ELYRIA — Whatever the remainder of the season holds for Amherst and its many newcomers to this year’s hockey team, it’s clear that as far as Lorain County is concerned, the Comets are still the boss.
Amherst, the dominant team in Lorain County for the past few years, defeated Avon 8-2 Sunday in the Lorain County tournament. The victory came a day after the Comets blanked the Eagles 8-0.
“Amherst’s way of playing is very basic, like ours, but they play it so very well,” Avon coach Nick Novakovic said. “Every time we play Amherst we learn something new. Sometimes what we learn is about our own team — the good, the bad and the ugly.”
Into which category the first period fell is not certain, but Amherst (6-3) scored four times and took 22 shots on goal.
Kevin Burgett had two of those goals, Paul Miller had a goal and two assists and Michael Dzoba had a goal and an assist.
“We’re getting better,” Amherst coach Steve Morris said. “The young kids seem to understand the pace of the game better. It’s slow improvement, but I think we’re getting there.”
“Those young guys are trying to get better,” said Connor Morris, the coach’s son and one of four players returning from last year’s Baron Cup II champions. “They listen when we try to help them out. Every day I can see them getting it.”
In spite of Amherst’s lack of experience, nine of the 13 players in uniform Sunday were seniors.
“They might have to get a few more guys, but if they do they’ll be good next year,” Connor Morris said. “Our goals haven’t changed. The Baron Cup, the Southwestern Conference. We still have high expectations and we plan to meet them.”
Burgett finished with four goals, Miller had two goals and three assists and Dzoba had a goal and three assists, Morris had a goal and an assist and Jordan Reynolds had three assists.
The Comets opened an 8-0 lead when Burgett scored his final goal with 9:49 remaining.
Avon (6-5) prevented a shutout with two goals within seven seconds of each other. Pat Baeder scored off passes by Christian Hieronymus and Hayden McDougald with just under eight minutes to play. Hieronymus took a pass from McDougald on the ensuing faceoff and put in a slap shot to the left of goalie Chris Majzun.
Each team used two goalies. Kevin Kuhn of Amherst stopped all four shots he faced before yielding to Chris Majzun to start the third period. Avon starter Joe Sefchick was replaced by Eric Dechant at 7:57 remaining in the second period.
The Comets have one more game to play in the Lorain County tournament when they face Midview in a makeup game Tuesday night at North Park.
Amherst 8, Avon 2
FIRST PERIOD: 1. Amherst, Michael Dzoba (Paul Miller), 1:57; 2. Amherst, Miller (Jordan Reynolds), 3:04; 3. Amherst, Kevin Burgett (Miller, Dzoba), 6:17; 4. Amherst, Burgett (Connor Morris, Reynolds), 11:33. Penalty – Avon, Hayden McDougald (interference), 5:40.
SECOND PERIOD: 5. Amherst, Burgett (Dzoba, Miller), 10:01; 6. Amherst, Miller (Dzoba), 13:37. Penalties – Amherst, Joe Masters (tripping), 5:03; Avon, Braeden friss (tripping), 9:16.
THIRD PERIOD: 7. Amherst, Morris (Phil Sheffield, Reynolds), :22; 8. Amherst, Burgett (Morris, Masters), 5:11; 1. Avon, Pat Baeder (Christian Hieronymus, McDougald), 7:02; 2. Avon, Hieronymus (McDougald), 7:09. Penalty – Avon, Friss (hooking), :58.
Shots on goal—Avon 2-2-10—14, Amherst 22-14-12—48. Goalies—Avon, Joe Sefchick 31 shots, 25 saves, Eric Dechant 17 shots, 15 saves; Amherst, Kevin Kuhn 4 shots, 4 saves, Chris Majzun 10 shots, 8 saves. Power-play opportunities—Avon 0 of 1, Amherst 2 of 3.
Contact Steve Byrne at 329-7135 or email@example.com.