Up and down holiday season sees improved play mixed in with frustrating losses
The Northview Wildcats holiday season concluded last week with a trip to Kent State. While the Cats showed an improved level of play they Struggled to finish games and pull out wins. With of a overall record of just 4-9-1 the Cats have been unable to win the close games and have dropped four 1 goal games on the season.
Just before the holiday season tournaments kicked off the Cats faced Bowling Green for a league game. Sophomore Jake Ruehle and Junior Justin Maroszek traded 1st period goals with Bowling Green and Trevor Klee scored in the 2nd period as the Cats trailed 4-3 after 2. Undisciplined play along with some questionable calls led to two 5 on 3 power play goals for the Bobcats in the 3rd as they pulled away for the 6-3 win.
The annual Padua Invitational was up next. Northview and University School played a very good back and forth game with neither team able to find the net. The Cats were thwarted on all 31 shots before the Preppers finally broke free on Senior Johny Rady in the 3rd period for the 1-0 win.
St. Eds was up next and they manhandled a lackluster Cats squad in a 7-0 win. Not much went right on this day as player for player the Cats were beaten.
Northview got back in the win column that following game versus host Padua. Though the effort was only slightly better the Cats managed a 4-1 win behind goals from Ruehle, Maroszek, Klee and the career first from Brandon Clark. Rady gave up just 1 goal for a 3rd straight game in the win.
The consolation game brought a 3rd game of the season versus St. Edwards. The Cats battle level was better for at least the 1st period as Sophomores Klee and Ruehle had the game knotted a 2. However Northview couldn’t maintain their level of play and once again Eds pulled away in the 6-2 win.
After Christmas the Cats returned to play at the Warrior Shootout in Kent. Playing versus St. Ignatius travel 15’s, Northview’s spotted Iggy a 3-0 lead. Sylvania’s Wildcats battled back as Seniors Brad Crandall and Zach Doner along with Junior Brandon Clark all scored to tie it at 3. However just 36 seconds later St. Ignatius scored to steal the victory late in the 3rd.
Dublin Jerome was up next and another slow start had the Cats trailing 2-0. Seniors Matt Fink and Brad Crandall scored to even the game before Jerome took the lead back after 2 periods of play. Clark kept his solid play going with a goal and Ruehle scored to give the Cats the lead in the 3rd. However Northview once again gave up a late goal as the teams skated away to a 4-4 tie.
The following morning the Cats faced host Walsh Jesuit. Jake Ruehle opened the scoring as he Tipped home a blast from Junior Brett Blasingim for a 1-0 lead. Walsh answered with a pair of goals for a 2-1 lead before Brad Crandall scored to tie the game after 2. Trevor Klee hit for the eventual game winner and Ruehle added his second of the game as Northview picked up their 4th victory of the season. Rady made 31 saves for the win.
Northview Wrapped up the round robin tournament with Rocky River. After controlling much of the game Northview held a 2-1 lead with just 5 minutes left. However a 5 on 3 power play led to the game tying goal and yet another late goal sealed the Cats fate. River hit an empty net as time expired and skated away with a 4-2 win. Junior Mason Snyder played his best game of the tournament season making 21 saves.
9 games in 19 days sandwiched around the holidays showed the inconsistency of the inexperienced squad. Moments of excellence were met with moments of frustration. An inability to find a way to win the close games saw the Cats go 1-3-1 in 1 goal games. However a determined group of players are hungry for the 2nd half of the season and have improved steadily throughout the season. With 6 league games and 2 out of town trips left before the playoffs Northview will have plenty of opportunity to right the ship and achieve all of their goals set before the season.
The 1st opportunity for a victory will come this Friday evening as the Cats face off with rival St. Johns at Tam-o-Shanter. JV game will start at 5:30 followed by the Varsity at 7.