ELYRIA - This was just what the doctor ordered for Elyria Catholic.
The struggling Panthers, in need of not just a victory but an impressive victory, got it Saturday night at North Park rink with an 8-0 win over Red South rival Avon Lake.
"We needed to play three periods of good hockey," EC coach Dave Phiel said. "I was happy with the effort. The kids played hard and smart. This was probably the first game this season we played that way for three periods."
Third periods had not been kind to Elyria Catholic (2-3-1) in their past two games. The Panthers had been outscored 11-2 in their previous third periods. Nothing like that happened Saturday.Â The Panthers had already constructed a 6-0 lead after two and outshot Avon Lake 15-3 in the last period.
Six of the eight goals were scored by sophomores. Patrick DeSouza had three goals, Brent Zifcak scored twice and Cody Toboz had another. Richie Baker, the Panthers` most dangerous scorer, had two goals and three assists.
"Baker draws a ton of attention," Phiel said. "When you play with Richie, you had better stay in your lane. Pat made some nice moves out there."
EC took 40 shots on goal to just 14 for Avon Lake (4-5, 0-3 Red South). The Panthers scored five in the first period on just 11 shots. Bryan Emery, Avon Lake`s senior goalie, tightened up after the first by allowing just three goals in 29 shots.
The crowning achievement for Emery was not allowing a score in a 4:46 stretch of the third with the Shoremen shorthanded either one or two players.
"He`s been the heart of the defense this season," Avon Lake coach Brent Figueira said. "In many ways, the rest of the team is playing for him. This season is a trial by fire."
EC goalie Brad Moore didn`t have to face nearly as many shots, but picked up his first shutout of the year.
"This should be a confidence-builder for Brad," Phiel said. "He had some nice stops in the first period, too."
Avon Lake suffered its fourth consecutive loss. The Shoremen have been outscored 26-5 in those games.
Toboz got the first goal with 13:08 left in the first. DeSouza scored on a power play 30 seconds later and Zifcak made it 3-0 with 4:13 elapsed. Baker scored a shorthanded goal at 9:34 and DeSouza got his second goal with 1:08 to go in the opening period.
"The difference (after the first period) was that nobody backed up," Figueira said. "Everyone on the team went forward."
Baker and DeSouza scored second-period goals.Â Zifcak registered his second goal of the evening 3:37 into the third.
Elyria Catholic (1-1 Red South) will have another league game this afternoon when the Panthers visit North Olmsted at 3:30. Avon Lake will next be in action Friday at the Benedictine Tournament.
Elyria Catholic 8, Avon Lake 0
Avon LakeÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 0Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 0Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 0Â Â - Â Â 0
Elyria Cath.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 5Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 2Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 1Â - Â Â 8
FIRST PERIOD: 1. EC, Cody Toboz (Chris Andrews, Mitch Haszto), 2:52; 2. EC, Patrick DeSouza (Chris Andrews, Richie Baker), 3:21; 3. EC, Brent Zifcak (Chad Botos),Â 4:13; 4. EC, Baker (unassisted), 9:34; 5. EC, Patrick DeSouza (Mike Freeh), 13:53. Penalties â€“ AL, Scott Shaffer (interference), 3:08; EC, Brad Kelley (tripping), 8:05.
SECOND PERIOD: 6. EC, Richie Baker (Matt Fielding), 9:20; 7. EC, Patrick DeSouza (Mike Freeh, Richie Baker), 14:33. Penalties â€“ EC, Patrick DeSouza (holding), 2:30; AL, Alex Bergendahl (holding), 9:43; EC, Chris Andrews (high-sticking), 10:28.
THIRD PERIOD: 8. EC, Brent Zifcak (Brad Keley), 3:37. Penalties â€“ AL, Alex Cozier (high-sticking), 4:00; AL, Scott Shaffer (roughing), 5:17; AL, Makz Galati (interference), 6:46; EC, Brent Zifcak (interference), 10:08.
Shots on goal â€“ Avon Lake 7-4-3 - 14, Elyria Catholic 11-14-15 - 40. Goalies â€“ AL, Bryan Emery (40 shots, 32 saves); EC, Brad Moore (14 shots, 14 saves). Power-play opportunities â€“ Avon Lake 0 for 4, Elyria Catholic 1 for 5.
Contact Steve Byrne at 329-7137 or email@example.com.