Aurora icers have good outings; cannot get win, though

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FROM STAFF REPORTS

Aurora -- The Greenmen hockey team had two of its best performances on the ice over the weekend, but it wasn't enough to get into the victory column.

Twinsburg and Notre Dame Cathedral Latin upped the locals winless streak to 14 games.

AHS mixed it up with Twinsburg for the third time this year. The Tigers won the first two contests handily, outscoring AHS by 17 goals.

The match was scoreless late into the second period, when the Tigers scored a 5-on-3 power play goal while two Greenmen were in the penalty box. The Tigers scored again with three seconds left in the period on a deflection off a Twinsburg skater.

Aurora pressured in the third period with 11 shots, but couldn't find the net and the Tigers added an insurance goal late in the third for a hard fought 3-0 victory.

Matt Taft was sharp in goal recording 36 saves. Offensively, Aurora's best chances came in the third period, but Brandt Vermillion was stopped on a penalty shot and Kenny Pope blasted a slap shot off the post.

The next evening it didn't take the team long to end a four-game scoring drought, as Vermillion scored on a nifty deke in front of the Lions cage three minutes into the game.

Nick Capretta upped it to 2-0 a minute later to the delight of a big youth night crowd. NDCL closed the gap to one, but Capretta tallied again and the team went into the locker room with a 3-1 lead after the first period.

AHS pushed the lead to three 26 seconds into the second period as Vermillion got his second goal, jamming the puck into the net off his own wraparound attempt. The Lions then rallied, scoring two goals in two minutes and then another one before the end of the period to tie it.

Both teams had chances in the third period with the visitors finally cashing in with six minutes left. With less than four minutes left, NDCL took a 6-4 lead and ended the scoring with an open net goal as Aurora pulled its goalie in favor of an extra attacker.

Taft was solid in goal again, making 30 saves. Capretta added an assist to go along with his two goals. Matt Vince had two assists and Alex Avalon also had one.

Head coach John Sheridan was pleased with the effort and improvement. "We really played well for 4 1/2 periods this weekend, before we just tired out. I'm really happy with the effort we gave. At times we worked too hard, and that's why we're exhausted, but we're playing noticeably better."

The team doesn't play again this weekend, but will return to the ice Jan. 24 at 7:20 p.m. against Nordonia at the Gilmour Arena. The locals stay on the road Jan. 25 at 4:15 p.m. against Blue East Division rival Canfield in Boardman.

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