By Jim Smith | Correspondent
After being outshot by more than a 2-to-1 margin, Kent Roosevelt's ice hockey team dropped a 3-2 decision to the Westlake Demons on Thursday afternoon at Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland.
For the game, Westlake had 34 shots on goal to the Rough Riders' 16.
The Riders had a sluggish beginning to the first period, managing only one shot on goal for nearly half of the opening 15 minutes of play. Kent managed only five shots on goal for the period.
"Give Westlake credit, they played with a little higher energy from the drop of the puck," said Roosevelt coach Ben Barlow. "It was a tough night for us all around. Not one of our more energetic efforts."
Westlake's Alex Miller opened the game's scoring at 7:49 of the first period. Teammates Adam Sandor and Nate Greenberg assisted on the goal.
Roosevelt senior captain Kyle Manning responded with a goal, assisted by Dontae Montemayor and Gordie Fisher, with 5:51 remaining in the opening period.
While the Riders seemed to gain momentum from Manning's effort, a Roosevelt penalty 24 seconds later halted that energy.
"That one penalty came at a pretty significant juncture of the game. We're struggling to even stay in the game, we score a goal, and then lose momentum seconds after scoring the goal," said Barlow. "It was a game-changer."
The Demons found the net again, scoring the only second-period goal within the first 22 seconds of the period. Westlake's Kent Axcell earned the goal, with Rudy Keppler and Paul Freedman scoring assists.
Axcell opened the third period by scoring again at 13:10. Ben Thurstone assisted on the score and Greenberg earned his second helper of the game on the tally.
Roosevelt's final goal was scored by sophomore Gabe Smith on a power-play opportunity with eight seconds remaining in the contest. Junior Okko Boger assisted on the score.
"There are a lot of things we need to improve," said Barlow. "It's a great teachable moment, a learning tool. Ultimately the kids need to learn from this. Fortunately, we get to play right away (tonight)."
BLUE LINE NOTES
n Lake Erie Monsters head coach Dean Chynoweth spoke to the Rough Rider hockey team prior to the start of Thursday's game.
n The Lake Erie Monsters implemented the tradition of naming three stars of the game at the conclusion of the contest. Westlake's Axcell and Greenberg earned the first two stars, respectively. Roosevelt's Smith was awarded the third star of the game.
n The Rough Riders open the play in the Rough Rider Holiday Tournament tonight at 8 p.m. against Mayfield at the Kent State University Ice Arena.
n Follow Jim Smith on twitter @bluelinenotes