Connellsville goalie Clark makes 68 stops in 7-0 loss to Ringgold
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Connellsville goaltender Tom Clark likely will face a lot of pucks this season. On Monday, Clark turned in an all-star level performance in a season-opening game against Ringgold at Rostraver Ice Garden.
Clark made 68 saves, but that wasn't enough to help the Falcons stop the Rams' relentless attack as Ringgold rolled to a 7-0 PIHL Open Division victory.
“We wanted to play our system and put shots on net,” Ringgold coach Josh Werner said. “Their goalie played a heck of a game.”
Ringgold (1-0) peppered Clark with shots. But Clark remained calm and froze the puck early and often, which was critical because the Falcons needed all the stoppages in play they could get. Connellsville (0-1) entered the game with just eight skaters, meaning time on the bench for everybody was short.
“We had eight skaters, and honestly, we couldn't have asked for more from them,” Connellsville coach Josh Snyder said. “They played their hearts out, and I'm real happy with all the skaters.”
Connellsville hopes to have a few more able bodies Monday for its home opener against Altoona at the Ice Mine, but against the Rams, it was all the Falcons could do on most shifts just to clear the zone. Ringgold outshot Connellsville, 75-6.
Despite the lopsided shot total, the Falcons were in the game through the first period thanks to Clark. The senior made 24 saves in the first period.
Clark was tough but not invincible. Seven minutes into the game, Ringgold finally broke through. Cullin McGinnis had the first of two goals when he poked in a rebound.
With 5 seconds left in the period, Aaron Major blasted a slap shot past Clark to make it 2-0. Major ripped two more slappers past Clark in the second period for a hat trick.
“He's strong, and he does a lot for us,” Werner said. “He's definitely a leader, and we look to him in a lot of situations. He is a great all-around player.”
Clark and McGinnis each finished with four points.
Ringgold put the game away with five goals in the second period. In addition to Major's two tallies, McGinnis scored again and Mike Hazel and Alex Nageli also had goals.
Justin Beam had a multi-point night, finishing with two assists. Riley Clineman and Ben Cafeo combined to get the shutout in goal.
“It's huge for us,” Werner said. “Last year we were 3-17, so coming out and starting strong is huge and it gives us something to build on.”
Ringgold will look for its second win Thursday at Indiana.
For the Falcons, the bright spot was the play of Clark.
“He was phenomenal,” Snyder said. “It was really strong goaltending all-around from him. He was making three or four saves at a time that were unbelievable.”
Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NFL Draft preview: Thin crop of offensive tackles available
- Peat adds to Stanford offensive line legacy
- Shooting reported at Webster Avenue bar in Hill District
- Penguins Insider: Series has enough gamesmanship
- Step up in class doesn’t hold back Deer Lakes baseball team
- Rossi: Rutherford falling apart, too
- Pirates notebook: Fan struck by foul ball released from hospital
- Rangers enjoy benefits of strong start
- NFL notebook: Ravens reach agreement on extension with CB Jimmy Smith
- Dinner in Minutes: Stir-fry beef dish flavors leftover rice
- Savor salmon’s wild side of distinctive flavors, textures