Olmsted goalie Brenden Maye withstands the pressure from Olmsted
Falls’ Cory Daugherty (7) and Eddie Gerus (20) during the first
day of action at the Southwestern Conference tournament at the
North Olmsted Recreation Complex. Eagles captain Matt Konyesni
(18) assists defensively. (West Life photo by Larry Bennet)
foil Eagles’ SWC bid
By Jim Horvath
Published Jan. 21, 2009
45 minutes, the North Olmsted hockey team gave it its best shot
against defending Southwestern Conference champion Brecksville.
The Eagles dominated nearly every phase of the game
and out shot the Bees, 29-8. But Brecksville was up to the task
defensively and made a third period goal stand in a 2-1 win Monday
afternoon in the SWC Tournament championship game at North Olmsted
It was a frustrating weekend for head coach Tim Murphy
and his Eagles, who also out shot Brecksville by a 30-14 margin
in a 3-2 loss last Sunday morning. They just couldn’t get the puck
past Bees senior goalie Dan Miller and the rest of the pesky Bee
A big reason for that was sitting at mid-ice in the
Senior captain Chad Murphy, the team’s leading scorer,
was relegated to spectator duty after undergoing knee surgery earlier
last week. While the prognosis for his return this season is good,
not having him for the SWC tourney hurt against the veteran Miller.
“I’m thinking I should have waited for him to have
the surgery,” quipped Tim Murphy, Chad’s father and coach. “Obviously
we’re a better team with him out there.
“But I thought we had good effort out there today,”
he said. “We out shot them four to one, and I thought the guys really
stepped up today. We outplayed them in every phase of the game,
“We played well enough to win,” he said.
Olmsted senior defenseman Matt Konyesni advances the puck last
Saturday against Olmsted Falls in first round action of the
Southwestern Conference tournament. The Eagles won the game,
3-1. (West Life photo by Larry Bennet)
The Eagles, now 19-3 on the season, came out with
good intensity in the first period, taking a 1-0 lead at the 4:25
mark on a goal from senior captain Ronnie Soltesz. The assists on
the play went to sophomore Ryan Sutton and senior Brandon Hammermeister.
That, however, would be the Eagles’ only lead of the
game. Brecksville came right back at the 8:11 mark on a goal from
senior Dominic Peterre, with the assists coming from Alec Burgman
and Andrew Bell.
From then on, the puck stayed in the Brecksville end
the rest of the first period. In fact, some of the Brecksville fans
were yelling for their team to ice the puck just to take the pressure
Despite the intense play, there were no penalties
in the first period. There were two in the second period, a double
penalty at 9:32 and one on the Bees at 9:08. The Eagles failed to
capitalize on that power play opportunity, however. For the period,
they out shot the Bees, 16-4, but again couldn’t get the puck past
Another opportunity for the Eagles came 55 seconds
into the third period when Brecksville’s Dan Koprowski was called
for interference. But the Bees killed that penalty off as well to
keep the score tied at 1-1.
Then at the 8:41 mark, the Bees got their lone shot
on goal in the period and made it count. Peterre struck again off
an assist from John O’Neil for what proved to be the championship
“We had to have more shots on goal than that,” questioned
Bees head coach Dan Holden, whose team moved to 16-6 on the season.
“But that’s alright. We’re just a team that grinds it out. We really
don’t have any superstars, just a bunch of guys who have bought
into the system and get things done.
“We were down two players for this game, but they
didn’t have Chad either,” said Holden. “Even without him, they’re
still one of the best teams we’ve faced this year. Coach Murphy
does a great job there, and it’s an accomplishment to beat them
back-to-back in their building.
“Peterre stepped up for us today, and it just goes
to show that on any given day any team can win. Once he got us the
lead, we dropped a third guy back to play defense to help Dan out,”
North Olmsted kept the heat on Miller the rest of
the way, especially in the final minute of play. A shot by Soltesz
just missed getting through in the final seconds.
“We made a mistake in our zone and it cost us a goal,”
said Murphy. “Other than that, we pretty much controlled the game.
Offensively, we were trying to move laterally against Miller, but
we didn’t get a lot of second chances.”
Last Sunday, the Eagles also found themselves tied
with Brecksville, 1-1, after one period of play. But the Bees scored
single goals in the second and third periods to take a 3-1 lead.
Hammermeister scored at the 10:56 mark off an assist from Soltesz
in the third period, but the Eagles couldn’t take advantage of a
pair of Brecksville penalties down the stretch.
Later that afternoon, North Olmsted advanced to the
championship game with a hard-fought 2-1 win over neighborhood rival
Olmsted Falls. Sophomore Mike Konyesni scored both goals for the
Eagles in the second period, with junior Mike Minch getting the
assist on both goals.
The Bulldogs averted the shutout late in the third
period on a slap shot by junior Nick Riolo. Freshman Anthony Green
picked up the assist on the goal. Senior goalie Patrick Butterfield
registered 41 saves as the Eagles out shot Falls, 43-20.
Rockets make tourney final
Bay advanced to last night’s championship game of
the Parma Martin Luther King, Jr. Tournament with an 8-1 win over
Parma Monday afternoon.
The Rockets, who got a hat trick and two assists from
senior forward Buddy Martin, played Kent Roosevelt last night at
Reis Arena. Roosevelt defeated Bay, 7-0, in an early round game
Against Parma, Matt McLaughlin had a pair of goals,
while single goals came from Dan Pailes, Corey White and Matt Notarberardino.
Alex Harris registered four assists on the day, while sophomore
goalie Dan Scheufler had 19 saves.
Bay also got a 7-1 win over Lakewood last Sunday as
Pailes and Luke Heberle each scored a pair of goals. Pailes and
McLaughlin each had three assists.
The Rockets went into last night’s game with a record