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Amherst Tops Rocky River in Baron Cup Thriller

By Scott Harrington, 02/11/22, 4:30PM EST


Ciura goes end-to-end for winning goal in final seconds of 2nd OT

Joey Kramer scored a hat trick, freshman goaltender River Ambroz made 45 saves and Nick Ciura provided the game-winning goal with 2.8 second remaining in the second overtime as the Amherst Steele Comets defeated Rocky River 4-3 in a Baron Cup Quarterfinal game Thursday night at Brooklyn Rec Center.

Amherst led, 3-1, after two periods thanks to Kramer's heavy lifting. He potted his first with :16 left in the first period to tie the game at one, then added two more in a span of 1:53 late in the second period to give the Comets a lift going into the room for the intermission.

The Pirates would not go quietly, however, and Owen Toole's crisp wrist shot from the right point eluded Ambroz to get Rocky River within a goal and give his team a lift just :13 seconds into the period.

There was a contested would-be-tying goal with 5:47 to go in regulation. The Pirates celebrated after a scramble at the goal line but neither referee signaled goal (if they did I missed it). Nathan Wilkie and Ed Bielecki conferred at center ice and the goal was waved off.

Rocky River's frustration was compounded just 33 seconds later when winger Alex Parnell was assessed a 5:00 boarding penalty leaving the Pirates shorthanded as they attempted to tie the score.

Kramer took a hooking call with 1:38 left that gave the Pirates some hope skating four aside. An icing call with 12.7 seconds left on the clock not only brought the faceoff into the Amherst end, Parnell was able to leave the box. With goalie Nick Rose (32 saves) pulled that meant River was able to deploy six skaters.

The Comets won the draw and tried to pin the puck along the end boards, but Lucas Opdycke pried the puck loose and Grayson Hess collected it and fed it to Ben Greenfield at left left faceoff dot. Greenfield fired a slap shot under the bar inside the far post with just :05 left on the clock and the game was on it's way to sudden death.

The first overtime went by without either team finding the net, and it looked like the second overtime would go by as well, but Ciura took matters into his own hands.

He got a stick on a Rocky River shot attempt in the slot in front of his own net, picked the puck up behind the goal line, and skated the length of the ice, through the neutral zone, and split two Pirate defenders in the Rocky River zone before getting an off-balance shot attempt off that got under Rose's pads and ended the contest with 2.8 second remaining. 

Amherst will now face #1 seed Hudson in the Baron Cup semifinals on Saturday.

Rocky River will start play in the district playoffs February 20 when it goes up against Elyria Catholic. 

Here are some highlights: