Alameda, CA – The East Bay Jawz were in desperate need of a home sweep as they took on the talented Nor Cal Riot from the South Bay. Earlier in the season, it was heartbreak for the Jawz as they lead back to back games only to see the Riot come away with a pair of wins. In their second matchup of the season, fortune was reversed as the Jawz came away with two hard fought wins.
Game one started slow as both teams played tight man coverage. It took twelve minutes before Abram Figueroa put the Jawz on the board with a low snap shot that beat Martin Stacy of the Riot who was pulling double duty playing earlier in the Riot’s minor games. The momentum was in the Jawz favor and they scored twice more to make it 3-0. Two quick penalties put the Jawz on a shorthanded kill and the Riot capitalized with Ben Caliz scoring to make it 3-1. The Riot would score again to make it 3-2 but this time the Jawz dug deep and pulled out a 4-2 win. Goaltender Kevin Silva shined for the Jawz making eighteen saves on twenty shots. Goals for the Jawz came from Abram Figueroa, Vince Castoro, CJ Gamble and Lucas Bartsh. Ben Caliz and Ernie Hernandez netted goals for the Riot.
Both teams came out strong in game two but it was more of the same solid goaltending being displayed by Silva and Stacy. Again, it was the Jawz who scored first with Allen Gonzalez sniping a wrist over Riot Goalie Stacy’s glove side. Ben Caliz would score late in the first period to tie the game at 1-1. The second period showcased great defensive battles as both teams struggled to get quality scoring opportunities. Jawz captain Jason Weiser broke the tie by scoring on a breakaway to make it 2-1. Ben Caliz of the Riot was not done scoring and with four minutes in the second period received a precision pass from Ryan Newens to tie the game up 2-2. The last four minutes both teams looked nervous and it showed as the Jawz took a late penalty with 2:44 in the 2nd period. The Riot were unable to capitalize on the powerplay and the Jawz fed off this big penalty kill. Allen Gonzalez of the Jawz rushed the puck into the offensive zone with 7 seconds left in the game and fired a shot that rebounded straight to Brian Smith who scored to give the Jawz the 3-2 win just as time expired.
The rivalry continues into the second half of the season as these two teams square off four more times with major playoff implications. See you at the rink!
-Written by AIHL Press aihlhockey.com