BROOKLYN, Ohio- The Rocky River Pirates and Strongsville Mustangs prepared for their Wednesday quarterfinal battle inside the John M. Coyne Center in Brooklyn, Ohio.
Rocky River would find the back of the net twice in the opening frame to take the 2-0 lead over Strongsville heading into the locker room. Keller Fisher fired a slapshot from the right point at the 8:31 mark to put the Pirates out in front midway through the first frame. Austin Weaver would tally the second marker in the frame, burying the puck in the five-hole right between the blockers of Zach Maxwell at the 12:39 mark. Ian Herrmann and Sumner Mead were credited with the two assists.
The Pirates would strike quickly and effectively in the middle stanza, as Teddy Stueber would make the second frame his highlight reel. Stueber would strike for his first goal of the evening just twenty seconds into the period. Spencer Asmar would add his name to the stat sheet with a goal at the 4:02 mark of the frame. Stueber would make his presence felt again as he received a pass from Herrmann and worked into the lower portion of the slot to fire a rocket past Maxwell, extending the Pirates’ lead to five. River Whitnable would capitalize off of a two-on-one breakaway, as he dashed towards the middle of the offensive zone and was granted the puck by Ben Williams. Whitnable would not miss out on the opportunity, scoring the marker at the 11:12 mark of the middle stanza. Act Three of the Teddy Stueber show took place when the Junior Forward took a shot from the right side of Maxwell’s crease and followed up his own rebound attempt to net the puck for the hat trick. By the end of the frame, Rocky River would hold a 7-0 lead over Strongsville.
Ian Herrmann found his chance to score at the minute mark of the final frame of play, scoring off of passes from Stueber and Austin Weaver. Nolan Weaver would conclude the scoring when he worked his shot from the right faceoff circle for a goal. The Pirates would take the 9-0 victory over Strongsville and looks forward to a semifinal matchup with St. Edward.
“I just think we were playing both ends of the ice pretty well. We made the most of our opportunities. We were coming into their zone a lot with some speed and some energy and that’s not really how we had been entering, especially the last game. I think we were kinda dumping and chasing a little bit and then making it happen there. Today we were moving the puck and controlling it, coming in with some speed.” Head Coach Chris Cogan mentioned when talking about the team’s play tonight. “The games are gonna get harder, they’re gonna get tougher. So we need to play good position hockey at both ends of the ice.”
Senior Ian Herrmann put into words how being one of the last four teams in the Brooklyn District feels:
“It’s great, you know. My Senior year. Last time we made it to District Semis was Ed’s (St. Edward). (It was a) Rough time my Sophomore year. We’re back at it again. We’re happy to be here. We want to keep going, keep getting the wins. Hopefully get down to Columbus.”
Rocky River plays St. Edward on Saturday at 5:00pm.