KENT — John Sheridan knows the rules of the game.
You could say he’s a full-fledged expert, as a matter of fact.
In a world where bigger is always better, the longtime Aurora head ice hockey coach knows his team always has to settle for the scraps under the table.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way, according to Sheridan. If the Greenmen want to enjoy the larger portions of the lavish feast, all they have to do is topple the existing regime.
Thus, Aurora plans to locate its modest weapons and attempt to subdue Alexander the Great.
And then maybe Charlemagne too. Anyone have an address for Genghis Khan while we’re at it?
"Somebody has to play those guys, right?" Sheridan asked.
If they get one more win under their belt, the Greenmen will come for the king.
Yes, this particularly "green" army might rely on slingshots and crossbows against a far more lethal array of hydrogen bombs.
At the same time, though, going down without a fight isn’t exactly Aurora’s style. After all, didn’t a modest bucket of water melt the terrifying Wicked Witch of the West?
"We’re going to do everything in our power to go as far as we can," junior center Cameron Mullin said.
The Greenmen are off and running thus far.
Thanks to a thrilling 5-3 victory over ninth-seeded Solon in the opening round of the Kent district tournament Monday, 11th-seeded Aurora earned a date in the second round for the third consecutive year.
With the win, the Greenmen are scheduled to play eighth-seeded Cleveland Heights, which makes its home in the larger Red Division, Friday at Kent State University Ice Arena. The puck is set to drop at 8 p.m.
Aurora pulled off its impressive opening-round trifecta against a rather annoying nemesis.
The Comets got a pair of dramatic 4-3 wins against their Greater Cleveland High School Hockey League White South Division rivals during the regular season.
It’s a safe bet Solon wasn’t on the list of contenders for the state title. Nevertheless, it was a satisfying win for the so-called little guys who make their living on West Pioneer Trail.
The fact that they prevailed against what was once considered a domineering bully made it even more luscious for the resilient troops in green.
"We’re playing a team that was in a higher division for the last three years," Sheridan said. "If we can finish with 18, 19 wins, we’ll take it."
Win No. 18 won’t be an impossible task. As for a potential 19th victory?
Well, let’s just say the Aurora players may want to consider 19th-century English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley’s work for motivation.
With a possible juggernaut such as Mentor lurking in the wings, the Greenmen are hoping their possible third-round showdown becomes their version of the decaying, colossal wreck once known as the King of Kings.
That would be "Ozymandias."
"We got a chance to be 18-13 and then we have a miracle-on-ice situation like we have every year," Sheridan said.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, email@example.com or @FrankAceto_Gannett.