Apple Core Finds Several Kinks in Mariners' Game


An advertisement on the sideboards of the Olympic-sized hockey rink at the Easy Street Arena promotes the services of a local chiropractor for the treatment of sports injuries.

Friday night, the only thing wounded on the Ventura Mariners was their pride.

The Mariners, hosting the 12-team USA Hockey National Junior B championships, were dominated by the New York Apple Core, 7-5, in a pool-play game on the first day of the five-day tournament.

New York led, 7-2, midway through the second period and had 37 shots on goal to Ventura's 21.

Kevin Meehan scored twice, and John Skoryna and Nate Cockeram each had three assists for the Mariners (18-36).

Ryan Vesce had a hat trick for New York (78-11-3), and Erik Nates and Rich Hansen each had three assists.

Ventura plays Detroit's Motor City Chiefs today at 7 p.m. and the Flagstaff (Ariz.) Mountaineers on Sunday at 1 p.m. to complete their pool-play games.

The winners of the three pools plus the best second-place team advance to the semifinals on Monday.

The loss was a bitter flashback for the Mariners, who were eliminated by the Apple Core in the semifinals two seasons ago.

New York's players were collectively smaller, younger and better than their California counterparts and decided the game with a four-goal outburst in the first 12 minutes of the second period.

"We struggled right from the start in the second period," Meehan said. "They moved the puck really well, their passes were right on the tape."

Ventura, which hoped to salvage a season limited by injuries and inconsistent play, was consistently beaten to the puck and produced numerous turnovers.

"We got a little confused and started to scramble," Meehan said. "That cost us because guys weren't covering their man."

New York seized the momentum early, scoring the game's first three goals in a span of 2 1/2 minutes midway through the first period.

The first goal came when the Apple Core's James Sedoruk forced a turnover at center ice and fed Nates for a breakaway goal.

New York took a 2-0 lead when Vesce burst down the slot and scored after taking Hansen's pass from the side of the zone.

Ventura found itself down, 3-0, with 10:12 left in the first period on another goal by Sedoruk.

Goals by Rocky Reeves and Meehan pulled Ventura to within 3-2 after one period but New York's second-period outburst made the outcome a foregone conclusion.

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