted Falls 12, Avon Lake 7

FIRST PERIOD: (OF) Noah Voelker (Dom Conte) 4:04, (OF) Conte (Colin Wilson) 4:37, (OF) Conte (Alex Kerkay) 7:05, (OF) Voelker (Max Kirth-Gruszczynski, Kerkay) 7:51, (OF) Kerkay (Max Kirth-Gruszczynski, Conte) 8:45 (power play), (OF) Conte (Danny Stuhm) 13:44. PENALTIES -- (AL) Brian Walasinski (interference) 8:07.

SECOND PERIOD: (AL) Nick Ospelt (Colin Reynolds) :54; (AL) Tommy Kacmarcik (Isaac Young, Ospelt) 4:27, (OF) Zach Henley (Max Kirth-Gruszczynski, Mike Kirth-Gruszczynski) 6:48 (power play), (OF) Max Kirth-Gruszczynski (Conte) 8:48, (OF) Wilson (unassisted) 9:33. (OF) Conte (Mike Kirth-Gruszczynski, Kerkay) 11:44, (AL) Kacmarcik (Hunter Hall) 12:32, (OF) Conte (Max Kirth-Gruszczynski, Voelker) 13:42. PENALTIES -- (AL) Walasinski (roughing) 5:42.

THIRD PERIOD: (OF) Max Kirth-Gruszczynski (Kerkay) :58, (AL) Kacmarcik (unassisted) 3:05, (AL) Kacmarcik (Ospelt) 6:57, (AL) Ospelt (Justin Share) 11:00, (AL) Kacmarcik (Ospelt) 14:04. PENALTIES -- (OF) Wilson (interference) 8:14.

Avon Lake       0 3 4 —   7
Olmsted Falls 6 5 1 — 12

Shots on goal: Avon Lake 22 (7-8-7), Olmsted Falls 27 (15-7-5). Goalies: (AL) Dillon Aslaksen (12 shots, 7 saves), Renee Roberge (15 shots, 8 saves); (OF) Nathan Chandler (22 shots, 15 saves). Power play opportunities: Avon Lake 0-1, Olmsted Falls 2-2.



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