Last week was a pretty good one for goalies, particularly for a few beleaguered ones who needed something good to happen.
Brad Moore, so tough in 2006-07 when Elyria Catholic went 27-6, got his first shutout of the year when the Panthers beat Avon Lake 8-0 on Saturday. Moore had eight shutouts a year ago.
Moore yielded five goals to Western Reserve and eight to Strongsville in the prior week. He had allowed as many as five goals in games only three times last year, and two of the times were against Padua. The other was in a 5-3 loss to Mother Teresa of Ontario.
"Saturday`s game helped him a lot," Panthers coach Dave Phiel said. "It should get him on track."
We`ll see tonight when the second-seeded Panthers open play in the North Coast League Tournament at North Park.
It might be a surprise for some to see a young lady playing in the goal for her high school team, but maybe it takes some getting used to seeing anyone but Adam King handling the position for Amherst. King had the job for four years before graduating in the spring.
Courtney Carney got her first Greater Cleveland High School Hockey League (GCHSHL) victory Friday when Amherst topped Bay 4-1 in a White West game. She also played well Sunday, allowing just one goal in regulation to high-powered Olmsted Falls before Amherst fell to the Bulldogs in overtime.
"She was as disappointed as anyone on the team with the loss, which is understandable considering she played so well," Amherst assistant coach Scott Ross said.
"She did very well," Olmsted Falls coach Brian Thompson added. "She stopped about three or four breakaways and made some key saves in the third period to force overtime. She`s getting better game by game."
Bay`s Kevin Figueira had his best game since an opening-day shutout of Hudson when he allowed only two goals to Holy Name in a 2-1 loss Sunday. The winning goal came in an unusual way - on a bounce.
"It was a flip shot that landed maybe 3 of 4 feet in front and took a funny bounce," Bay coach Terry Chadwick said.
Bay had given up 25 goals in five games following the Hudson opener. Chadwick added his goalie has been playing well enough, but that "we simply have trouble scoring goals."
The Rockets have only 11 through seven games.
Avon Lake usually has little trouble racking up goals. Preventing them has been an issue, even with a strong, experienced goalie like Bryan Emery.
The Shoremen`s defense was hurt when sophomore Paul Dyczkowski decided to join the Midget Barons junior hockey team.
"All through the preseason he was probably our top defensive player," Avon Lake coach Brent Figueira said. "Those things happen. There`s nothing you can do about it."
Dyczkowski joins Hunter Cherni and Tom Coy who, like Dyczkowski, lettered for Avon Lake last year. Cherni and Coy, however, were not practicing with the Shoremen during preseason.
Figueira has put letterman Makz Galati on defense this year, and even had super-scorer Mike Dillon in the back to help give some of the defensemen a rest.
"It`s been tough on the legs," Figueira said. "Even (returning defenseman) Scott Shaffer has admitted he`s just getting his hockey muscles back after using his football muscles in the fall."
Figueira added that the Shoremen have at least not had the nagging muscle injuries so far this season - thanks, he said, to a successful preseason conditioning program in which his players participated.
Fans at the North Coast League Tournament will experience something they haven`t seen - or rather felt - at North Park Rink. That something is warmth.
The Elyria Parks Department installed overhead heaters around the bleachers, giving fans something of a break from the cold that enters through the chain-link wall on the east end of the facility.
* Anyone who was in attendance at the Olmsted Falls-Rocky River game at the Q on Dec. 2 was treated not only to superb hockey, but also to the gorgeous sounds of the Olmsted Falls Choir. The a cappella singers serenaded fans with songs like "Chili Con Carne" and "Moon River" (written by Cleveland native Henry Mancini) and the suddenly ubiquitous Christmas song "Carol of the Bells."
* Bay`s only goal in Sunday`s 2-1 loss to Holy Name was scored by freshman Alex Harris. It was Harris` first varsity goal.
Contact Steve Byrne at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Chad Murphy, North Olmsted
LAST WEEK: Had two goals as North Olmsted won a divisional game against Elyria Catholic, 4-2. Murphy has 12 goals this season, tying him with Avon Lake`s Michael Dillon for the lead among area goal scorers.
PARENTS: Tim and Wendy
OTHER SPORT: Baseball
OTHER INTERESTS: Playing video games (NCAA Football).
FAVORITE NHL PLAYER: Sidney Crosby
FUTURE PLANS: Hopes to attend college and play varsity baseball. Will major in either education or a pre-law program.
Brad Moore, Elyria Catholic
LAST WEEK: Stopped 40 of 44 shots in an 8-0 victory over Avon Lake and a 4-2 loss to North Olmsted on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
PARENTS: Bill and Marie
ON THE NORTH COAST LEAGUE TOURNAMENT: "Everyone says Padua will win, but I think there are a lot of great teams in it. Padua is great, but anyone can take it. This is high school hockey. It`s open for anyone. We proved on Saturday we`re not going to let anyone walk over us this year."
FAVORITE NHL PLAYER: Marc-Andre Fleury