The Armory and Hawkeyes faced off once again Monday at the Genesee Valley Park Sports Complex. The Mearns Cup holders seemed to be looking a bit more like themselves with star player Casey McDermott back with the team after missing their first matchup with the Hawkeyes and his return sparked a 17-8 win for the Armory.
One wouldn’t have assumed such a high-scoring affair given both teams looked stagnant in the first half, resulting in a 4-4 tie. Armoy coach Jordan Jarvis emphasized a shooting mindset and that is exactly what the Armory did, scoring 13 goals in the second half and showing they had more fire power than the Hawkeyes.
It was a true team effort by the Armory with six players posting multi-point outings, including Rioux Johnson (4+3), McDermott (3+2), Mark Belles (2+2), Mark Henderson (3+1), Tyler Goode (2+0), and Alec Constable (1+1). Jarvis attributes that to the unselfish nature of the team.
“These guys are always willing to help each other out and look for that extra guy,” said Jarvis.
The Hawkeyes were unable to matchup offensively but received multi-point performances from Rocco Santillo (2+1), Zach Terry (2+0), Matthew Blythe (2+0) and Nick Miller (1+1). The Hawkeyes looked distraught after the first half and were clearly chasing the entire second half.
The game had a deceptive start. The Hawkeyes came out on fire and went up 3-0 just six and a half minutes into the game with Terry scoring the first two goals of the contest. The Armory answered a few minutes later as Lukas Stanat scored a shorthanded goal to put his team on the board. The first quarter ended 3-2, which proved to be the last lead of the night for the Hawkeyes.
The second quarter was slow to say the least with only three goals between the two teams. The Armory saw their first lead of the day, though, thanks to Henderson finding the net 7:20 into the quarter. The Hawkeyes tied it back up with a shorthanded goal from Blythe to take both teams into the half tied at 4-4.
To start the second half, the Armory stormed out with four goals in the first 4:40 of the half to take an 8-4 advantage. The Hawkeyes fought back within one, but for every response from the Hawkeyes, the Armory had their own. The three-goal run by the Hawkeyes was answered by the same from the Armory, ending the third quarter 11-7.
Tempers flared in the fourth quarter, leading to a confrontation between Tanner Soudan of the Hawkeyes and McDermott for The Armory, resulting in an ejection for both players. McDermott’s absence didn’t slow down the red, white and blue, though, as they put up six more goals in the fourth, led by Belles and Johnson. The Hawkeyes only added one in the final frame on a single tally from Santillo.
Both teams will travel to East Aurora next week to play at The Classic Rink as the Armory take on the Rapids while The Hawkeyes face-off against the Buffaloes.