I don’t think anyone really knew what to expect in this game. In Beverly Hills first three games we blew out two teams and were beaten decisively in the other. It’s always a tough haul down to San Diego and facing a strong young Navy team in Beachcomber who beat defending SCLAX Champion San Diego L C in the season opener. But there was a good omen right before the start of the game when longtime Buck Johnny Brasko was recognized by one of the referees Mike Stromberg…….they played together at Loyola and something good happens when you are reunited with an old contemporary and it sure happened today.
In the first quarter Beverly Hills was going to find out a lot about the first year Bucks as John Jossi opened up the scoring with a feeds from James “Shaba” Shabinsky just forty seconds into the game. With four minutes left in the first quarter the Hills squad had jumped out to a 4-0 lead on a Jesse Cuccia solo drive, a second John Jossi tally and a Brett Tietjen cross crease feed to Will McCance who was stationed just off the right pipe. Jesse scored again with just ten seconds remaining in the quarter on a feed from Alex Dixon and the Bucks were up 5-0. Buck faceoff specialist Jared Jacobs went 6/6 at the “X”, netminder Ron Fernando garnered two brilliant saves and the defense was intense with Grant Firestone collecting a takeaway as Mark Bell, John Brasko, A.J. Hoffman and LSM Dustin Doty stayed on the hands of every ‘Comber shooter that got past the restraining line.
Beverly Hills pushed their lead up to 6-0 at the 19:14 mark of the second quarter when Andrew White found the back of the net off a broken clear. The teams traded possessions until the 11:15 mark when Beachcomber finally got on the scoreboard but at the 7:20 mark the Bucks answered when Alex Dixon found Andrew White with a behind the back pass and the lead was back up to six goals. But at the 4:20 mark ‘Comber scored the final shot of the quarter and the Bucks took a 7-2 lead into halftime. Once again Jared Jacobs dominated at the “X” going 4/5 while keeper Ron Fernando garnered six saves. A J Hoffman and Riley Lasda each had a takeaway and the hills squad cut their turnovers down from six in quarter number one to just one unforced error. Beverly Hills had learned from their only loss of the season and was playing with a high lax IQ. They were patient, kept their spacing and were much more precise in their passing while avoiding greedy feeds to the crease. It was all paying off but could they keep it going?
Quarter number three started on a bad note for Beverly Hills as Beachcomber found their footing and scored the next three goals and at the 10:40 mark the Hill’s lead had shrunk to just two goals with a 7-5 score. But at the 9:07 mark Alex Jessup righted the ship as he got his own rebound off the right pipe and put it past the Beachcomber netminder putting the Bucks back up by three. One minute later Jesse Cuccia slammed one off the pipe but George Pertessis was right there to gobble the rebound up at the midfield and put it into the back of the net. Beachcomber scored next off a clean faceoff win but Alex Dixon countered with a solo drive to the crease and the score stood at 10-6. George Pertessis closed out the quarter with a solo drive and the Bucks were up 11-7. Once again Jacobs was dominant going 7/10 at the “X”. A.J. Hoffman and Johnny Brasko each had a takeaway the Buck’s defense held strong with just twenty minutes left to play.
The final quarter was a defensive struggle with both goal keepers putting on a show. James Shabinsky had his second assist of the afternoon as he fed John Jossi on a crease curl at the 15:32 mark. And with 3:05 left to play in the game Alex Dixon fed Steve Brandenburg for the final goal of the afternoon as the Beverly Hills squad put together an impressive 13-7 win. Jared Jacobs went 3/3 and Buck goalie Ron Fernando garnered eight saves in the quarter. The Bucks had four takeaways in the quarter, two by Dustin Doty and one each for Grant Firestone and Alex Dixon.
Next week the Bucks will host the Rays, a new San Diego team that has gotten off to an impressive start. They will faceoff at Culver City High School at 3:30.