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College Hockey: Aurora U. falls to Lewis 9-2

Updated: December 12, 2012 6:28AM

Aurora University’s club hockey team took a big bite out of the improvement apple Saturday.

Only one bite wasn’t enough.

After battling Lewis University to a standstill, trailing 3-2 after two periods, the Spartans fell apart in the third period and were denied their first-ever victory. Lewis left the Fox Valley Ice Arena with a 9-2 win instead.

There was no mistaking the improvement from Friday night’s 14-0 loss to Concordia-Wisconsin.

“We finally got some flow in the offensive end, we moved the puck a little bit and got some shots on goal,” AU coach Ryan Buchanan said. “You look up after the first period and we’re tied 1-1, coming off last night, I was very happy with that.”

That first period almost ended in a 0-0 tie. Lewis scored the game’s first goal on a breakaway by Craig Tomassi with less than a minute left to the first intermission.

AU answered with 14 ticks left on the clock when Max Obriecht dug the puck out of some traffic in front of the Lewis goal and sent it to the back of the net for the first goal in AU hockey history.

The Flyers took the lead when a shot by Brandon Pirtle slipped between the pads of AU goalie Ryan Cooley with 90 seconds gone in the second period.

Obriecht again had the answer. He sent a slap shot from the left wing into the back of the net to tie the game at 2-2 with 15:31 left in the second period.

It was all Lewis after that.

Pirtle’s second goal with 5:41 left to the second intermission gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead heading into the final 20 minutes.

That’s when the wheels came off the AU bus.

“I think we ran out of gas,” Buchanan said. “I’m still trying to get these guys into (hockey) shape. We’ve been going six weeks but we really haven’t had a ton of ice time.”

Tomassi’s second breakaway goal increased the Lewis lead to 4-2 and a goal from Kevin Riedy on a Flyer power play made it 5-2 and the Spartans totally disintegrated.

“We have to learn to stick to the plan, stick to playing the game,” Buchanan said. “We were running all over the place and that’s why we wear down.”

AU returns to the Fox Valley Ice Arena at 9:30 p.m. Friday when it plays host to Indiana University.

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