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Kenston sophomore forward Troy Krahe (right) was in his bag against GCHSHL White East rival Aurora. The Bombers’ leading scorer notched a hat trick in the Bombers’ 7-0 victory over the Greenmen last Friday evening at the Ponhd.

It had been a long wait for the Kenston Bombers’ hockey team to get back on the ice.

It was worth it when the Bombers opened the second half of their season by blanking Greater Cleveland High School Hockey League White East Division rival Aurora 7-0 last Friday evening at The Pond.

“I think it was big for our confidence going into the New Year after a bit of break to have an overall effort like we did on Friday night,” said Coach Tom Moores. “It was tremendous and hopefully we can continue this moving forward.”

The last time Kenston (8-7-1, 4-2) played was on Dec. 28 when they defeated St. Edward’s Green Team to take third place at the Parma Invitational.

Moores admitted Kenston needed the long break because they were short-handed due to injuries during the tournament. He also said that the Bombers did have a little bit of rust to begin their game against their GCHSHL White East rival.

Kenston struck first in the opening period when freshman forward Gavin Rowell scored at the 10:01 mark with assists from freshman forward Luke Mack and sophomore forward Troy Krahe to put the Bomber up 1-0.

Rowell found the back of the net after he collected a rebound off a missed shot by Mack and snuck it past Aurora’s goalkeeper with his backhand.

According to Moores, Kenston had no problem moving the puck but did a little too much passing and not enough shooting. The Bombers had nine shots on goal in the first period but most of them were long distance.

“The first period I think we were still trying to find our game,” explained the third-year coach. “I felt like we controlled the period but didn’t play to what we were capable of and the score was a result of that. We talked about in the locker room after the first period and came out in the second period ready to go.”

The Bombers extended their lead to 2-0 in the second period when Mack scored with 8:17 remaining off assists from Rowell and senior defensemen Jameson Parker after a series of crisp passing allowed Mack to slip one in past the Greenmen goalkeeper’s glove side.

Kenston stretched its lead to 3-0 when Rowell scored his second goal of the game at the 6:57 mark off assists from Parker and senior forward Carson Forte.

Krahe then took over by scoring his first goal of the game at the 4:15 off assists by Rowell and Mack to push Kenston ahead 4-0 then turned the game into a blowout with another goal with 0:05 seconds remaining in the second period with assists from Mack and junior forward Chase Parker.

The Kenston sophomore forward officially recorded a hat trick when he scored again at the 13:52 mark of the third period off assists from senior defensemen Cooper Akers and Mack to extend the Bombers’ lead to 5-0.

“Troy’s been the catalyst all year and that’s why he sits on top of the scoring lead,” Moore said. “He’s a young man who can control the game with his stick and through his vision on the ice as he uses his teammates to know where to shoot and when to shoot. It’s a unique talent that doesn’t come along very often and we’re fortunate to have him on our team.”

Mack, Rowell and Krahe combined to score six of Kenston’s seven goals.

Although the Bombers returned many upperclassmen this season, it’s been the underclassmen igniting the offense as Moores has discovered something with a line consisting of the trio of Kenston youngsters.

According to him, that line has anchored the Bombers’ offense this season by always scoring whenever Kenston’s needed a goal. That has helped make a deep Bombers’ roster even deeper.

Aurora had 25 shots on the net but sophomore goalkeeper Owen Masson saved each one turning in his first clean sheet of his varsity career. Moores said it was an impressive feat since Masson’s split time in the net this year alongside junior goalkeeper Nate Linz.

“We’re blessed with goalie depth and talent,” he said. “ I would put our two goalies against anyone else in the league. It’s essentially each one that pushes the other and I think that’s creating a great competitive atmosphere as far as our goaltending goes.”

Following a road game against Gilmour’s junior varsity team on Jan. 12, the Bombers will play host to crosstown rival Chagrin Falls on Jan. 14 at Auburn Township beginning at 9 p.m.

Kenston then will compete in the Kaczmerek Invitational Tournament at Parma beginning on Jan. 15 at 11 a.m. at the Michael A. Ries Rink. In addition to a slew of tournament games, the Bombers will also host North Olmsted at The Pond on Jan. 15 at 9 p.m.

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