Devils Regroup To Ice 10th Straight Victory
BY DAVE SHEA
OFA's start to Wednesday's NAC Division II Hockey game against the Islanders at the Golden Dome was a scramble to say the least.
"They were playing a trap and we had to adjust. It was a very tough game to coach because there was no flow because of the penalties," said OFA Coach Jon Frederick.
"But we made the adjustments we needed and we stayed tied with Norwood-Norfolk."
A familiar figure stood tall and bought some time adjustments which lead
to a 7-1 win for the number seven state-ranked Devils (12-4-1) who posted their 10th straight win and stayed tied for the Division II lead at 7-3-0 with Norwood-Norfolk.
Goaltender Kelson Hooper made 14 first period saves and despite being outshot 14-9 the Devils came out of the period with a 2-0 lead on goals by Karson LaRose and Landin McDonald. LaRose scored from Stephen Morley and Holden Woods and McDonald converted a power play setup from Drew Costello and Nolan O'Donnell.
"Kelson Hooper made some great saves, especially against their power play. He made one save and I don't even know how he got to the puck," said Associate Coach Matt Morley.
"But we were able to turn things around. In the second period their goalie had 14 saves and Kelson only had two saves.
Hooper, who entered the game with a 1.23 goals against average and a .958 save percentage," bettered both NAC best statistics stopping all 16 saves before giving way to Drew Piercey with just over five minutes to play. Piercey gave up the lone Islanders' (2-7-0 4 points NAC, 4-12) goal which was scored by Joe Papin from point range range off assists from Jacob Johnston and Jakob Lynch.
The Devils' second quarter turnabout produced three goals.
McDonald scored his second power play goal of the night with Morley and O'Donnell assisting, LaRose scored his second goal of the game from Woods and Morley and Tim McLellan converted a setup created by Drew Mills and Costello.
The Devils, who visit Canton on Friday, scored two goals in a span of 13 seconds in the third period.
Morley netted a slap shot from LaRose at 9:12 and then picked up his fourth assist of the night combining with Harrison Wert to set up Derek Barr goal at 9:25. Clayton Hall and Chris Ogden combined to make 34 saves for the Islanders.
"It was nice to see some of the young guys get involved in the scoring," said Coach Morley.
In other NAC action on Wednesday Salmon River downed Potsdam 4-1 and on Tuesday Norwood-Norfolk earned a 3-1 win at Malone.
SALMON RIVER, NORWOOD-NORFOLK WIN
Salmon River 4 - Potsdam 1: Tim Cook completed a hat trick with an unassisted empty net goal to cement the Shamrocks (5-5-0 NAC 10 points, 7-8) interdivisional road win over the Sandstoners (2-2-1 5 points NAC). Luke Miller also scored for SR which overcame 43 saves by Potsdam's Cole Eakins.
Zach Durrant passed out three assists and Kyler Johnson and Cobee Cree each figured in one setup in support of Ryan Oakes 12-save effort in goal.
"Always a big win if we can beat Potsdam. We have a nice stretch of home games to end the season," said Salmon River Coach Tim Cook Sr.
Logan McCargar scored Potsdam's lone goal in the first period.
N-N 3 - Malone 1: In a game played Tuesday Bobby Voss set up a Reed Gravlin goal and scored from Jayden Grant to give the Icemen (7-3-0 NAC 14 points, 7-5-1) a 2-0 lead and John McCall tallied an unassisted empty net goal to offset Malone's goal by Ryan Raville and Dawson Miletech.
Thomas Cafarella handled eight shots for N-N and Jeremiah Scharf fielded 21 saves for the Huskies (3-6-1 7 points, NAC, 4-10-3) who continued to be a tough out game in and game out.