The Los Alamitos Griffins beat the Esperenza Aztecs 13 -9 at McCauliffe Middle School on Saturday morning. Los Al scored early and often in the game while their defense kept the Aztecs at bay. Los Al built up a 13 – 5 lead by the middle of the fourth quarter when the Aztecs showed they still had some life in them. The Aztecs scored four goals in about two minutes to close the gap to 13-9 with 5 minutes to go. But it was too little to late as the Aztecs ran out of gas and neither team scored for the rest of the game.
Los Alamitos led 3-0 when Ryan Coffelt put Esperanza on the score at 4:45 of the first quarter. The Griffs got it back a couple minutes later after Tyler Miller knocked down an Aztec clearing pass to keep the offensive pressure on goalie Cameron Rees and the Aztecs D. The turnover turned into a point for Los Al when Josh Duchon found Cody Miller standing alone in front of the cage. Miller beat Rees to make it 4-1 at the end of first quarter.
Los Al pulled away in the middle of the second quarter when Brandon Ezell, Nick Sweeney, and Tyler Miller all scored unassisted goals within a minute to make it 7-1. Ezell’s came off a nice move as he faked right, face-dodged to the left, and finished with a bounce shot. Jonathon Braddock closed the gap to 5 when he finished a feed from Jacob Aho to make it 7-2, the halftime score.
Nick Vass scored his first goal of the game at 9:23 of the third period to make it 7-3. The Griffins then went on another scoring tear with four unanswered goals to make it 11-3. Cody Miller scored from Duchon at 8:53 of the third. Tyler Miller beat a defenseman who had pushed out too far with a dodge, and a lonely Duchon standing in front of the net unattended. Duchon collected the pass and went low with a worm burner that beat Rees. Brandon Colson closed out the Los Al surge when he knocked in a rebound from a Duchon shot. Rees made a nice save on Duchon who was standing on his doorstep but he could not contain the rebound. Vass tried to resuscitate the Aztecs with two more goals in the third quarter, sandwiched around a Los Al open net goal, to make it 12-5 after 3 quarters of play.
Duchon found Ezell cutting down the middle to open the fourth quarter to make it 13-5 before Esperanza closed out the scoring with four goal in less than three minutes. Vass scored twice in the run and assisted on a goal by Cameron Curtis. The other goal was scored by Aho with an assist from Ryan Coffelt.
Los Alamitos is now 4-1 on the season and travels to JSerra Wednesday. Esperenza falls to 3-1 and must prepare for a much-improved Marina team that now has a 4-1 record.
–MaxLaxOC.com staff report