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The Nordonia High School ice hockey team has qualified for the Baron Cup.
The Knights played a pair of matches against Greater Cleveland High School Hockey League Blue South Division opponents, splitting those matches.
Nordonia battled Mayfield Feb. 3. It was the Wildcats' Senior Night. Mayfield topped the Knights by the score of 5-2.
"Overall, it was a good game," said Nordonia head coach Rich Cinalli. "They (the Wildcats) had a lot of energy in the first period since it was their Senior Night, and they ran with it. They put up four goals in that first period."
Nordonia senior Luke Friss scored the first goal of the match. It was an unassisted goal that gave the Knights a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, Nordonia trailed 4-1 by the end of the opening period.
Friss tallied another unassisted goal in the second period to draw Nordonia to within 4-2. Mayfield notched their fifth goal in the third period to cap their victory. Junior Anthony Cinalli tallied 28 saves in goal for the Knights.
"We played even with them in the second and third period, but we couldn't overcome the energy that they had in the first period," said coach Cinalli.
On Feb. 5, Nordonia had its own Senior Day, as the Knights hosted Brush. Nordonia blanked the Arcs by the score of 6-0.
Friss scored the first goal for Nordonia, with assists by freshman Michael Savol and Nate Jutnik. Then with 16 seconds left in the opening period, Friss tallied another unassisted goal to give the Knights a 2-0 lead.
Junior Tyler Justice accounted for a Nordonia goal in the secone period, with assists by junior Zach Savol and sophomore Drew McKinley. Later in the period, Friss contributed another goal, this with an assist by Michael Savol. The Knights tallied their fifth goal in the second period, as Michael Savol found the back of the net with assists by junior Karlie Accord and Friss.
Friss then scored his fourth goal of the day in the third period to put a cap on a stellar performance by the Knights. "Everything came together and everybody skated well," said coach Cinalli. "It was also Student Appreciation Day, and there were a lot of fans that came out for the game. The stands were pretty much filled, and we really appreciate that. It gave our guys extra energy."
Nordonia played so well defensively that Brush could only manage nine shots on goal. Anthony Cinalli stopped all nine of those shots to preserve the shutout.
On Feb. 7, Nordonia was set to play in the first round of the Baron Cup against Brooklyn. Results were not available at press time.
If the Knights were victorious in that game, then they advanced to the second round Feb. 11.
This is only the third time that Nordonia has qualified for the Baron Cup in school history.
There are five seniors on this year's roster--Friss, Jeremy Adamcik, Libby, Harbir Multani, and Josh Czerr.
Those five seniors were part of the team when the Knights last qualified for the Baron Cup three years ago.
"We're playing well and hitting our stride," said coach Cinalli. "This is a good time to be playing our best hockey."