The Cleveland Demons traveled to Pittsburgh on Saturday to compete in the CILL Championships for the first time in team history. The pressure of being the number 1 seed didn’t seem to bother the Demons as Cleveland erupted for 8 first quarter goals against the host Octane. Steve and Nate Jones were a two man wrecking crew. Steve finished the game with 5 goals and 5 assists. Nate countered with 5 goals of his own. Adding to the Jones boys was a red hot Brian Lalley with 4 goals and an assist, Hans Rydqust with 3 goals and an assist, and Tyler Murphy with 2 goals and 3 assists. Brandon Sallee (1,2), Brian Holzheimer, and Brent Zubal all found the back of the net as well. David Blue (3 assists) and Mark Sertich (1 assist) helped in setting up some solid offensive efforts as well. Seth Wagner also showed his speed and versatility on the offensive side of the floor by setting picks and killing penalties. Cleveland’s overall balance offensively played a huge part in tearing apart the Pittsburgh defense for the 3rd time this season.
The revamped Cleveland defense this season really paid off again. Cleveland held a 17-1 lead going into the 4th quarter due to Bobby Lyle’s stellar play in the cage. He routinely frustrated the Octane shooters and took away their scoring chances. The anchor of the defense, Jon Hurm, made sure the rest of the defenders knew their jobs and roles prior to the game. The guys all showed up and played tough, physical, and aggressive defense. Dan Clem, Eli George, Brian Holzheimer, and Kevin Werner pounded away on the Pittsburgh forwards and transition runners throughout the game. Matt Milano, Mark Sertich, Noah Bill, Rory Jeffers were solid in their transition roles and helped to set up the offensive groups as well. Sam Carmony was dominant at the face-off circle all game long and did a fantastic job earning ground balls, establishing possessions, and setting the tone for the game.
In the end, the Demons were able to put away the Octane with a final score of 22-6. With the Grand Rapids Dragonfish beating the defending champions, the Chicago Outlaws 11-10 in overtime, the Sunday afternoon Championship Game was set between the top two seeds.
Goalie Bobby Lyle
Scoring Steve Jones (5,5), Nate Jones (5,0), Brian Lalley (4,1), Tyler Murphy (2,3),
Hans Rydquist (3,1), Brandon Sallee (1,2), David Blue (0,3), Brent Zubal
(1,0), Brian Holzheimer (1,0), Mark Sertich (0,1)