The Southwest Raiders became the first South County-based team to punch its ticket to the Kiwanis Cup playoffs after defeating the Sweetwater Red Devils, 7-3, Wednesday night at Castle Park High School. The win gave the Raiders an 11-0 league record with one game remaining — good enough to secure the rights to this year’s league championship. Sweetwater, the second-place team in the league, dropped to 7-3 in league play.
“Never in my wildest dreams when I started coaching at Southwest did I feel that we’d even win one league title, much less repeat as league champions,” said Southwest coach Jerry Nestlerode, whose team improved to 12-4 overall. “I’m really proud of the kids because they took this game so seriously.”
The Raiders, who play a very defensive brand of hockey, skated to their strengths in beating the Red Devils (8-6 overall) for the third time this season. Southwest led 4-0 after the opening period and tacked on the only goal of the second period to take a 5-0 lead. The Raiders led 7-0 before Sweetwater closed out the game with three goals.
Jorge Guillen led Southwest with two goals and two assists while Luis Gomez scored twice and Henry Avalos, Angel Rocha and Alejandro Flores each scored once in support of goaltender Jose Andrade. Mauricio Estrada paced the Devils with two goals and one assist while Ricky Lawson had a goal and assist and Adrian Guerrero picked up one assist.
“We play a defensive core that starts with keeping the puck out of the net and we try to do our best to put the puck in the net,” Nestlerode said. “Last year’s team also played a very strong defensive core.”
In another game on Wednesday:
Spartans hold Mariners at bay, collect 4-1 victory
The Mar Vista Mariners, fresh off snapping a 12-game losing streak, put up a challenge but the Chula Vista Spartans did a better job at finishing their scoring chances to skate away with a 4-1 South Bay League victory. Morgan Spangler led the Spartans (5-10) with two goals; Eloy Rodriguez scored the lone goal for Mar Vista (2-14).
Mariners end 12-game losing streak, top Barons 5-0
It was a long time coming but the Mar Vista Mariners celebrated with gusto following Monday’s 5-0 non-league victory against the Bonita Vista Barons. After suffering through a span of 12 consecutive defeats, the Mariners were finally winners again.
Jacob David and Adrian Conttreras each scored goals in the first period and Billy Warren recorded a natural hat trick in the second period to pace the Imperial Beach squad. Austin Hoffman was credited with the assist on the final Mariners’ goal.
Mar Vista (2-13 overall) had the clear edge in the early minutes of the game but coach Keith Quigley’s Barons started to put it together after falling behind 1-0. Both teams skated back and forth with numerous scoring opportunities. Miranda Peters was stellar for Bonita Vista between the pipes and Brian Dennis showcased solid goaltending skills at the other end of the playing court.
As the game dwindled, cries from the MVHS bench increased in pitch. At the final buzzer, players swarmed Dennis in celebration. “I really can’t say how proud I am of these guys,” Mariner coach Manny Buenrostro said. “It was the first time this season that they played as a unit. I knew it would be a long season and a learning season. They’ve been fighting through this all year and to break this long losing streak with a shutout win is fulfilling.”
The loss was the 11th consecutive for the Barons (1-13 overall), who had earlier tacked a 9-3 setback on the Mariners. In this game, however, the new-look Bonita Vista team never quit and battled for every loose puck.
“This game simply makes a coach proud,” Quigley said. “My team couldn’t have worked any harder out there. It was a very strong team effort, our best so far this season. This style of play is what we’ve been working toward all season — to give your all out on the rink for 45 minutes.
“Carla (Altomare) had a solid game. She was really putting pressure on and digging for that puck. Avori (Schenck) on defense was stepping up and attacking the shooter. It was great to see Hawk (Anderson) play a very aggressive game also. But, all in all, everyone gave their best and that’s all a coach can ask for.”
Mar Vista defeated Chula Vista, 4-3, in overtime on Dec. 7 for its only other win.
In a pair of non-league games on Thursday:
Lancers roll past Spartans 12-1
The Hilltop Lancers built an 11-0 lead en route to capturing a 12-1 non-league victory against the Chula Vista Spartans. George Godinez led the Lancers (10-5 overall) with 12 points on eight goals and four assists to close in on conference scoring leader Aaron Mayer of Eastlake. Nick Tesner added three goals and three assists while Andrew Tesner added a goal and assist and Sebastian Ross collected one assist. Francisco Aguilera, assisted by Kimberly Conway, scored the lone goal for Chula Vista (5-11).
Trojans turn back Barons’ challenge
Castle Park rolled to a 5-0 lead and held off a challenge by Bonita Vista to close out an 8-2 non-league victory. Juan Luna scored five goals and Horacio Mireles added a hat trick for the Trojans (6-10) while Josh Avina had two assists. Giancarlo Dongo and Carla Altomare each scored once for the Barons, who suffered their 13th consecutive defeat. Michelle Dunnells was credited with one assist for Bonita Vista (1-15).
In games on Tuesday:
Mustangs rally to upend Lancers, 8-1
The last time these two teams met, the Hilltop Lancers recorded a 7-0 upset victory against the Mesa League-leading Otay Ranch Mustangs. Both teams appeared ready for the ready for the rematch and the Mustangs must have experienced some nerves after the Lancers took a 1-0 lead on a penalty shot by George Godinez in the teams' final meeting of the season. But Otay Ranch proved up to the challenge by reeling of the final eight goals of the game en route to scoring a key 8-1 win that kept the Mustangs one game ahead of the Eastlake Titans in the league standings. Otay Ranch and Eastlake will meet on Feb. 12 to determine the Mesa League champion.
Cole Beatie led the Mustangs with four goals and two assists while Devyn Taras contributed three goals and two assists. Joey Parisi added one goal for Otay Ranch while Carlos Barrios collected three assists. The Mustangs led 3-1 at the end of the opening period and 7-1 heading into the final frame. Otay Ranch improved to 12-3-1 overall while Hilltop dropped to 9-5.
Titans blank Barons 13-0, keep title hopes alive
Eastlake kept its Mesa League championship hopes alive by topping the cellar-dwelling Bonita Vista Barons 13-0. Conference scoring leader Aaron Mayer paced the victorious Titans (11-5) with four goals and five assists, followed by Nick Rodriguez with three goals and one assist, Mike Mechling with three goals, Jacky Ponce with a goal and two assists, Zane White with one goal, Will Winters and Sam Bawden with two assists and Nick Ziccardi with one assist.
South Bay League Standings
Southwest Raiders 11-0
Sweetwater Red Devils 7-3
Castle Park Trojans 4-6
Chula Vista Spartans 3-8
Mar Vista Mariners 1-9
Mesa League Standings
Otay Ranch Mustangs 7-1
Eastlake Titans 6-2
Hilltop Lancers 3-5
Bonita Vista Barons 0-8
Central League Standings
West Hills Wolf Pack 6-1-1
Cathedral Catholic Dons 4-2-1
La Jolla Country Day Torreys 2-4-1
St. Augustine Saints 1-6-1
North County League Standings
Rancho Bernardo Broncos 10-0
Poway Titans 7-4
Westview Wolverines 5-5
Del Norte Nighthawks 4-6
Scripps Ranch Falcons 1-10
CIF-Metro Conference Scoring Leaders
(Through Feb. 7, 2013)
Aaron Mayer (Eastlake) 55 goals, 34 assists, 89 points
George Godinez (Hilltop) 56 goals, 23 assists, 79 points
Angel Rocha (Southwest) 59 goals, 11 assists, 70 points
Spencer Ridout (Rancho Bernardo) 44 goals, 23 assists, 67 points
David Baldwin (West Hills) 32 goals, 25 assists, 57 points
Juan Luna (Castle Park) 46 goals, 9 assists, 55 points
Michael Mechling (Eastlake) 30 goals, 25 assists, 55 points
Michael Leone (Cathedral Catholic) 43 goals, 9 assists, 52 points
Eric Wright (Poway) 31 goals, 17 assists, 48 points
Ryan Vanoni (West Hills) 32 goals, 15 assists, 47 points
Matt Mendez (Otay Ranch) 25 goals, 20 assists, 45 points
Ricky Lawson (Sweetwater) 31 goals, 12 assists, 43 points
Morgan Spangler 32 goals, 10 assists, 42 points
Adrian Guerrero (Sweetwater) 17 goals, 25 assists, 42 points
Joey Parisi (Otay Ranch) 28 goals, 13 assists, 41 points
Nick Tesner (Hilltop) 25 goals, 16 assists, 41 points
Geoff Sagara (Rancho Bernardo) 22 goals, 19 assists, 41 points
Mauricio Estrada (Sweetwater) 36 goals, 4 assists, 40 points
Brad Majeski (West Hills) 24 goals, 16 assists, 40 points
Griffin Dibble (Westview) 20 goals, 20 assists, 40 points
Zach Semonian (Rancho Bernardo) 23 goals, 16 assists, 39 points
Zach Peters (West Hills) 22 goals, 17 assists, 39 points
Nick Sciabarra (Cathedral Catholic) 26 goals, 12 assists, 38 points
Ryan Owsiany (LJCD) 26 goals, 12 assists, 38 points
Michael Marasco (Westview) 28 goals, 7 assists, 35 points
CIF-Metro Conference League Champions
South Bay League: Southwest Raiders
Central League: West Hills Wolf Pack
North County League: Rancho Bernardo Broncos
Mesa League: TBA