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The challenge appears on for Mesa League roller hockey title Phillip Brents | Fri, Dec 07 2012 01:11 PM

It appears the Hilltop High School roller hockey team will have challengers for this season’s Mesa League championship title after the Eastlake Titans stripped the wheels off the Lancers in a 13-5 victory Tuesday evening at Castle Park High School.

“We didn’t know quite what to expect because we hadn’t seen Hilltop play yet, so we went in blind,” EHS coach Ron Cole confessed. “We wanted to observe, see what they did and then adapt and adjust. We did that very well.”

The Titans’ game plan worked against a Lancer squad playing its first game of the season. By contrast, Tuesday’s game was Eastlake’s third of the young campaign.

Sophomore Aaron Mayer turned in a breakout nine-point game in leading the Titans to their second victory of the season, and first in league play. Classmate Michael Mechling contributed two goals and four assists while Will Winters collected two goals and one assist, Jacky Ponce dished out a goal and assist and Zane White scored once in support of back-up goaltender Sam Bawden.

Mayer, Mechling and Bawden were Eastlake’s top three scorers last season as freshmen as the varsity team experienced a major makeover due to graduation, standout goaltender Darius Newhall among those making the exodus.

The Titans dropped a 16-2 non-league decision to Westview in their 2012-13 CIF-Metro Conference debut on Nov. 28 but came back the next day to top Sweetwater, 9-1, in another non-league contest.

“I’m obviously happy with this outcome,” Cole said. “It’s nice to get that first league win. But until proved otherwise, Hilltop is still the defending league champion.”

The game actually started off fairly even, with Ponce and Hilltop’s George Godinez trading goals for a 1-1 standoff.
Goals by Mechling and Meyer pushed the Titans to a 3-1 lead but Godinez quickly took care of that with two more of his own to knot the teams in a 3-all tie.

Two unanswered goals by Meyer, however, thrust Eastlake to a 5-3 edge at the end of the opening period and the Titans gradually expanded their lead from there with four goals in the second period.

Eastlake led 9-4 entering the final period.

Godinez scored all five of Hilltop’s goals — two off assists from teammate Nick Tesner. The Titans fired off 36 shots at Lancer netminder Kevin Kananu.

“We’ll be fine once we get a little more experience,” HHS coach Dan Vaccaro said. “We just need to tighten up on defense.”

The Otay Ranch Mustangs also look to be a factor in this season’s Mesa League title chase after skating past the Bonita Vista Barons, 19-2, in the opening game of Tuesday’s double-header action.

Devyn Taras led the Mustangs (2-0 overall) with 11 points on five goals and six assists while Carlos Barrios chipped in with seven points on six goals and one assist.

Otay Ranch led 17-0 before Bonita Vista’s Jon O’Brien spoiled the Mustangs’ shutout bid. O’Brien also scored the Barons’ second goal.

Seven players scored points for Otay Ranch. Matt Mendez had six points on two goals and four assists while Gabe Beatie had two goals and three assists, Joey Parisi had two goals and one assist, Andie LeDesma had one goal and two assists and Brian Moore tallied once.

BV netminder Miranda Peters deserves special mention for her outstanding play in the lopsided setback. She exhibited deft side-to-side movement and quick reactions to pucks taking sudden bounces in front of her.

The game was the first of the season for the Barons.

•Eastlake’s Mayer paces the conference’s nine South County teams in scoring with 16 points (10 goals, six assists) through three games; Otay’s Taras as 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in two games.

Sweetwater 9, Chula Vista 4

In the opener of Wednesday’s South Bay League double-header action, Sweetwater used a late surge to down Chula Vista behind five goals by Ricky Lawson and four goals by Adrian Guerrero. The teams traded goals to open the game and early on, the Spartans appeared to control the best of the action. But the momentum swung to the Red Devils in the second period as they rattled off four goals to take a 5-1 lead.

Two goals by CV’s Morgan Spangler narrowed the score to 5-3 midway through the third period. But Sweetwater regained its composure and sealed the game with four answered goals to zoom in front 9-3. Spangler completed his hat trick by scoring the game’s final goal. Michael Thompson got Chula Vista rolling with the first goal of the game. The Red Devils improved to 1-0 in league play, 1-1 overall, while the Spartans dropped to 0-2 in league play.

Southwest 11, Castle Park 2

Defending South Bay League champion Southwest drilled Castle Park behind six goals by Jorge Guillen and five goals by Angel Rocha. The Raiders (2-0 in league, 2-1 overall) led 11-0 before the Trojans (1-1 in league) tacked on the final two goals of the game.

Guillen pushed Southwest ahead 2-0 and collected five of his team’s first seven goals. Rocha scored the Raiders’ lone three goals in the second period and Guillen added another goal early in the third period. It looked like Southwest might post the first shutout victory of the season in games played so far at the CPHS rink but David Lopez broke the shutout with 2:55 to play and teammate Miguel Flores scored with 30 seconds left. Rocha has collected 13 goals and one assist in the Raiders’ opening three contests.

CIF-Metro Conference Records
(Through Dec. 5, 2012

Rancho Bernardo Broncos 4-0
Del Norte Nighthawks 3-0
Cathedral Catholic Dons 2-0-1
Otay Ranch Mustangs 2-0
Eastlake Titans 2-1
Poway Titans 2-1
Southwest Raiders 2-1
St. Augustine Saints 1-2-1
Castle Park Trojans 1-1
Sweetwater Red Devils 1-1
Westview Wolverienes 1-1
West Hills Wolf Pack 0-1-1
La Jolla Country Day Torreys 0-2-1
Bonita Vista Barons 0-1
Hilltop Lancers 0-1
Mar Vista Mariners 0-1
Chula Vista Spartans 0-2
Scripps Ranch Falcons 0-4

CIF-Metro Conference Scoring Leaders
(Through Dec. 5, 2012)

•Eric Wright (Poway) 11 goals, 6 assists, 17 points
•Aaron Mayer (Eastlake) 10 goals, 6 assists, 16 points
•Angel Rocha (Southwest) 13 goals, 1 assist, 14 points
•Nick Sciabarra (Cathedral Catholic) 11 goals, 3 assists, 14 points
•Spencer Ridout (Rancho Bernardo) 9 goals, 5 assists, 14 points
•Devyn Taras (Otay Ranch) 7 goals, 6 assists, 13 points
•Geoffrey Sagara (Rancho Bernardo) 3 goals, 10 assists, 13 assists
•Zach Semonian (Rancho Bernardo) 10 goals, 2 assists, 12 points
•Michael Leoni (Cathedral Catholic) 8 goals, 3 assists, 11 points
•Ryan Owsiany (LJCD) 7 goals, 4 assists, 11 points
•Decker Seilhan (Westview) 4 goals, 7 assists, 11 points
•Michael Mechling (Eastlake) 5 goals, 5 assists, 10 points
•Griffin Dibble (Westview) 5 goals, 5 assists, 10 points
•Matt Schrag (Del Norte) 6 goals, 3 assists, 9 points
•Eric Duong (Del Norte) 5 goals, 4 assists, 9 points
•Mitchell Bondur (Cathedral Catholic) 6 goals, 2 assists, 8 points
•Troy Grahl (Del Norte) 5 goals, 3 assists, 8 points
•Thomas Akerson (Del Norte) 7 goals, 0 assists, 7 points
•Carlos Barrios (Otay Ranch) 6 goals, 1 assist, 7 points
•Alex Pelletier (Rancho Bernardo) 4 goals, 3 assists, 7 points
•Matt Mendez (Otay Ranch) 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points
•Jungwoo Kim (Rancho Bernardo) 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points
•Tanner Bleyle (Westview) 2 goals, 5 assists, 7 points
•Ricky Lawson (Sweetwater) 6 goals, 0 assists, 6 points
•Michael Marasco (Westview) 6 goals, 0 assists, 6 points
•George Godinez (Hilltop) 5 goals, 0 assists, 5 points
•Nick Spardy (St. Augustine) 4 goals, 1 assist, 5 points
•Juan Luna (Castle Park) 4 goals, 1 assist, 5 points
•Gabe Beatie (Otay Ranch) 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points
•Stephen Hooker (Cathedral Catholic) 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points

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