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Lancers, Trojans renew old roller hockey rivalry in new era Phillip Brents | Fri, Dec 06 2013 02:13 PM

The Hilltop Lancers and Castle Park Trojans are old roller hockey rivals; the match-ups a decade ago were often the stuff of legend.

The teams appear ready to renew their rivalry this season if the outcome of Thursday’s non-league match-up is any indicator.

The Lancers won 6-3 but the Trojans held the better of play for parts of the game.

Thursday’s match-up was a far cry from last season when when Hilltop breezed to 15-2 non-league victory in the teams’ opening week match-up at the Castle Park High School rink.

The Trojans are eyeing themselves as possible contenders for this year’s South Bay League championship.

Hilltop will be vying with defending league co-champions Eastake and Otay Ranch for supremacy in the Mesa League.

“We have a young team this year but I think we should be OK,” veteran HHS coach Dan Vaccaro said.

The Lancers certainly had all they could handle in Thursday’s season debut. Castle Park took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Horacio Mireles and led 2-1 at the end of the first period after Marvin Cirignano popped in a power play goal.

Hilltop then reeled off the next four goals in the contest to lead 5-2 before Miguel Flores trimmed the Trojan deficit to 5-3.

Andrew Tesner, Sebastian Ross and Phillip Fuñe — the Lancers’ top returners — combined on all the Hilltop scoring plays. Tesner and Ross led the trio with two goals and one assist each while Fuñe scored twice.

Fuñe is a four-year player; this is Ross’s third year on the team.

Ross’s shorthanded goal proved to be turning point in the game while the Lancers were nursing a 4-2 lead. Tesner’s final tally came into an open net when Castle Park pulled netminder Hector Garcia in favor of an extra skater with under a minute to play in regulation.

Hilltop netminder Jacob Moctezuma was making his season debut.

The outing was the second of the young season for the Trojans, who dropped a 9-4 South Bay League decision to Mar Vista on Monday. Castle Park appeared to address many weak points from Monday’s season debut in putting together an improved showing on Thursday.

Top returners for the Trojans include Mireles, Flores, Cirignano, David Lopez, Jacob Ayala and Mario Presa.

Newcomers include Garcia between the pipes and football quarterback Jordan Danielson. Danielson looked at home on skates in Thursday’s game.

“We definitely want to improve on our record (7-12 overall, 5-7 in league play) from last year and hopefully get a banner,” third-year coach Patrick Johnson said. “We definitely started out slow against Mar Vista but about half the kids are new. Hopefully we can pick up the pace as the season goes on.”

The nightcap of Thursday’s double-header at the CPHS rink was even more hotly contested as the Otay Ranch Mustangs skated to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory against the much-improved Mar Vista Mariners.

Eloy Rodriguez, who collected four goals in the Mariners’ season-opening win over Castle Park on Monday, got things rolling for the Imperial Beach team with the first goal of the game. The Mustangs leveled the scored at one apiece on a goal by Devyn Taras and the teams skated into the first intermission tied 1-1.

Ruben Ponce, assisted by Ricky Portilla, scored the only goal of the second period to boost the Mustangs to a 2-1 advantage. But a power play goal by MV’s Rodriguez on the first shot of the third period deadlocked the contest at 2-2.

Returner Carlos Barrios put Otay Ranch up 3-2 and Portilla scored his first goal of the season, this time assisted by Ponce, to up the Mustang lead to 4-2.

But Rodriguez completed his hat trick with a late goal to cut the Mariner deficit to a goal; however, Mar Vista could not net the equalizer in falling to its first loss of the season.

Rodriguez leads the Mariners with seven goals in two games thus far. Mireles has two goals and an assist in two games for Castle Park.

In games on Monday:

Mar Vista 9, Castle Park 4

Castle Park’s Marvin Cirignano scored the opening goal of the game but the Mariners followed with eight unanswered goals to build an 8-1 lead. Three unanswered goals by the Trojans in the third period — the first by David Lopez and two more by Nacho Mireles — reduced the Mar Vista lead to 8-4 before Eloy Rodriguez capped a memorable four-goal performance for the Mariners to seal the victory. Billy Warren, who scored Mar Vista’s opening goal of the season, finished the game with two goals while teammates Dane Bottomley, Evan Lovstrom and Adrian Contreras each scored once.

“These guys have the hearts of champions,” MVHS coach Manny Buenrostro said. “I’m very pleased with the first two periods. We gave up three goals in the third period but they had the resilience to get back in the game. I’m super excited about this season. The kids never stopped believing in themselves, and showed their passion for the game.”

Southwest 8, Chula Vista 0

Angel Rocha and Danny Diaz each notched hat tricks and teammate Henry Avalos scored twice to brace goaltender Jose Andrade’s shutout. Rocha also picked up two assists.

Eastlake 8, St. Augustine 3
Eastlake’s Aaron Mayer finished as the conference’s 2012-13 scoring leader with 100 points. He picked up right where he left off by leading the Titans to their thrilling come-from-behind win over the Saints with five goals and one assist. Eastlake snapped an early 2-2 tie with four unanswered goals to take control of the non-league contest. Will Winters, Sam Bawden and Ricardo Mendoza also scored goals for the Titans while Michael Mechling had two assists.

“We try to play a team game,” EHS coach Ron Cole said. “We had a lot of rough edges for a first game, we still have some rust to shake off. If we play as a team, we’ll go far.”

Roller hockey season faces off for Sweetwater district squads

High school roller hockey is entering its 14th season as a sanctioned sport within the Sweetwater Union High School District. The 2013-14 season faced off Monday at the Castle Park High School rink, and judging by the outcome of the three games, it could be a very rewarding season.

Mar Vista, which won just three games last season, opened the new season on a promising note with a 9-4 victory against South Bay League rival Castle Park while Southwest faced off defense of its South Bay League championship with an 8-0 win over Chula Vista.

In a game that is sure to send early shockwaves throughout the 18-team conference (nine Sweetwater district teams and nine out-of-district teams), defending Mesa League co-champion Eastlake skated past St. Augustine by a score of 8-3.

“I’m excited,” said Southwest coach Jerry Nestlerode, who also serves as the liaison to the district. “I think it’s exciting that we kicked off the hockey season with three great games. It’s an exciting sport. All three games were well played. If there’s anyone out there who has never seen a high school roller hockey game, I think it would be exciting to see these high schoolers play roller hockey. Hopefully, we’ll have 40 more nights like this.”

Teams play a 10-week season, with a cap of 20 regular season games, plus championship playoffs. Twelve of the 18 teams will qualify for the Kiwanis Cup playoffs this season.

West Hills won last season’s Kiwanis Cup title and faced off its season Monday with a 7-1 non-league victory against Scripps Ranch at the RSportz Arena in El Cajon.

Rancho Bernardo, which finished 21-2 in 2012-13 with an overtime loss to West Hills in the Kiwanis Cup championship game, faced off its season Monday at the Escondido Sports Center, defeating Del Norte, 20-1, in a North County League game.


2013-14 CIF/Metro Conference Alignment
Mesa League: Bonita Vista Barons, Eastlake Titans, Hilltop Lancers, Otay Ranch Mustangs

South Bay League:
Castle Park Trojans, Chula Vista Spartans, Mar Vista Mariners, Southwest Raiders, Sweetwater Red Devils

Central League:
Cathedral Catholic Dons, La Jolla Country Day Torreys, St. Augustine Saints, West Hills Wolf Pack

North County League:
Del Norte Nighthawks, Poway Titans, Rancho Bernardo Broncos, Scripps Ranch Falcons, Westview Wolverines


Hockey Night in Chula Vista
We've got hot chocolate and roller hockey games at Castle Park High School, so come on down ...

In games on Friday:

Mar Vista 9, Chula Vista 0

The Mariners and Spartans played it close to the vest, with Mar Vista scoring a goal in each of the opening two periods before closing out the South Bay League contest with seven goals in the third period. Eloy Rodriguez continued his scoring tear to face off the 2012-13 season with three goals and two assists while teammate Billy Warren tacked on two goals and two assists. Austin Hoffman collected two goals and one assist while Evan Lovstrom and Dane Bottomley each contributed a goal and assist. In three games, Rodriguez has netted 10 goals. Mar Vista improved to 2-0 in league play, 2-1 overall, with the win while Chula Vista dropped to 0-2 in league play, 0-2 overall.

Bonita Vista 6, Castle Park 1
The Barons faced off the season in impressive fashion as Jon O’Brien scored five goals and added an assist to have a hand in all six Bonita Vista goals. The Barons had to come from behind, however, after Marvin Cirignano put the Trojans up 1-0. But Bonita Vista closed out the non-league contest with six unanswered goals, including two short-handed tallies. Michelle Dunnells scored the first short-handed goal for the Barons and O’Brien had the next. Dunnells’ twin sister Sheina also picked up an assist in the game in support of BVHS goaltender Hawk Anderson. 

Castle Park dropped to 0-3 on the season, though all three losses have been by close margins. The Barons led 3-1 at the end of the first period, and there was no scoring in the second half despite a flurry of activity by both teams. Trojan goaltender Hector Garcia blocked a penalty shot by O’Brien to highlight the scoreless frame. Bonita Vista then tallied the only three goals of the final period.

CIF/Metro Conference
2013-14 scoreboard

Monday, Dec. 2

Castle Park High School

Mar Vista 9, Castle Park 4

Southwest 8, Chula Vista 0

Eastlake 8, St. Augustine 3

RSportz Arena/El Cajon

West Hills 7, Scripps Ranch 1

Escondido Sports Center
Rancho Bernardo 20, Del Norte 1
Westview 5, Poway 2

Tuesday, Dec. 3

Castle Park High School

Hilltop vs. Eastlake, rained out
, rescheduled to Dec. 11
Otay Ranch vs. Bonita Vista, rained out, rescheduled to Dec. 11

Wednesday, Dec. 4
Escondido Sports Center

Westview 6, Rancho Bernardo 3
Poway 8, Scripps Ranch 1
West Hills 6, St. Augustine
 5 (overtime)
Cathedral Catholic 11, La Jolla Country Day 1

Thursday, Dec. 5
Castle Park High School

Hilltop 6, Castle Park 3
Otay Ranch 4, Mar Vista 3

Friday, Dec. 6
Castle Park High School

Mar Vista 9, Chula Vista 0

Bonita Vista 6, Castle Park 1

CIF/Metro Conference Standings
South Bay League

Mar Vista Mariners 2-0, 2-1
Southwest Raiders 1-0, 1-0

Sweetwater Red Devils 0-0, 0-0
Castle Park Trojans 0-1, 0-3
Chula Vista Spartans 0-2, 0-2

Mesa League

Bonita Vista Barons 0-0, 1-0
Eastlake Titans 0-0, 1-0
Hilltop Lancers 0-0, 1-0
Otay Ranch Mustangs 0-0, 1-0

Central League

Cathedral Catholic Dons 1-0, 1-0
West Hills Wolf Pack 1-0, 2-0
La Jolla Country Day Torreys 0-1, 0-1
St. Augustine Saints 0-1, 0-2

North County League
Westview Wolverines 2-0, 2-0
Rancho Bernardo Broncos 1-1, 1-1

Poway Titans 1-1, 1-1

Scripps Ranch Falcons 0-1, 0-2
Del Norte Nighthawks 0-1, 0-1

Player of the Week
Min Soo Kim/Westview Wolverines
Westview goaltender Min Soo Kim turned in an impressive season debut with victories against Poway (5-2) and Rancho Bernardo (6-3) in a pair of North County League games. Kim turned aside 21 of 23 shots in the win over Poway to earn a .913 save percentage and did that better by blocking 45 of 48 shot attempts against Rancho Bernardo for a .938 save percentage. In two games, Kim has blocked 66 of 71 shots for a .930 save percentage.

CIF/Metro Conference
Week 1 Rankings

1. Cathedral Catholic Dons
2. Westview Wolverines
3. Rancho Bernardo Broncos
4. Poway Titans

5. West Hills Wolf Pack
6. La Jolla Country Day Torreys
7. Eastlake Titans
8. St. Augustine Saints

9. Otay Ranch Mustangs

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