CLEVELAND — It was almost heaven for 11 hockey players from Lorain County at Sunday’s inaugural Greater Cleveland High School Hockey League all-star games at Quicken Loans Arena.
“Being here and playing on that ice gets you thinking about would it would be like to play in the pros,” said Midview’s Brock Behler, who scored a pair of goals to lead the West to an 11-4 win in the Blue Division game.
The two games were played prior to the Lake Erie Monsters game against Rochester. Avon’s Hayden McDougald and Avon Lake’s Pierson Callander joined Behler and three of his senior teammates — Austin Steindl, K.C. Kudela and Bradley Urig — on the winning West squad.
Callander also scored twice, as did McDougald.
“It was a good time today,” Callander said. “It was fun to go out there. I haven’t skated much since our season ended. I was just in a good position on those two goals to get a rebound and then to be in the right place off of the face-off to get the second. I was on the ice with some really good teammates today.”
Callender’s goals came in a span of seven seconds late in the second period to put the West on top 8-3.
While an all-star game is usually the chance to play with some new players, the Middies created their own scoring line of Behler, Kudela and Steindl, which skated together most of the afternoon.
Behler scored in the second period and again in the third.
“That was pretty much half of our team out there today,” he said. “We only had nine skaters this season. To be able to share this day with my teammates made it even more special.”
McDougald’s second score came with just eight seconds left in the game.
The second game was billed as a matchup of White Division stars against Red Division stars, but prior to the games the four Amherst representatives — Jordan Reynolds, Connor Morris, Paul Miller and Kevin Burgett — along with Elyria Catholic’s Colin Lester were reassigned to the Red team to replace the seven Rocky River and Shaker Heights players who were forced to drop out when their teams advanced to the state semifinals.
Morris quickly endeared himself to his new teammates, scoring the first Red goal just 1:57 into the opening period.
The Red team went on to get the win, 7-6, behind four goals from St. Ignatius forward Miles McQuinn.
“It was a good, close competitive game,” Morris said. “I think everybody had fun. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s always disappointing when the season is over so to get a chance to play one more time with my teammates was really fun.”
Morris was also appreciative of the chance to play on the home ice of an American Hockey League team.
“It is a much different feel than the rinks we usually play on with the seats all the way around,” he said. “The stadium atmosphere is really awesome.”
There were 92 players named to the all-star teams, including two girls — Aurora goalie Rachel Schwartz and Brecksville defender Caitlin Koprowski.
Amherst coach Steve Morris also earned all-star honors, coaching in the White vs. Red game.
Blue Division all-star game
West 11, East 4
FIRST PERIOD: (W) Chris Richardson (Lakewood), 14:09; (W) Samuel Hankins (Hoover), 13:22; (W) Kevin Peitti (Olmsted Falls); 6:46, (W) Hayden McDougald (Avon); 6:33; (W) Hankins, 5:15; (E) Ben Urbas (Cleveland Heights), 1:58; (E) Urbas, 1:43.
SECOND PERIOD: (W) Brock Behler (Midview), 3:30; (W) Pierson Callander (Avon Lake); 3:13, (W) Callander, 3:06; (E) David Woodruff (NDCL), 2:35.
THIRD PERIOD: (W) Richardson, 17:22; (W) Behler 10:33; (E) Alex Baele (Mayfield); :51, (W) McDougald, :08; Penalties – (E) McElwee (Aurora), tripping 3:13.
West 5 3 3 — 11
East 2 1 1 — 4
Shots on goal: West 70 (30-22-18), East 23 (6-6-11); Goalies: (W) Tim Figueira (Bay) (6 shots, 4 saves), Kirk Greenho (Hoover) (6 shots, 5 saves), Nate Tracy (11 shots, 10 saves), (E) Matt Douglas (NDCL) (38 shots, 33 saves), Rachel Schwartz (32 shots, 26 saves). Power-play opportunities West 0-1.
Red-White Division all-star game
Red 7, White 6
FIRST PERIOD: (R) Connor Morris (Amherst), 13:03; (W) Luke Sunde (CVCA), 11:18; (W) Sunde, 5:40; (W) Chad Sonkin (Orange), 1:49; (R) Miles McQuinn (St. Ignatius) :16.
SECOND PERIOD: (R) Nick Musgrave (Walsh Jesuit), 14:50; (R) Musgrave, 13:46; (R) McQuinn, 1:04; Penalties – (R) Colin Lester (Elyria Catholic, Roughing, 4:21
THIRD PERIOD: (R)McQuinn, 17:04; (W) Ben Thurstone (Westlake), 12:04; (R)McQuinn, 10:51; (W) Sonkin, 6:12; (W) Sunde, :18.
Red 2 3 2 — 7
White 3 0 3 – 6
Shots on goal: Red 49 (14-19-16), White 34 (13-6-15); Goalies: (R) Bernie Cook (St. Ignatius) (14 shots, 11 saves), Grayson Kotseos (Hudson) (20 shots, 17 saves); (W) Kyle Peterson (Solon) (26 shots, 21 saves); Jonah Savitt (CVCA) (23 shots, 21 saves). Power-play opportunities White 0-1.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.