Despite lack of victories, hockey club is improving, Sheridan says

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FROM STAFF REPORTS

Aurora -- The hockey season is winding down for the Aurora Greenmen, and coach John Sheridan has seen the team improve over the last few weeks.

The improvement hasn't been reflected in the team's record as the icers lost twice over the weekend to Blue East Division foes. "Our goal is to be a better team than at the beginning of the season, and it's showed in our play in the past month," Sheridan said.

Sunday's game against Notre Dame Cathedral Latin showed what the coach meant. The Greenmen played a strong game against the Lions, who are 9-2 in the division.

After a scoreless first period, NDCL capitalized on a power play early in the second period to grab the lead, then added a goal late in the period to extend the lead to 2-0.

The Lions scored the game's final goal, again with a man advantage as time was expiring, to earn a 3-0 win.

Aurora had it's chances, but strong goaltending and the inability to score on its power play opportunities gave NDCL its second shutout win over the locals this season.

Aurora goalie Rachael Schwartz had a solid game, turning back 34 shots, several from point blank range.

"We gave a great effort tonight. We played well as a team moving the puck and hustling. I'm proud of the way they battled tonight," said Sheridan.

The game also was senior night for Aurora as Stephen Lawrie, Canton McElwee, Colin MacDonald and Schwartz were recognized before the game.

As has become a custom before home games, Schwartz gave a superb rendition of the national anthem.

Sheridan described what the seniors have meant to the program.

"It's been my sincere pleasure to coach this great group of seniors. They've grown as leaders and I've enjoyed watching them improve as hockey players because of their hard work and passion for the great game of hockey."

The Greenmen also lost to division rival Cleveland Heights on Jan. 25.

The game was a step backward from the progress the team has made as it was thumped 8-2 in the Olympic sized Heights rink.

MacDonald and Nathaniel Schwartz scored the Greenmen goals, but the Tigers iced the game by scoring three times in a 33-second span early in the second period.

AHS finishes the regular season this week at Parma on Jan. 29 and hosting the Brush Arcs on Feb. 2 at 8:40 p.m. at the Pond.

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