by JIM SMITH | SUBMITTED TO RPC
Kent -- In what may have been foreshadowing of the events to follow for the Aurora Greenmen ice hockey team, the music playing in the Kent State University Ice Arena on Feb. 14 included Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon Rising," declaring " … I see trouble on the way … I see bad times today."
For Aurora, it proved to be telling in its 6-1 loss to the North Canton Hoover Vikings in Ohio High School Athletic Association district tournament play.
In a first period dominated by the Vikings, the Greenmen were outshot 25-3, but somehow managed to trail by only two goals at the end of the opening frame.
North Canton (24-7-0) began the game by controlling the puck in its offensive zone for nearly three minutes prior to Aurora (5-20-1) handling the puck for the first time in the North Canton defensive zone.
The Vikings' offensive dominance resulted in two first-period goals by senior forward Brad Harcourt. Samuel Hankins assisted on the first goal, while Alec Weber and Matt Smith collaborated for assists on the second.
Harcourt scored five points in the game on three goals and two assists.
Although the Greenmen limited the number of Viking shots on goal to a manageable number in the second period, North Canton repeated its opening-period efforts, scoring an additional two goals in the middle period.
The Vikings' Zach Lawson, with an assist from Dylan Oney, tallied a score at 8:37. A mere 13 seconds later, Hankins netted North Canton's fourth goal in the game with an assist from Harcourt.
While Aurora actually outshot North Canton in the final period, the Vikings repeated their two goals-per-period pace on Harcourt's third of the game and Hankins' second. Harcourt also assisted on the Hankins goal.
Aurora's lone goal was earned by freshman Nathanial Schwartz with just less than five minutes remaining in the game. Colin MacDonald earned an assist.
"We did what we had to do to win," said North Canton coach Geoff Bishop. "We didn't skate as well as we did in winning the Baron Cup III, but it was nice to get everyone in the game."