CLEVELAND — Midview’s Jake Schneider was almost the hero.
Then Kenston’s Alex Petre stole Schneider’s title along with the show.
Petre scored the game-winning goal with three seconds to play Friday to lift the East to a 5-4 win over the West in the Greater Cleveland High School Hockey League’s senior all-star game at Quicken Loans Arena.
Petre was named the No. 1 star of the game.
Schneider’s goal tied the game for the West with 4:28 remaining in the third period and left game organizers scrambling to decide how to break a tie since the teams had to be off the ice in time to give the Lake Erie Monsters time to warm up for their game against Toronto.
Petre cast those worries aside with a slap shot from just inside the blue line that gave his team the win.
Jake Lyons helped the East cause with a goal and unintentionally fired up his fellow Middie playing on the other team.
“When Jake scored first I was thinking, ‘aww man, I’ve got to score now,’” Schneider said. “I wasn’t expecting to score today. I just wanted to come down here and have some fun. It turned out good. It’s by far the best experience of my hockey career coming out and playing at The Q.”
For much of the afternoon, the game looked like a Rocky River talent show as five Pirates skaters accounted for four goals and four assists. Rocky River’s Logan Drell and Joe Weger were named the Nos. 2 and 3 stars of the game, which was held for the second year.
Avon was also well-represented with four players — Neal Novotny, Braeden Friss, Eric Novakovic and goaltender Joe Sefchik — on the West team that was led by Eagles coach Nick Novakovic.
Olmsted Falls Jacob Norman also had an assist for the West.
“It was fun to play with different guys you don’t really know,” said Eric Novakovic, who had a third-period assist. “It would have been nice to win but it was a fun time. It was nice to be able to play with guys from my high school that I really know well, but also get to meet new people.”
After Lyons’ goal but the East in front 2-1 at the 7:47 mark of the second period the West failed to capitalize on two prime scoring chances. Petre was awarded a penalty shot but was turned away by Twinsburg goalkeeper Braden Susnik. Two minutes later, Mentor’s Tyler Cox had a breakaway but failed to find the back of the net.
“Today was so awesome,” Novotny said. “It’s such an amazing feeling to play here and it was a chance to play with an amazing group of players. You don’t have the chemistry you have because you really don’t know each other but it’s nice to see the different skill levels of the players in the different divisions.”
Although all the players marveled at playing on the home ice of players who are a phone call away from the National Hockey League, Novotny said the Quicken Loans Arena ice isn’t any better than what you’d find at your neighborhood recreation center.
“Honestly, I think the actual ice surface is worse than what we usually play on,” he said. “It’s softer so it cuts in more and it’s rather bumpy, so the puck is bouncing all over.”
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
East 5, West 4
FIRST PERIOD: (W) Mike Ittu (Rocky River) from Matt Madison (Mentor), 10:10; (E) Logan Drell (Rocky River) from Tommy Robenalt (Rocky River), Sam Eisler (Brush), 13:26. Penalty — (E) Bench too many men on ice, 1:27.
SECOND PERIOD: (E) Jake Lyons (Midview) from Mitchel Ford (Mayfield) 7:47. Penalty — (W) Jack Hanley (Shaker Heights), slashing, 17:31.
THIRD PERIOD: (E) Paul Heisey (CVCA) from Ryan Posipanka (Mentor), Issac Brown (Cleveland Heights), 8:16; (W) Tom Hongosh (Benedictine) from Scott Rainey (Roosevelt) and Hanley, 8:59; (W) Brock Riemenschneider (Rocky River) from Joe Weger (Rocky River) and Eric Novakovic (Avon), 11:46; (E) Robenalt from Drell, Heisey, 15:01; (W) Jake Schneider (Midview) from James Kern (West Geauga), Jacob Norman (Olmsted Falls), 15:32; (E) Alex Petre (Kenston) from Robenalt, 19:57. Penalty — (E) Zack Thibault (Hudson) interference, 17:19.
West 1 0 3 — 4
East 1 1 3 — 5
Shots on goal: West 48 (13-19-16), East 50 (13-18-17). Goalies: (West) Ryan Kostelnik (Rocky River), 13 shots – 12 saves, Chase Cullinan (North Olmsted) 18 shots – 17 saves, Joe Sefchik (Avon) 17 shots – 14 saves; (East) Nate Grootegord (Kent Roosevelt) 13 shots – 12 saves, Braden Susnik (Twinsburg) 19 shots – 19 saves, Sam Attias (Shaker Heights) 16 shots – 13 saves. Power-play opportunities: West 0-2, East 0-1.