FROM STAFF REPORTS
Aurora -- The Grdenmen ice hockey team is still looking for its first victory, but coach John Sheridan continues to be encouraged by the progress the squad is making.
The team lost three games in three nights against Avon, Notre Dame Cathedral Latin and Twinsburg over the weekend, but played better against stronger opponents.
On Dec. 14 in particular, AHS gave a spirited effort against Notre Dame Cathedral Latin. AHS trailed by two goals after one period and four after two before mounting a furious comeback.
Brandt Vermillion scored 12 seconds into the third period and Nick Capretta scored two minutes later. A Lions power play goal pushed the lead to 5-2, then Ken Pope scored on a Greenmen power play to make it a two goal game.
Aurora pulled net minder Matt Taft in favor of a sixth attacker and the move paid off as Vermillion got his second goal with 48 seconds left to make it 5-4. The locals kept up the pressure in the final minute as Capretta just missed on a breakaway and Vermillion hit the post before the final buzzer.
Taft turned away 31 shots in the Greenmen cage, while the Aurora offense fired 29 shots at the NDCL net, 14 in the last period.
"Our team showed a lot of heart and wouldn't quit", said Sheridan. " I'm really proud of the way we came back in the third period." Vermillion ended with a four-point night, adding two assists. Kelly Sheridan also had two helpers.
Taft was the highlight in a Dec. 13, 8-0 loss to Avon, making 43 stops on 51 shots. The team also lost 9-2 to Twinsburg on Dec. 15. Vermillion scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season. Matt Vince notched his first goal in and Sheridan added two assists.
Aurora plays two games this week -- against Brush on Dec. 20 at 8:40 p.m. in Cleveland Heights in a Blue East matchup and Dec. 23 at 4:20 p.m. against Orange in the Chagrin Valley Conference tournament.