The Hawkeyes improved to 6-0 with a 16-8 win over the Rapids Wednesday night. With the victory, the Rochester club locked up the No. 1 seed in the Mearns Cup Playoffs.
The Hawkeyes put up 16 goals in the first three quarters and never looked back. They were led in scoring by Zach Terry and Dylan Snow. Terry had four goals and one assist, while Snow scored three goals and chipped in three assists. Green notched a four-goal performance, and Matthew Blythe posted two goals and two assists. Taylor Jungermann had the game of his life as the 17-year-old goalie made a career-high 24 saves.
The Hawkeyes came out guns-a-blazing as they went on a 6-0 run to open the game. Despite Jack Bird winning the battle at the faceoff dot, the Rapids couldn’t get set on offense. Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes needed no time at all to produce. Terry scored the game’s first goal on a perfect cross-crease pass by Snow just over a minute into play. They quickly piled on as Rocco Santillo scored the next goal off a rebound on the edge of the crease. The third Hawkeyes’ goal came from perfect pick-and-roll work on the right side, as Nick Cartmill found Snow off the pick and was able to hit him on the doorstep.
The next three goals truly showed how the ball was falling in the Hawkeyes’ favor. Terry scored. his second off a loose ground ball in the middle; Blythe then scored on the rebound, and Green hit a beamer that wrapped the net around the crossbar momentarily. The only Rapids goal in the first quarter came on the power play as Walker Popko found the back of the net with 30 seconds to go.
The second quarter was more of the same. Terry scored the first two goals to extend the score to 8-1. Terry’s goals were almost identical going low to high from the top of the key, assisted by Snow each time. The following two goals came from the right side as Green notched his second and completed his hat trick soon after. Blythe scored the last Hawkeyes’ goal of the quarter, receiving an assist from Nate Senez.
The Rapids again scored a goal in the final minutes, as Ben Mitrano found a seam and created an opportunity on the crease. The teams headed to the locker room with a nine-goal difference, 11-2.
The Rapids needed a serious push if it wanted to get back into the game in the second half. The Hawkeyes had different plans as Green scored his fourth goal of the day to open the second half. The Hawkeyes proved to be able to score at will. Its next came shorthanded as Snow collected the ball at X and went for the dunk to make it a 13-2 game. Blythe scored his second as he combined with Santillo and Terry for the score.
The Rapids were next on the board; Christian Watts took on three Hawkeyes before shoveling a low-to-low shot into the back of the net. He woke up from there and finished a second-half hat trick along with lefty Vinny Fiorella. Despite the six goals from the duo over the last 20 minutes, the Hawkeyes held out for the 16-8 win.
The Hawkeyes will rematch with the Rapids for its next game on Thursday, July 20 at the Classic Rink in East Aurora.