The Cardinals still have five wins in their last eight games.
By TOM WILLIAMS
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
BOARDMAN -- Canfield High ice hockey coach Dave DeJoe says young players often struggle when they play the puck instead of an opponent's body.
DeJoe said his young Cardinals struggled with that battle in Saturday's 7-4 loss to Aurora in a Greater Cleveland Suburban League game at the Ice Zone.
Aurora's Drew Troy scored four goals to lead the Greenmen to the Blue East Division victory.
Reasoning: "Maybe we got a little too cocky," said Canfield junior Jeff Kane after Aurora scored five consecutive goals for a 6-2 lead. "They certainly picked up their play in the second period."
Part of DeJoe's frustration is knowing how well his squad (5-7-1) played against Aurora in the first game, a 7-1 victory.
"This is a funny game," DeJoe said, citing how well Canfield played in Friday's 5-1 victory over Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy.
"We jumped out to a 2-1 lead, then we stopped playing," DeJoe said of Saturday's game. "That's the problem with a young team sometimes, getting them to play for a full 45 minutes."
Still, DeJoe said he feels good about Canfield's 5-2-1 record in the past eight games.
"If you had told me at the beginning of the season that we'd be 5-7 at this point, I'd have taken it in a heartbeat," DeJoe said.
Early lead: Kane put Canfield ahead 1-0 on an assist from Steve Kline.
"I set up in front of the net and Steve sent me a great pass," Kane said.
Troy responded with a powerplay goal.
Sam Crowe put the Cards ahead 2-1 when he buried a rebound of a Josh Gestosani shot from the point past Aurora goalie Adam Swift.
In the second period, Troy netted another goal on a powerplay, scoring the first of the Greenmen's five straight goals.
Steve McCreight broke the tie with an end-to-end rush, pulling Canfield goalie Ryan DeJoe down and flipping the puck in.
Late in the period, Kyle Olson scored his first of two goals for a 4-2 lead.
Seconds into the third period, Olson scored off a faceoff, then Troy followed with his third goal.
Rally: Canfield got back in the game temporarily when Kline deflected Kane's shot past Swift. Taylor Murdoch's goal four minutes later cut the Aurora lead to 6-4.
But 40 seconds later, Troy's fourth goal sealed Aurora's win.
"Any time you score four goals, it's an exceptional game," Dave DeJoe said of Troy. "But we were very confused around our net and left a few too many rebounds."
Canfield's next game is a makeup contest with CVCA Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice Zone.