Daily Pilot Cup: Pegasus soars in opener

Daily Pilot

COSTA MESA — Scott Niedermayer was easy to miss Tuesday afternoon at the Costa Mesa Farm Sports Complex.

The NHL veteran defenseman is a four-time Stanley Cup winner, two-time Olympic gold medal winner and Anaheim Ducks team captain. He is one of two coaches on the Pegasus School third- and fourth-grade silver division team at the Daily Pilot Cup.

On the soccer field with sunglasses on, Niedermayer can be more incognito while he watches his son, Jackson, play on the pitch.

"I'm not as famous out here," he said.

What was crystal clear, though, was Pegasus' scoring ability in its tournament opener, a 5-0 rout of St. John The Baptist.

Pegasus' Robert Gerschultz did the most damage, scoring four of the five goals and assisting on the other one scored by Jackson Niedermayer. Gerschultz was everywhere in the first half, helping the Thunder get a 4-0 halftime lead, including a score off a corner kick after the ball was bobbled by the St. John's goalie.

After Gerschultz scored again early in the second half, Pegasus had to avoid scoring again, or incur a point penalty for a final margin of victory over five goals. As it was, Pegasus earned 10 points: six for a win, three for scoring three or more goals and another point for a shutout.

"We actually practiced what we called 'keep away,' " Pegasus Coach Jeff Goffman said. "We've got to keep the ball on the other side of the field, but we also have to control it so they don't have any shots on goal. It's funny because we practiced 'keep away,' and we had to use it."

Max Goffman and Jackson Niedermayer shared goalie duties for Pegasus, and Darius Shayan-Smith and Drake Mossman shored up the defense.

For St. John, second half goalie Kieron Ahn was active and made five saves. Coach Lynn Verde also highlighted the play of forward Kyle Alfaro and Marco Rimicci.

Pegasus School was too strong, though. Niedermayer would be happy if he could help guide the team to a championship, like he did Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

"He's awesome," said Pegasus team member Wills Cook, who had some impressive boots down the field himself. "We're very lucky that we have him. He knows how to be in charge of a team."

Pegasus plays its second and final pool-play game at 5:45 p.m. Friday, against Kaiser at Costa Mesa High.

St. John is back in action at 3:30 p.m. today, also against Kaiser at Farm field No. 4.

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