With an opportunity to move into a two way tie for first place in the White East Division on the line, Kent Roosevelt's ice hockey team traveled to Gilmour Academy Ice Arena Sunday evening to face off against the Solon Comets.
And the Rough Riders took full advantage of the opportunity by defeating the Comets 2-1 in overtime.
Roosevelt is now 6-4 on the season and 3-1 in league play.
It was the second time this season these league rivals needed overtime to determine a game- winner as Roosevelt had defeated Solon 3-2 in overtime during the Adam Hamilton Memorial Tournament on November 30th.
"It was a well-played game, just a great White East Division game tonight," commented Roosevelt Coach Ben Barlow after the extra-period thriller.
After two periods of play, neither team had scored and both clubs had an equal number of shots on goal at 17 apiece.
"This game could have gone either way tonight. The puck just didn't bounce their way tonight. They put a lot of pressure on us and at times our defensive zone play was a little out of whack", observed Barlow.
"We want to be aggressive in the defensive zone. We were getting a little ahead of ourselves, trying to stretch the zone when it wasn't the right time."
Roosevelt's lone goal in regulation was an unassisted effort scored by Junior Dontae Montemayor at 8:44 of the third period.
Solon defenseman Ben Peterson, with an assist from Michael Krenn, tied the contest with 2:46 remaining in regulation time.
With 1:36 to play in the third period, the Riders, via a penalty for hooking, provided the Comets a power play opportunity.
"We have a player, sophomore Gabe Smith, that is turning into a fine penalty killer", reflected Barlow on his team having to kill a penalty late in the game. "We try to put him out right away when we get a penalty. We try to match Gabe on the opponent's skilled players. Gabe, Mitch Fisher, Jake Schmauch and Kyle Manning did an outstanding job on that penalty kill."
That late penalty carried into overtime and Roosevelt was able to survive the short-handed situation.
"I like our poise late in the games. We stayed really disciplined, I couldn't be more proud of our kids' attitude and effort this evening," said Barlow.
At 3:28 of the extra period, Montemayor struck again for the game winner. Junior line mate Gordie Fisher assisted on the play.
"We kept plugging away, and in this situation, because your feet are moving, your being smart with the puck, you create chances and you create your luck. Give a lot of credit to Dontae."
"This is a big day for us. Solon has been a dynamite team the past few years", concluded Barlow.
BLUE LINE NOTES:
-Montemayor has scored three goals in his last two White East Division league games.
-The Rough Riders play Westlake at Quicken Loans Arena at 4:00 PM on Thursday, December 20th. An $11.00 ticket provides entry into the Roosevelt game and the Lake Erie Monsters vs. Houston Aeros game at 7:00 PM. The Westlake game begins a stretch in which the Riders will play a minimum of eight games in nine days