ROCKY RIVER — Execution in some areas wasn’t up to par, but Midview covered the critical aspects needed Sunday to advance to the championship game of the second annual West Shore Conference tournament.
Midview (17-6) earned its trip to the final courtesy a 2-0 win over Lakewood (15-3-2) behind freshman goalie Jared Meredith’s fourth shutout of the season. The Middies will face Rocky River (18-5-1) for the WSC title at 9:45 this morning.
“We back-checked very well and when we worked the puck into the offensive zone we made nice shots,” said Meredith, who stopped all 19 Rangers shots. “We wanted to see Rocky River again. We’re going to take it to them and try our best to win.”
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Rocky River rallied to defeat Midview 5-4 on Saturday night with three unanswered third-period goals in the second round of the WSC tournament.
A Red East Division team, Rocky River rested its top shift players for the majority of the game versus Midview because the Pirates had played two games earlier Saturday at the Walsh Jesuit Tomahawk Tournament. Midview plays two divisions below Rocky River in the Blue West.
“We wanted (to win Sunday’s game) enough to play (the Pirates) again,” Meredith said. “Turnovers were a problem at times, but we were able to swarm the puck when they got it into our defensive zone and we got it out.”
Two goals 28 seconds apart was all the offense Midview needed versus Lakewood.
Junior forward Kyle Kudela’s 12th goal of the season on a Middies power play at 8:42 of the second period broke the scoreless tie. Junior defenseman Jacob Lyons contributed with his 11th assist of the season and junior forward Manny Ceja helped with his 14th assist.
“We cycled the pass nice and got a good pass out front in the slot,” Kudela said. “We came out a little slow. Part of it was because we played a nice game Saturday night. We need to come out with our heads on right (today versus Rocky River), make some good plays, get some goals and stay ahead. Saturday we back-checked and cycled the puck well.”
Freshman forward Jacob Hack’s fifth goal of the year at 9:10 gave Midview some breathing room. Junior forward Brock Behler helped with his 20th assist and senior forward K.C. Kudela, Kyle’s brother, had his 14th assist.
“We had some turnovers but we muscled through it,” Hack said. “We were a little tired from Saturday night because we put a lot of energy into that game. Hopefully, we’ll be at full energy Monday morning for River. We just need to get the puck out of our zone and eliminate turnovers. We can’t have a lot of those.”
Midview had only two penalties and managed to dodge the two Lakewood power-play chances.
“We had a couple decent tips but we just missed the net,” Lakewood coach Josh Dress said. “I would like to have seen more opportunities, but Midview made us work. We had some chances for rebounds but we weren’t there to pick those up. They’re a fast-paced team, we knew that coming in. It was a clean game, but fast and physical.”
Midview and Lakewood hadn’t met since last season. The Middies took that one, 8-0.
“We know it’s going to be very difficult against Rocky River,” Midview coach Rick Verlotti said. “We caught them as their third game of the day Saturday. They’re going to be fresh and they’re going to come in hungry. We’re not going to catch them by surprise.”
Senior forward Eric Sperli notched the game-winner for Rocky River on Saturday against Midview, scoring with just over a minute remaining. Senior first-string goalie Jake Nicholson didn’t play for the Pirates as junior back-up Ryan Kostelnik got the start.
The Pirates had another game Sunday afternoon at Walsh Jesuit.
Midview 2, Lakewood 0
FIRST PERIOD: No scoring. Penalties — M, Bradley Urig (tripping), 11:49.
SECOND PERIOD: 1. M, Kyle Kudela (Jacob Lyons, Manny Ceja), 8:42; 2. M, Jacob Hack (Brock Behler, K.C. Kudela), 9:10. Penalties — L, Colin Scheel (tripping), 7:55; M, Behler (interference), 9:21.
THIRD PERIOD: No scoring. Penalties — L, Victor Dobos (illegal head contact), 8:02.
Midview 0 2 0 — 2
Lakewood 0 0 0 — 0
Shots on goal: Midview 7-9-5—21, Lakewood 3-12-5—19. Goalies: (M) Jared Meredith (19 shots, 19 saves); (L) Hunter Nugent (21 shots, 19 saves). Power-play opportunities: Midview 1 of 2, Lakewood 0 of 2.
Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7135 or email@example.com.