Hockey team finally returns to action and wins three games

Brent Flanik

The Aurora High School ice hockey squad returned to action after over a month off this past weekend, winning 3 games to put their overall record at 3-1

The icers had not played since their opening game loss to Orange on November 21st 2020 due to COVID-19 precautions. 

On January 8, the Greenmen took on the Kenston Bombers, in the first meeting between the two squads since December 2013. 

Senior captain Cam Mullin opened the scoring for Aurora five minutes into the first period, but Kenston answered back with two minutes left to tie the game 1-1 after one.

Greenmen junior Nathan Funk scored 3 minutes into the second frame to take the lead again, but the Bombers answered back just 12 seconds later to knot the score 2-2. The rest of the period was close and evenly matched, and looked like it might remain a tie headed into the third period, but AHS sophomore Will Genovese scored a dramatic goal with just 1.6 seconds left in the to give AHS a 3-2 lead.

The Greenmen then came out flying in the third period, snuffing out all Bomber chances and adding three more goals en route to a 6-2 victory.

Genovese led the way in the scoresheet with one goal and three assists. Junior Mike Mancine had two goals and an assist, sophomore Zane Martin had a goal and an assist, and freshman Will Pfiffner also added an assist. 

Jameson Parker and Patrick Benjamin scored the two Bomber goals. 

Senior goaltender Nolan Sullivan made 33 saves in net for AHS, and Lillie McCleery stopped 37 shots in net for Kenston. It was Aurora’s first win against the Bombers since January of 2008, as they also snapped an 8-game losing streak against their crosstown rival. 

On January 9, the Greenmen played host to the Stow-Monroe Falls Bulldogs, and the locals got off to a roaring start in the first period, tallying 3 straight goals in just 45 seconds to take a commanding lead. The Bulldogs would find the net once later on through to cut the AHS lead to 3-1 after the first period.

The second frame saw constant back-and-forth action, as the Bulldogs scored 4 minutes in to cut the Greenmen lead to 3-2. Genovese found the net for AHS with three minutes left in the period to extend the lead, but once again Stow answered right back 20 seconds later to make the score 4-3. As the clock wound down in the second period, Mullin found the net for the Greenmen with 33 seconds left, but the pesky Bulldogs would score one of their own with just 6 seconds left to cut the Aurora lead to 5-4 headed into the final period. 

It was a tight-checking third period as both teams traded chances, but Mullin finally got loose from the Stow defense with 7 minutes left and scored on the backhand to put the Greenmen on top by two goals once again. Mancine added an empty-net insurance tally in the final minute to secure a 7-4 victory for the locals. 

Mullin ended the game with two goals and two assists, and Martin had a goal and three assists. Genovese had two goals and an assist, and Mancine had a goal and an assist. Rounding out the scoresheet were Funk with one goal, and Pfiffner with one assist.

Sullivan made 27 saves in net for the Greenmen. 

On January 10th, the Greenmen hosted the NDCL Lions. Aurora dominated the game from the drop of the puck, scoring four goals in the first period, two in the second, and three more in the third to cruise to a 9-1 victory. 

Martin led the way for the Greenmen with four goals and two assists. Mullin had five points, Genovese had four points, Mancine had three points, and Funk and Pfiffner had 2 points each. Rounding out the scoresheet with one assist each were Seniors Ricky Reynolds and David Brandes, junior Max Trem, and sophomore Conor McMahon. Wyatt Dynes notched the lone tally for NDCL.

Sullivan made 24 saves in net for Aurora. Devin Jost made saves 27 in goal for the Lions

“Our goal was to sweep the weekend, and I’m proud that all the players were able to come together and get it done” said AHS head coach John Sheridan. “We had a lot of time off since our last game, but the players still kept in shape and worked hard on their own, and we were able to have a successful ‘re-start’ to the season.”

“At the start of the year one of our focuses was on finding enough chemistry on offense, but I think we proved this weekend that we can definitely put the puck in the net.”

The icers next game will be a re-match against Kenston on January 16th at the Pond in Auburn Township. Faceoff is slated for 8:30pm