By Jim Smith | Special to the Record-Courier
After a sluggish first period in which the Kent Roosevelt hockey team fell behind 2-0, the Rough Riders rallied to defeat the Kenston Bombers 6-3 in a White East Division game at Kent State University Ice Arena Thursday night.
Led by junior Christian Strahan and freshman Lyndon Rainey scoring two goals each, Kent outscored Kenston 6-1 in the second and third periods of play.
Kenston skated to an early first-period lead on back-to-back goals by sophomore defenseman Jack Javorksy within the first six minutes of action.
Ryan Herpy and Alex Petre assisted on the initial Javorsky goal, with Mike Nero earning an assist on the second.
"The quick reflection at the end of the first period was that we were doing a lot of things right even though we gave up two goals," said Roosevelt coach Ben Barlow. "Two miscues but no panic on our bench."
Two unanswered Rough Rider goals to begin the second period, one each by Rainey and Strahan, put the Riders back into the game, knotting the score at two goals.
"The tension was relieved and the kids were feeling like they were in a much better situation, from that point on it was game on," said Barlow.
Kenston's Ben Kinney, currently third in the league in scoring, gave the Bombers a 3-2 lead late in the second period. Herpy and Nero again assisted on what would be Kenston's final goal of the contest.
Rainey's power-play goal with 42 seconds remaining in the second period tied the contest 3-3 at the end of 30 minutes of play.
Kent's Kyle Manning and Okko Boger assisted on the well-executed extra-man effort.
Kent's explosive offense effort then countered with two quick goals in the third period.
The first came on a Gordie Fisher goal within the first 30 seconds of the period off assists from Gabe Smith and Mitch Francis. The second, just over a minute later, came on Strahan's second goal of the game, with an assist from Jake Schmauch.
"Three kids really stood out tonight," said Barlow. "Lyndon Rainey who hasn't played in two weeks due to injury came up real big for us tonight, and Christian Strahan is becoming more impressive every day. He has a super positive attitude and loves playing the game.
"Leaders have to step up, and senior captain Kyle Manning stepped up tonight and put the team on his back. He did an excellent job tonight."
Manning, with an assist credited to Boger, scored the final Kent goal with 1:27 remaining in the game.
BLUE LINE NOTES
Barlow cited the efforts of assistant coach Kevin Burroughs in assisting in creating a successful game plan after a review of the film of the last game Roosevelt played against Kenston, in which the Riders lost 4-1.
Roosevelt travels to North Canton on Saturday night at 8:45 p.m. in non-league action. On Sunday the Riders play Orange at The Pond in Auburn Township. Currently the Riders are in first place in the White East Division, two points ahead of Orange.
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