The Cleveland Crunch traveled to Omaha this weekend to take on the Kings in back-to-back matches. With the Crunch holding a 7-1 record and the Kings not far behind at 6-1, tensions were high as both teams battled for the top spot in the MLIS league standings. 

Here's a recap of the weekend's action:

Crunch Falls Short to Omaha in PK Shootout:

Friday's matchup between the Cleveland Crunch and Omaha Kings had fans on the edge of their seats from start to finish. Despite an early lead by Omaha's Andy Rodriguez, quickly equalized by the Crunch's Sami Mutemwa, the Kings managed to edge ahead once again with a goal from Leonides Mejia. However, the Crunch fought back, with Antonio Manfut, the team’s head coach, who made his debut as a player for the Crunch this season, equalized the score at 2-2.

Ryan Minick's goal in the second briefly gave Cleveland the lead, but Omaha's David Rojas leveled the score once more. In the third period, the Crunch took the lead again with two goals from Manfut, going up 5-4. Admir Suljevic further extended the lead in the fourth, only for the Kings to equalize at 6-6. Despite a tense overtime, Omaha emerged victorious in a PK shootout, out scoring Cleveland 2-0.

Crunch Secures the Win:

Saturday's showdown saw the Cleveland Crunch return to the field with determination. After a goalless first quarter, Mikey Derezic broke the stalemate with a goal for the Crunch five minutes into the second quarter. Despite the Kings' efforts, goals from Antonio Manfut and Admir Suljevic gave the Crunch a 3-2 lead heading into half-time.

As the game progressed, the Crunch continued to dominate offensively. Goals from Derezic, Suljevic and Manfut extended Cleveland’s lead to 6-3, heading into the fourth quarter. Despite a strong effort from the Kings, another goal from Manfut and a crucial PK save from Connor Robinson secured the 7-4 victory for the Crunch. 

Following this significant win, the Cleveland Crunch remain in the top spot in the MLIS League standings, now holding an 8-2 record, with the Omaha Kings trailing closely behind at 7-2. Connor Robinson earned the MetroHealth ‘Man of the Match’ honors in Saturday’s win with 13 saves. 

Cleveland heads to Lima Saturday, March 23 to take on the Ohio Extreme at the Apex Sports Zone. Kick off is at 7:00 PM EST.