First week of the season and it showed.
At times it felt like a preseason game with more intensity. Both teams had their moments where they looked like last year’s Final Four participants but there was also some uncharacteristic sloppiness to the game from two programs that tend to play precise games. They combined for 37 turnovers and a lot of them were just the type you know neither will make a few weeks from now and there were only 5 assists according to my review on the 21 goals and neither team has been known to do that. The defenses were ahead of the offenses in this one so let’s say first week kinks.
But still, it was an entertaining game that both head coaches could take away a number of good things with both having to fill holes from graduation. Jupiter showed some more individual efforts that were finished and that was a decent part of the final result, but with Jupiter FOGO Dylan Frankhouser controlling the dot Jupiter came away with a 21-3 advantage and the extra possessions pretty much sealed the deal in this one. SA did have some really good looks that went unfinished and that kept them just short of being able to tie the game in the second half and fully grasping momentum as they twice climbed with one twice in the second half.
In his pregame interview Jupiter Head Coach Nick O’ Hara mentioned how some younger players would need to step up and he got that with Trevor Sousa, Tyler Douglas and Max Sanderson, who combined for 8 goals, joining the Chris Radice/Devon Rasmus tandem in producing the offense. Saint Andrew’s got their normal production from Matt Adams and Michael Lizzio but the biggest contribution came from Gryphon Gurin, who went 3G/1A after spending last year in more of a defensive middie role. He also managed to grow about 6 inches without losing any speed.
Both teams play a tough schedule and we’ll be following their progressions along the way.
Lizzio gave SA the lead with 2:45 to go in the first (both goalies were sharp early on) as he worked the left wing and dodged down the alley before finding the low short side with the left hand for 1-0 and less than a minute later is was Adams starting behind left and working up the left wing and getting towards the middle before rifling a right hand shot to the top left corner after setting up a screened look at 2:03. But Jupiter responded twice in the last 28 seconds of the period to make it 2-2. First it was Rasmus with split dodge from top right, getting to the middle and bouncing a right hand shot between SA goalie Gunnar Schwarz’s legs. That was followed up with a steal deep in SA territory, and Frankhouser was able to find Sousa up top for a step down right hand high in the cage with just a second left in the first.
SA was able to regain the lead at 3-2 as Adams worked behind to right GLE before finding Reid Malkin on the right wing for the step down to the low left corner past Hunter Bracchi (like last year Jupiter split the halves with Bracchi and Riley Quinn) but then Jupiter made the decisive 4-goal run in 2 minutes that gave them the lead they never relinquished. At 9:27 it was Douglass winning the ground ball off a right wing multi-player scramble and when he came up with it he found Sousa all alone in front for the tying goal. At 8:26 it was Radice unassisted as he forced his way from left GLE to the goal, getting under his defender and finishing in close. 31 seconds later it was Sanderson finding Douglass from right GLE over to the left wing for the high short side shot, drawing a penalty on top of that. Jupiter took advantage of the EMO as Sanderson was able to work the low right wing and hit the top left corner after spinning to his right and just like that it was 6-3 at 7:27. SA was able to cut that to 6-4 with 8 seconds left in the half as Gurin took the Max Schwarz behind right feed on the right wing for the step down to the top left corner to take the game to halftime.
The two teams traded goal in the 3rd as SA closed to within one both times, only to be answered by the Warriors. Adams started the scoring at 10:24, pretty much duplicating his first half goal for 6-5. Sanderson responded by working behind right, beating his defender to the cage and finishing with the left hand at 6:09. Gurin then made it one again at 4:11 with a split dodge from the top to the middle and finishing with the left hand low but with 5 seconds left in the third it was Douglass splitting two defenders behind left and getting up the left wing before hitting the top right corner and it was 8-6 after three.
Radice stretched the lead to 9-6 13 seconds into the fourth, splitting two defenders and going low with the right hand but only 37 seconds later it was Lizzio getting free in the middle and Gurin found him from the right wing, with Lizzio firing low left for 9-7. Rasmus made it 10-7 at 9:29, splitting two defenders from up top and bouncing one home in the middle. Harrison Konsker answered for SA at 6:11 with a 15-yard rocket high but that was about it as the 3 late goals scored didn’t alter anything at the end. Sanderson with his 3rd at 1:11, Gurin with his 3rd at :47 and Sousa with his 3rd at :26 to end the game 12-9.
Jupiter is back in action on Tuesday, in an interesting matchup with a Western-Davie program looking to step up and SA is back in action on Tuesday with a district game against West Boca.
Faceoffs: Jupiter 21-3
Shots: Jupiter 28-27
Shots on Goal: Jupiter 24-17
Turnovers: Jupiter 22-15
Penalties: SA 3-2
Max Sanderson 3G/1A
Trevor Sousa 3G
Tyler Douglass 2G/1A
Chris Radice and Devon Rasmus with 2G each
Dylan Frankhouser 1G
Hunter Bracchi and Riley Quinn combined for 8 saves
Gryphon Gurin 3G/1A
Matt Adams 2G/1A
Michael Lizzio 2G
Reid Malkin and Harrison Konsker with 1G each
Max Schwarz 1A
Gunnar Schwarz with 12 saves
Thanks to Coach O’Hara and Coach Seaman for talking to me before and after the game.