Manatee County Hockey Club seeks to get back on track

After starting the season with three straight victories, the Manatee County Hockey Club’s Golden Manatees are in a funk.

The club entered Monday’s action just 1-3 in their last four Lightning Conference matchups.

That leaves the Golden Manatees sitting in fourth place with eight points, four shy of Central Division-leading Freedom, prior to Monday’s games.

As of Monday, the lone win during the current spell came against Plant, who is second in the division. The Golden Manatees trailed 3-1 following the opening period on Nov. 11 in Brandon, as another loss looked imminent.

However, Manatee stormed back to score the next six goals in a 7-3 rout. Raven Woodring capped the effort by completing a hat trick with 4:25 remaining in the third period. Luke Bafia, who leads the team in points, jumpstarted the onslaught in the second period with two consecutive goals.

Bafia, though, wasn’t in action this past Friday when the Golden Manatees dropped an 8-4 decision to division-leading Freedom.

Paul Lochner, the team’s leading goal-scorer, added to his tally early in the third period. However, Freedom slotted four goals in the second period to enter the final frame with a healthy four-goal advantage that was never in doubt.

Clifton Ramey notched goals against both Plant and Freedom. Other goal scorers from the two games include: Dylan Longo (versus Plant), Zachary Facheris (versus Freedom) and Chase Bafia (versus Freedom).

The Golden Manatees hit the ice with a short turnaround from Friday’s action, with a schedule battle against Dunedin/Tarpon/Countryside late Monday.

Manatee’s matchup with the Western Division team finished after press time.

The Golden Manatees square off against local rival Sarasota at the Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex on Wednesday. That matchup is slated for an 8:30 p.m. start and is the final game before the Thanksgiving break for the Florida High School Hockey Association teams.

Harvest Hustle results

Charlie Hurt claimed the overall title at the Harvest Hustle 5K on Saturday, when he became the lone runner to cross the finish line in under 16 minutes.

The 28-year-old clocked in at 15:59 to net the overall and men’s title.

Tara Homick finished 16th overall, but the 36-year-old won the overall female division with a time of 19:54.

Other male winners include: Ricardo Lomas (masters, 16:53); Jamey Murphy (grand master, 20:32); Richard Quevillon (senior grand master, 23:34) and Jack Jacobs (veteran, 28:11).

Other female winners include: Theresa Young (masters, 21:28); Jodi Mailman (grand master, 22:20) and Patty Lyons (senior grand master, 23:10).

The race, in partnership with the Lakewood Ranch Running Club, at Harvest United Methodist Church off Lorraine Road in East Manatee attracted 244 runners that completed the event.

Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at