Western Reserve Academy ice hockey team wins Baron Cup II title

Published:

Staff report

It had been 12 years since it last happened.

Fortunately for the Western Reserve Academy ice hockey team, the wait is over.

The Pioneers won the Baron Cup II championship for the first time since 2002 after posting a 3-1 victory over Avon Feb. 9 in Brooklyn.

"The last time we were in the Cup was 2009 and we lost a heartbreaker to Rocky River when they scored with .1 left to tie it at 1-1 and then won in OT [overtime]," Reserve head coach Brand Closen said.

"None of these guys played on that team, but I still remember it.

"The only other time we were in the Cup finals was 2002 and we beat Mayfield. You have to enjoy them when they do come around because it just doesn't happen that often.

"We played a great game from start to finish. It was maybe the first time all year we played a complete game, but what a good time for it."

WRA (20-7-1) scored twice in the third period to put it away.

Otto Bohan scored the game-wining goal when he skated the length of the ice and put a back shot in past the keeper with 11 minutes, 9 seconds remaining in the game. Robbie Markwell added a goal with 2:23 left in the game to seal the deal.

Eric Novakovic gave Avon (26-4-1) a 1-0 lead late in the first period. Markwell eventually scored to tie the game at one.

Goaltender Christian Ciraco made 21 saves for the Pioneers.

Reserve reached the championship game after posting a 3-2 win over Cleveland Heights in the semifinals Feb. 7.

Sam LaFontaine scored all three goals for WRA, which was outshot 36-21. Ciraco finished with 34 saves.

The Pioneers are scheduled to play Kiski (Pa.) Feb. 15 at Center Ice Arena in Delmont, Pa. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

Reserve is scheduled to play Linsly (W. Va.) Feb. 16 at Ice Zone in Youngstown. Play is set to begin at 10:30 a.m.

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