North Royalton wins battle of the Bears; defeats Jackson, 8-5, in league play.
The North Royalton Bears skated past the Jackson Polar Bears, 8-5, in league play on February 3rd. Prior to giving up 8 goals to the Bears, Jackson had shutout their opponent in 11 of their last 12 league games including a shutout against North Royalton on January 25th. After giving up an early score, the Bears evened things at one apiece when Brandon Walsh (2G/3A) scored a brilliant shorthanded goal assisted by Michael Dzoba (1G/5A). The game didn’t stayed tied for long as Jackson netted a power play goal just a minute later and took a 2-1 lead into the break.
North Royalton wasted little time bringing the score even as they netted one just 18 seconds into the middle period, a power play goal scored by Aaron Schmitt (3G/3A) with assists being awarded to Aaron Wynbrandt (2G/2A) and Walsh. Schmitt found the back of the net for his 2nd of the game just minutes later burying a nice feed from Dzoba. Jackson got the next score to even the game at three, a goal that seemingly ignited the Bears who ripped off four straight scores. Michael Dzoba scored to give the Bears a one goal lead and Wynbrandt deposited his first to extend the lead to two. Dzoba found the back of the net next only to have the goal waved off for a phantom crease violation but the Bears were not deterred as Wynbrandt added his 2nd score of the game to give North Royalton the 6-3 through the end of two periods.
Aaron Schmitt scored his 3rd goal of the game for the hat-trick when he redirected a Preston Vinyard (1A) shot with less than ten minutes left in the game to put the Bears up by four. After giving up a short-handed goal, Walsh scored on that same power-play to give the Bears their 8th goal. Jackson netted one more for their 5th goal of the game in the final minutes but couldn’t close the gap any further thanks to the solid play of Bear’s goalie Tyler Roesch.
The win improves the Bears league record to 10-4 and their overall record to 23-13-1.