September 17, 2014

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High school hockey: Olmsted Falls downs Parma behind Jacob Norman’s big game, pulls into tie for first in Blue West

Olmsted Falls' Joey Egan and Parma's Joe Gallo fight for control in the first period Sunday afternoon in Parma. ANNA NORRIS/CHRONICLE

Olmsted Falls’ Joey Egan and Parma’s Joe Gallo fight for control in the first period Sunday afternoon in Parma. ANNA NORRIS/CHRONICLE

PARMA — Forgive Parma coach Joe Gaudino if he never wants to see or speak of Olmsted Falls’ Jacob Norman again.

Norman scored three times and had an assist Sunday as Falls beat the Redmen 6-4 at the James A. Ries Ice Arena to move into a first-place tie with them in the Blue West Division of the Greater Cleveland High School Hockey League.

“That’s probably the biggest game we’ve won in four or five years here at Olmsted Falls,” Bulldogs coach Brian Thompson said. “All three of those goals were phenomenal and I don’t think anyone else in the league could have done what he did.”

The ’Dogs (12-6, 7-1) played from behind through the first period as Parma’s Jacob Piech put his team up 1-0 just 43 seconds into the game.

It took the Bulldogs some time to settle down, but they evened the game at the 11:31 mark when Hunter Bradford scored a power-play goal on assists from Mark Schindler and Steven Wilks.

“It was a blow for them to score so quickly, but we knew we had to settle down and get a score of our own,” Schindler said. “Once we got back in the game, it felt good to keep it going strong.”

Joe Gallo put the Redmen back on top at the 5:05 mark, but that’s when Norman began to work his magic, scoring off a pass from goalie Joey Egan just 35 seconds later to tie the game at 2 and yank the momentum away from Parma (10-8-1, 6-1).

The Bulldogs gained the upper hand with 1:15 left in the period when Schindler scored his 10th goal of the year after Norman had a shot turned away by Parma goalie Dustin Scott, only to have the puck go right to Schindler on the opposite side of the ice for a 3-2 lead.

“Growing up playing this game, I’ve never been part of a championship-caliber team and these guys are the best,” Schindler said. “I’m just glad I was right
there on the rebound. The puck came to me and I had an open net.”

There was only one goal in the second period, but it was a highlight-worthy one.

It came from Norman, who took a pass from Devon McConkey and raced ahead of the defense. He got tripped from behind resulting in a delayed penalty call.

From there, it was all Norman.

“After getting tripped, I went down on my arm, got up quick with my back to the net and was able to knock the puck between my legs and between the goalie’s legs while I was still in the air,” Norman said. “I’d have to say that was the highlight goal of my high school career.”

The first-place Redmen didn’t go down without a fight, tying the score on a Gallo power-play goal at 12:49 and a score with 2:52 left when Bogi Savic took a psss from Gallo from behind the net to fire up the Parma bench.

Gallo’s man-advantage score was the only one allowed by the ’Dogs defense and goalie Zach Snyder, who stopped 11 of just 15 shots.

Redmen coach Joe Gaudino called timeout to set up the final minutes of the game. He had no idea that his strategy would go out the window just 13 seconds later.

The Bulldogs won the ensuing face-off and Norman ripped the heart out of the Parma faithful, scoring the clincher on assists from Wilks and Schindler.

“Jake put the team on his back and led them in that comeback,” Thompson said. “He hates to lose and I thought he showed that tonight.”

Contact James Brady at 329-7135 or jbrady_ct@yahoo.com.

Olmsted Falls 6, Parma 4

FIRST PERIOD: (P) Jacob Piech (Connor Braid, Nick Ohmer), 14:17, (OF) Zach Sadowski (Mark Schindler, Steven Wilks), PP, 10:18, (P) Joe Gallo (Tommy Arthur), 5:05, (OF) Jacob Norman (Joey Egan), 4:30, (OF) Mark Schindler (Norman), 1:15. Penalties — (P) Jacob Piech (head contact), (OF) Hunter Bradford (tripping), (OF) Jacob Norman (boarding), 3:54.
SECOND PERIOD: (OF) Norman (Devon McConkey), 5:46. Penalties — (P) Bogi Savic (interference), 10:48, (P) Cole Blagg (tripping), 5:46, (OF) Hunter Bradford (elbow), 4:10, (P) Joe Manak (slashing), 2:03.
THIRD PERIOD: (P) Gallo (Aurthur), PP, 12:49, (P) Savic (Gallo), 2:52, (OF) Norman (Steven Wilks, Schindler), 2:39, (OF) Sadowski (empty net), 0:03. Penalties — (OF) McConkey (holding), 12:49, (OF) Bradford (interference), 11:28, (P) Nick Ohmer (holding), 6:32, (OF) Schindler (tripping), 0:48.
Olmsted Falls 3 1 2 — 6
Parma 2 0 2 — 4
Shots on goal: Olmsted Falls 23 (7-7-9), Parma 15 (5-4-6). Goalies: Olmsted Falls Zach Snyder (15 shots, 11 saves), Parma Dustin Scott (23 shots, 17 saves). Power-play opportunities: Olmsted Falls 1-4, Parma 1-6.