SHAKER HEIGHTS, OHIO – In a battle between two of the top teams in the GCHSHL Red North Division, the Shaker Heights Red Raiders defended their home ice Saturday night at Thornton Park Ice Rink, topping the Cardinals 3-1.
It was the second win for the Red Raiders this season over Mentor, the first coming on the Cardinals home ice back on December 8th, a 3-0 Shaker win.
This time the Cardinals got off to a 1-0 lead, but it was some heads up play on two Shaker goals in the second period as well as some tough defense in the third period that was enough to secure the two-goal win.
Red Raider senior goalie Owen Tafe was very good in goal for Shaker, turning away all but one of Mentor’s 23 shots on goal.
The physical play of Shaker was a key in the win, as they controlled the puck in their zone for much of the clinching second period, and then made the Cardinals pay when they were able to get to the puck in the third.
Mentor goalie Jacob Tackett allowed three goals to suffer the loss, he turned away 25 shots from the Red Raiders in the setback.
The win puts Shaker at 17-4-2 on the season, they’ve outscored the opposition this season 87 to 34.
With the loss Mentor falls to 19-6-1 on the year. Both teams continue to chase Red North leader Kenston, who enter play on Saturday at 21-5-1.
The Cardinals opened the scoring in the contest, as at the 7:36 mark in the first period, as junior forward Evan McBride lit the lamp to give Mentor a 1-0 lead.
His brother Andrew McBride was on the assist of the goal, along with sophomore forward Kyle Backston.
The Red Raiders took awhile to get going, but six minutes later at the 13:36 mark they tied the game up on a goal by senior forward DC Benincasa.
The goal was assisted by Dylan Shelton and Logan Mears.
The two teams skated off the final six minutes with the game even, as Mentor outshot Shaker 10-8 in the first 15 minutes of play.
The deciding second period showed again the strength of Shaker, as they controlled the puck for much of the period, and then took advantage of a couple mistakes to take a two-goal lead.
The goal which put them up 2-1 came just 2:30 into the period, as sophomore forward Devin Campbell snatched up a losse puck, and went top shelf with a pretty goal to make it 2-1.
Shaker went up 3-1 nearly 10 minutes later, as again a loose puck in front of the net was recovered by the Red Raiders, and they made Mentor pay with a huge goal.
The goal went to Shelton, with assists going to both Benincasa and Evan Richards. The second period ended with the Raiders up two, and they also led 20-17 in shots on goal.
The third period again saw Shaker play sound defense, not allowing the Cardinals many odd man chances, and holding down the fort for the final 15 minutes to take home the win.
Mentor ended the night with 23 shots on goal, while Shaker had 28.
The Cardinals are back on the ice on Friday as they will host Western Reserve Academy. Shaker has one of the biggest games of the season on Friday night, as they will host first place Kenston at 7pm at Thornton Park Ice Rink.
Click the Pages Below to See More Pictures From the Game between Mentor and Shaker Heights!