Roller hockey comes up short against Scripps Ranch, 6-3

Trailing the Scripps Ranch Falcons 4-0, with 12:30 remaining in the third period, Westview roller hockey co-captain Lyusyen Loshak (11) shot the puck past the Falcons’ goalie to bring the Wolverines back into contention during Monday’s match.

Fueled by the momentum following the goal, the Wolverines began to dominate possession, in turn launching a series of offensive attacks spearheaded by Loshak and Laurent Lee (12) in the hopes of executing a comeback.

Temporarily outnumbering the Falcons by one following a penalty, a second breakthrough presented itself as Lee slotted the puck to Loshak, who once again found the net at 4:50 for the Wolverines’ second goal of the night.

“We did a good job of controlling the puck and slowing things down so we could get everyone in position,” coach Ron Smith said.

Also stepping up their intensity, however, the Falcons retaliated with two goals in the final 90 seconds and the Wolverines’ efforts to compensate for their rocky start ultimately fell short with a final score of 6-3.

Following two narrow losses at the hands of the Falcons earlier in the season–once in overtime and a second in an overtime shootout–the Wolverine’s sluggish start in Monday’s match came as a surprise as they trailed Scripps Ranch by three at the end of the first period.

“We were hoping to give them a better game tonight, but things just got out of control during the first period,” Smith said.

Following various substitutions and adjustments at the start of the second period, the Wolverines eventually gained more possessions that culminated in an array of attacks that narrowly missed their mark.

“The good thing about the team is that we can play a lot of them in both offense and defense,” Smith said. “We’ll roll someone from a forward position back to defense and it seems to help. [It] gives them a bit of rest and a lot of times also drives their intensity to a different, higher level.”

Despite the fact that the Wolverines’ intensity continued on an upward trend as the game progressed, according to Smith, the penalties committed by the Wolverines that left them playing a man down on several occasions ultimately cemented their loss.

“We’re doing well as a team with 12 wins and four losses, but I think we probably lead the league in penalties,” Smith said. “We had a lot of penalties tonight that messed up our rhythm, and we have only a couple games to turn that around. We’re an aggressive team, but we can’t just make stupid penalties.”

Despite the final 6-3 loss, Smith said the Wolverines are still set to clinch the third seed behind Rancho Bernardo and Scripps Ranch ahead of CIF quarterfinals, Feb. 26.

“Scripps and Rancho Bernardo are really good teams,” Smith said. “We just need to figure out how to beat them.”