Canfield hockey team tops Garfield Heights
By Steve Wilaj
For all of its struggles this season, Canfield — which entered Wednesday’s matchup against Garfield Heights at the Ice Zone with a 1-13 record — began the final period with a seemingly comfortable 4-2 lead.
But the game looked like it might turn for the worst when Garfield Heights’ Tim Collins notched his third goal to cut the deficit to one.
“When you’re a team that doesn’t win a lot of games and things start going the other way, they go south fast,” Canfield coach Randy Emery said. “We could see that coming.”
But this time, Canfield didn’t collapse. Instead, the Cardinals received a crucial goal from senior captain Pat Bassett at the 12:46 mark that went a long way toward securing a 5-3 victory.
“We kind of just gathered our heads and our senior leadership kind of took over,” Emery said. “Our captains took over and put the game under control.”
Fittingly enough, the senior leadership was displayed on Canfield’s Senior Night. Along with Bassett, the other Cardinals (2-13) seniors are Jared Daugherty and Josh Tancer.
“It’s a big deal,” Bassett said of winning on Senior Night. “It’s been a long season full of losses, so it’s just a really nice way to come to a wrap.”
Emery said of his seniors: “They had to learn how to lose this year, so it’s nice to see them win. This was just a nice sendoff.”
After falling behind 1-0, Canfield took a 2-1 lead after the first period on goals from Nick Crescimanno and PJ Denney. They extended their advantage to 4-1 on consecutive goals by Crescimanno and Bassett.
“We’re both teams that haven’t won many games, so neither of our teams are really used to any kind of lead,” Emery said. “Garfield Heights played a pretty strong game against us, but we did what we needed to do.”
Bassett said what the Cardinals needed to do was simply outhustle the Bulldogs (0-15).
“It’s really just hard work,” he said. “We played them before and knew how to play against them, so it was just a matter of working as hard as we can to keep a lead going.”
Crescimanno had two goals and two assists for Canfield, while Tim Fernstrom tallied two assists.
Bassett finished with two goals and an assist.
“I was a little sick today,” Bassett said. “Last time I scored four goals against them, so I wasn’t really playing as hard as I could have, but I still powered through it.”
In the net, goalie Megan Cole finished with 12 saves.
“She stopped 12 of 15, but I think she’s used to facing a little more shots than that,” Emery said. “I think maybe her head wasn’t in the game as it usually is, because she didn’t have to face as many shots.”