The Cardinals ran out of gas and allowed four second period goals in the loss.
By TOM WILLIAMS
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
KENT -- For nearly half the game, Canfield High goalie Ryan DeJoe kept the North Canton Hoover Vikings at bay, allowing just one goal in the ice hockey tournament opener.
But midway through the second period, the Cardinals, playing with just two offensive lines and three defensemen, ran out of gas.
The Vikings peppered the Cards with 15 second-period shots, and scored four times in a span of 5 minutes, 45 seconds, en route to a 7-1 victory Saturday at the Kent State University Ice Arena.
Advances to second round
Hoover (19-8) advanced to play Mayfield in the second round. The Cards, the Valley's only varsity hockey team, finished its third season with a 4-16-3 record.
Canfield coach Joe Villano credited DeJoe's play for keeping the game close.
"He was making the first save all night long," said Villano of his senior goalkeeper who will play collegiate club hockey next year at Niagara University. "In the second period, we weren't clearing the rebounds so they were getting second and third shots at him.
"And those were the shots that were beating him," Villano said. "They scored five goals off of second and third shots. They made us pay."
Thirty-three seconds into the game, Hoover freshman Eli Woodhall deflected Matt Gates' shot past DeJoe for a 1-0 lead.
DeJoe stopped the next 20 Vikings attempts until Josh Palsa deked him out of the goal crease and scored into the unguarded net with 8:35 to play in the middle period.
Less than a minute later, Brandon Palsa scored off a rebound. Vikings senior forward Glenn Ireland scored twice late in the period for a 5-0 lead.
"Ryan has a really quick glove and he makes good decisions most of the time," Canfield defenseman and captain Josh Gestosani said. "He's one of the best goalies I've seen in a high school league."
DeJoe finished with 37 saves.
"He usually saves 30-40 shots a game, so his save percentage is pretty good," Gestosani said.
Cardinals lone goal
Mike Vrable scored Canfield's goal with an assist from his brother Alex, who shot from the blue line. Vrable deflected the shot past Hoover goalie Luke Conley, who stopped Canfield's other 11 attempts.
DeJoe said Hoover's dominance wasn't a surprise.
"It was like that the first two times we played," said DeJoe, referring to a pair of 3-1 regular-season losses. "In those games, I was able to turn a little bit more away."
DeJoe called the Vikings' depth "a big advantage. We ran three defensemen today and they had six.
"In the first period, we were fresh, but in the second we came out a little flat," DeJoe said. "If we had just had a third line to give our first two a spell, that would mean more goals and fresher play."