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AURORA -- It was a tough week for the Greenmen ice hockey squad, which posted a 1-3 record in tournament action, putting its overall record at 8-9-1.
The Greenmen played in the NDCL Winter Invitational in Mentor and opened with a 3-1 loss to Chagrin Falls. The Tigers opened the scoring before AHS junior Tomi Pirinen scored with 3 minutes left in the first period.
Chagrin Falls added another goal in the second period, then netted one in the third and played stingy defense. AHS sophomore Jordan Smith made 32 saves in goal, as Chagrin Falls improved to 12-1 overall.
The locals then were beaten by Benedictine, as they found themselves in the hole early, then allowed two more goals in the second period before AHS junior Joe Capretta cut the deficit to 2 goals. However, the Bengals chalked up 2 more goals in the third period, and Joe Capretta ended the scoring.
Pirinen and freshmen Maxx Goldston and Patrick Murray each added an assist. Senior Joey Brockway made 26 saves in net for the Greenmen. The Bengals improved to 10-10 overall win the win.
On Jan 14, AHS lost 4-0 to Cleveland Heights. Smith made 39 saves in net for the locals. The win improved Cleveland Heights' record to 11-9 overall.
AHS finally pulled off an 8-1 victory over Lakewood on Jan 15 in the tournament consolation match, and had much better fortunes, scoring 2 in the first period, 5 in the second and one in the third period.
Joe Capretta managed 4 goals, Pirinen added 2, junior Mike Avalon added one and senior Corey Pajek notched his first of the season. Pirinen and Joe Capretta also recorded 3 assists each, sophomore Jack Pfiffner added 2 and seniors Dominic Hesmondhalgh and Nick Capretta plus freshman Sarah Vince each added one.
Brockway made 16 saves in net for AHS. Lakewood fell to 10-11 with the loss.
"It was a tournament with some really good competition" said AHS head coach John Sheridan. "Chagrin Falls and Benedictine are a division ahead of us, and Cleveland Heights is 2 divisions ahead. Even though we would've like to get more wins, I think we played well against some very good teams, and it's only going to help us down the home stretch of the season when we finish up league play."
Through 18 games, Pirinen leads the squad with 47 points, and Joe Capretta leads with 31 goals.
The Greenmen will play three games this weekend, first traveling to Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills for a non-league match against Nordonia on Jan 20 at 8:30 p.m. before returning to the Pond for a non-league game against Westlake on Jan 21 at 7:30 p.m.
They will resume league play on Jan. 22 at 3:30 p.m. with a huge game against second place Parma Normandy at Michael A. Ice Rink in Parma.