On Monday, Jan. 13, the Father Ryan Irish and Ravenwood Raptors battled it out at Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators.
Defending state champion Ravenwood came into the game with a 6-4 record, having played fewer games than the other teams in the GNASH Tier One division. Father Ryan was 6-3-2-1 coming into Monday’s game.
Father Ryan scored eleven seconds into the game when Ravenwood, not ready for the early attack, allowed Luke Tinsey to score after a mad scramble in front of the net. Irish forwards Tommy Diver and Riley Smith were credited with assists. Ravenwood came back, scoring two quick goals to close out the first period. The first Ravenwood goal was scored by senior Chris Cvercko with Trey Pefanis scored a minute and a half later to take a 2-1 lead going into the first intermission.
The second period was back and forth until Matt Faulkner scored a power play goal for Father Ryan. Raptors forward Zack Levine scored five minutes later on his own rebound in front of the net to break the tie. Father Ryan forward Riley Smith scored twenty two seconds later to tie it up once again at 3-3.
No one could break the tie in the third period, leaving the game result to be decided in a shootout. A penalty at the end of the game by Trey Pefanis left Ravenwood’s leading goal scorer unavailable for the shoot out.
Raptors goaltender Josh Friedenberger stopped all three shots in the shootout. Gianluca Digiovanni, in net for the Irish, stopped two of the three Raptor shooters. The only player to score in the shootout was Ravenwood captain and defenseman Zach Wertz whose stickhandling froze the goalie and he scored five-hole.
New behind the Ravenwood bench, after taking over as Head Coach in Jan. 2014, former Nashville Predator player Dan Keczmer, now holds a 2-0 record.
With the win, Ravenwood jumps to fourth in the Tier One division, with a number of games in hand over the other division teams. Father Ryan remains third in the Tier One division with a 6-3-2-2 record.
Three stars of the game: (1) Josh Friedenberger (21 saves, 3 for 3 in the shootout); (2) Riley Smith (goal, assist); (3) Zach Wertz (game winning goal).