BROOKLYN — There was no defending champion misstep this time around.
After Baron Cup II champion Amherst fell in a rugged battle Monday night to Solon, defending Baron Cup III champion Midview unleashed a five-to-one advantage in shots on goal in rolling past Cleveland Heights 11-2 on Tuesday night at the Brooklyn Recreation Center.
The Middies (22-7) will face Mayfield on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the semifinals. The Wildcats hold two one-goal wins over Midview this year and were Baron Cup III champs the two seasons before Midview’s win last year.
“Early goals can either break your back or give you motion going forward,” Middies coach Rick Verlotti said about his team’s early first-period scoring. “We wanted to come out and take care of our own business and attack.”
Attack they did.
K.C. Kudela snagged the puck off the opening faceoff, skated into the Cleveland Heights zone and beat goalie Gabe Shutt just 20 seconds into the game.
About three minutes later, left-winger Brock Behler finished off an assist from Austin Steindl, who picked up a loose puck at the blue line, sped in and kicked it off to the right to Behler for a 2-0 lead at 12:00.
Shutt finished the first period with eight straight saves to keep the Tigers alive going into the second period, but after Midview scored five goals on 20 shots over the next 15 minutes there was no question who was advancing to play Saturday.
“Scoring those two goals early gave us a lot of energy,” Behler said. “We built off of that and put in a lot of goals in the second period. We had a lot of shots in the first period that (Shutt) stopped, but we kept the puck moving and found the net.”
Midview’s second-period onslaught resulted in a 7-1 lead and a running clock for the final period of play.
Jacob Hack started the flurry, taking a pass from Behler from behind the net and one-timing the puck for a 3-0 lead. Manny Ceja then added an unassisted score 2:38 later after Steindl slid to the puck and poked it off a defensive player to Ceja.
Connor Lewis broke up the shutout with a goal at 7:43, but it mattered little as Steindl scored at 7:33 and defenseman Jacob Schneider added a pair of scores.
Schneider’s first goal came on a power play off assists from Steindl and Behler, and he added a score in the final minute when he converted a Brad Urig assist.
“We knew coming in that we had to keep (Ben Urbas) off the puck for them,” Urig said. “We wanted to stop him and get the puck turned around and get some long passes up the ice to score.”
Urig and Steindl each added scores in the third to go with a pair from Behler, who got his hat trick.
Contact James Brady at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Midview 11, Cleveland Heights 2
FIRST PERIOD: (M) K.C. Kudela (Brad Urig), 14:40; (M) Brock Behler, 12:00. Penalties — (M) Jacob Hack (high-sticking), 2:42.
SECOND PERIOD: (M) Hack (Behler, Kudela), 11:38; (M) Manny Ceja (unassisted), 9:00; (CH) Connor Lewis (Isaac Brown, Henry Gray), 7:43; (M) Austin Steindl (Ceja), 7:33; (M) Jacob Schneider (Steindl, Behler) PP, 4:41; (M) Schneider (Urig), 0:52. Penalties: (M) Behler (high-sticking), 6:03; (CH) Brown (tripping), 4:41, (CH); Brown (holding), 3:32.
THIRD PERIOD: (M) Urig (Steindl), 11:45; (M) Behler (Hack), 10:18; (M) Steindl (unassisted), 5:19; (CH) Ben Urbas (Lewis), 4:17; (M) Behler (Urig), 1:40.
Cleveland Hts 0 1 1 — 2
Midview 2 5 4 — 11
Shots on goal: Midview 48 (11-20-17), Cleveland Hts 10 (4-5-1); Goalies: (M) Jared Meredith (9 shots, 8 saves), Liz Ternes (1 shot, 0 saves); (CH) Gabe Shutt (48 shots, 37 saves). Power-play opportunities: Midview 2-3, Cleveland Hts. 0-2.