Thursday May 2, 2013 | By:Michael J. Petro | Sports
Lake Shore’s Jovanni Klimowicz is defended by Eden’s Anthony Cummings in Saturday’s pivotal Class C game. Lake Shore pulled it out 10-9. (Photo courtesy of Ron Larson)
Coming down to Class C, Joe Migliaccio had heard would serve as an added advantage to his already improving Lake Shore program.
It hasn’t exactly turned out that way. While Lake Shore is out to a 5-2 start to the season in Class C after spending its first seven years as a program in B, the Eagles have faced plenty of tests from league competition.
The latest one came from Eden, who like the Eagles are competing for playoff seeding as one of the higher-end squads in the middle of a deep pack in the 11-team classification.
Lake Shore came back from a two-goal first half deficit and then held off host Eden for an 10-9 win on Saturday (April 27). The Eagles now hold the edge over Eden in playoff seeding as the Raiders fell to 3-2 in Class C.
“So many say B is so competitive, but C has absolutely got depth and now with the growing league, with 11 teams, you have top teams like Silver Creek and then you have a few teams at the bottom but in between there’s a chunk of eight teams that when you play them it’s just like this game — a coin toss,” said Migliaccio, Lake Shore’s head coach. “It’s great to come out on this end of it.”
The Raiders led 5-3 at halftime before Lake Shore got going on offense with a five-goal third quarter spurt. The Eagles started moving well in transition, erasing the deficit thanks to some quick goals and a dominating effort in the face-off circle.
“I thought that second half devolved for us into what Lake Shore likes to do,” said Eden head coach Chris Archabald said. “Too much up and down. Too much head games. It’s not what my guys do. If we play their game, they’re going to beat us. We have to play our game which is a little bit more blue collar and disciplined.”
Freshman Devon Curry scored three times in the win, while junior attackman Tommy Scanlan added three goals, including what turned out to be the game-winner with five minutes left in the fourth on a man-up opportunity. Curry, along with fellow freshman Darian Jimerson, have stepped in to starting roles on attack.
Another freshman, Ron John, who had a goal, helps form what Migliaccio calls his deepest group of middies yet. John plays both in man-up and man-down situations and was key in slowing down Eden’s offense in the second half. Marvin Curry, a junior transfer from Silver Creek, had a dominant day taking face-offs.
“I’ve got a lot of depth and talent,” Migliaccio said. “There’s a lot of good young guys coming through this program.”
Eden received four goals and two assists from leading scorer Brady Bermingham, who Archabald called an extremely driven player who possesses good dodge skills and quickness. The senior was stopped on a final-second shot by Lake Shore goalie Brian Mitchell which could have tied the game.
Sophomore attackman Nick Wilder added two goals, including one that cut the Lake Shore lead to 10-8 late in the game. Senior George Plarr cut the lead to one with just over a minute to play in the game. Plarr also notched two assists. Alex Nowak and Kyle Gibbons each added one goal. While the effort was there, Archabald was frustrated with a few parts of his team’s game such as shot location and on face-offs.
“They did a lot of things right before the shot, but when the opportunity came to shoot, we didn’t locate our shots,” Archabald said. “You’re not going to get the win when you don’t finish the final piece of the puzzle.”
Dennis Rammacher led a solid second-half defensive effort for Lake shore. Junior Luke Catalano came in during the second half to help, while Jovanni Klimowicz’s speed on the back line also made a difference. Adding one goal was Cody Pudlewski, who Migliaciio noted has been a steady senior influence in the midfield.
“Face-offs were key for us and we played a tight defense, not letting them cut through in the second half,” Migliaccio noted. “Our kids kept their heads and played a cleaner game in the second half.”
Connor Nowak, who has helped Eden steal a few games and kept his team in some others, turned in another fine performance, while John Arnold and Alex Pustulka led the Eden defense.
The Raiders defense helped keep them just a goal off defending Class C champion Silver Creek in a 11-10 loss on April 9 and helped them beat previously-undefeated East Aurora 10-8 on April 23. Eden has yet to face last year’s sectional finalist Akron. Lake Shore fell to Akron 19-7 and Silver Creek 23-13 last week, but Migliaccio believes his team should still be able to play with the best Class C offers.
“Silver Creek’s got some great talent but so do we,” said Migliaccio, who noted that at one point in the first half of that game, the score was tied 5-5. “If we come to play, I think we could take anybody.”