Kent Roosevelt icers fail to solve mystery of winning at The Pond

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By Jim Smith | Special to the R-C

Must to their dismay, or in this case, chagrin, Kent Roosevelt's ice hockey team's inability to win games on the ice at The Pond in Auburn Township continued Saturday night as the Riders skated to a 0-0 tie in overtime against the Chagrin Falls Tigers.

"This place is sort of the house of horrors for us this year, actually the past two or three seasons this has been a tough place for us to play," said Kent Roosevelt head coach Ben Barlow when reflecting upon his team's losses to Kenston and Orange earlier this year at The Pond joined by Saturday's tie with Chagrin Falls.

"With that said, Chagrin Falls played a good game today. They worked hard and did a lot of things right," Barlow said.

On the night, the Tigers outshot the Riders 33-25.

"In 53 minutes, our shots were really spread out," Barlow said. "Everything was one shot and done, very few times did he (Chagrin Falls goaltender Jackson Markley) have to really work or find a puck in traffic."

"In a game like this, a tight game, you create your own luck. You throw a puck at the net, it bounces of the boards, it hits somebody's shoulder and goes in, something mysterious happens, and we just didn't get pucks with urgency to the net to create our own luck," continued Barlow.

Uncharacteristically, Kent Roosevelt was assessed nine penalties in the game. For the season, the Riders have averaged 2.98 penalties per game.

"To come up here and be in the penalty box that much kind of through us off," said Barlow.

A bright spot in the game was the goaltending of Roosevelt junior Nate Grootegoed, who stopped all 33 shots he faced in the contest, including a spectacular save on a Chagrin Falls 3-on-1 rush late in the third period.

"Nate played so well tonight, he definitely deserved to win," Barlow said. "It was great to see Nate come up here and play so well. As we head into the week ahead with four games, hopefully Nate will take some confidence into this big week of hockey coming up."

BLUE LINE NOTES

n This season is Chagrin Falls head coach Mark Ferfolia's 35th as a high school coach. Ferfolia also serves as the Ohio High School Representative in the Mid Am District of USA Hockey.

n The Riders travel to Elyria to face Elyria Catholic on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Elyria Catholic defeated the Riders 6-5 in the CVCA Holiday Tournament earlier this season.

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