AURORA -- The Greenmen varsity ice squad went 2-1 over the weekend, defeating Nordonia and Westlake before falling to Parma Normandy to put their overall record at at even 10-10-1.
On Jan 20, the locals traveled to Gilmour Academy Ice Arena in Gates Mills for a non-league match against the Knights, and dominated play from the drop of the puck, scoring 2 in the first, 5 in the second and one in the third to cruise to an 8-1 victory.
Junior Joe Capretta tallied 3 goals, junior Tomi Pirinen and senior Ian Houston each had 2 goals and sophomore Jack Pfiffner had one tally.
Pirinen, Joe Capretta, senior Nick Capretta and junior Cole Rausch each had 2 assists, and seniors Dominic Hesmondhalgh and Sakurako Reed each added a helper. Sophomore Jordan Smith had 15 saves in goal, as Nordonia fell to 5-14 with the loss.
On Jan 21, the locals hosted the Demons for a non-league game in the first-ever meeting between the two. Westlake opened the scoring in the first period before Pirinen tied it up and the first period ended 1-1.
It was all Greenmen after that, as they overwhelmed the Westlake by netting 6 goals in the second period, and eventually went on to win 9-2.
Pirinen scored 4 goals, Houston had 3 and Joe and Nick Capretta each had one. Joe Capretta added 3 assists, senior Dominic Sharotta and freshman Patrick Murray each had 2 helpers and Pirinen, Pfiffner and Hesmondhalgh each added one. Senior Joey Brockway made 19 saves in goal. Westlake fell to 1-10 with the loss.
That game also was senior night, where AHS's Reed, Hesmondhalgh, Sharrotta, Houston, Brockway, Corey Pajek, Nick Capretta and Michael Carnahan were honored before one of their last home games.
On Jan 22, the locals traveled to Parma Normandy, and in a wild game that featured a combined 85 shots, the teams were tied 2-2 after two periods.
Normandy scored 3 minutes into the final period to take the lead before Pirinen tallied a power-play goal to tie it. Then the Invaders struck with a power play goal with just under 3 minutes left to play and added an empty net goal in the final minute for a 7-5 win.
Pirinen and Nick Capretta each had 2 goals, and Joe Capretta added one. Murray, Pirinen, Rausch, Murray and junior Mike Avalon added one assist and Smith made 35 saves in goal, as the locals fell to 4-4-1 in the Blue North Division. Normandy improved their division record to 6-3.
"We played two really good games, and ended the weekend with a really tough one on the road," said AHS head coach John Sheridan. "I thought against Normandy we had the better scoring chances, but a few penalties and defensive breakdowns cost us the game.
"Normandy also got a superb effort from their goalie, who made some great saves and kept them in the game early."
AHS currently sits in fourth place in the Blue North division with three league games remaining. The top four teams qualify for the prestigious Baron Cup III tournament at the end of the year, which pits the top eight teams in both Blue divisions.
The Greenmen qualified for Baron Cup III last season, and made it to the second round for just the second time in school history.
"Even though it was a tough division loss, we still have three league games left that are definitely winnable, and we feel really good about our chances to get to the Baron Cup," said Sheridan. "We've had great intensity the last eight games, and it's very encouraging to see that we're peaking at the right time of the season."
Through 21 games, Pirinen leads the squad with 60 points, and Joe Capretta leads in goals with 36.
The locals will travel to Dan Kostel Recreation Center in Garfield Heights on Jan 27 to take on the Twinsburg Tigers at 6:45 p.m. before hitting the road Jan 29 for a 3:40 p.m. contest against the North Canton Hoover Vikings at Center Ice Sports Complex in Canton.