PREVIEW: United Plays Blades for Top Spot, Mustangs Meet Eagles

12-13 hockey

Listen live online Wednesday on the Slocum Sports Network to a high school hockey doubleheader from Wings West.   Up first at 5:30 p.m., the Blades of Southwest Michigan play Kalamazoo United.  Around 7:45 p.m., the Portage Central Mustangs face the Kalamazoo Eagles.

The Blades and United are the only unbeaten teams remaining within SWMHSHL play.  The Blades are 2-0-0 with a 3-1 win over Portage Central and a 4-3 victory over Mattawan.   United’s lone league game was a 4-1 victory against the Eagles.

Overall, the Blades are 8-4-0 with a 1-3 mark over the weekend at the Cornfield Cup tournament in Culver, Indiana.   United is 1-3-0 overall, falling 10-3 at Northview Saturday.   United won both meetings against the Blades last season, 6-1 and 5-4.  The last Blade win over United was in the SWMHSHL tournament in February 2015.

In the second game, both the Eagles and Mustangs are trying to get their first SWMHSHL win.  The Eagles are 1-5-0 overall and 0-3-0 in league play, while Portage Central is 1-4-0 overall and 0-2-0 in the SWMHSHL.    Both teams got their lone win to date over Kenowa Hills.   Portage Central won both meetings over the Eagles last season, 6-4 and 4-1.    The Mustangs have won their last seven games over the Eagles, with the last Eagle win coming in February 2014.

Listen to both games live online on the Slocum Sports Network with United/Blades at 5:30 p.m. and PC/Eagles around 7:45 p.m.

RECAP: Portage Northern Claims Canoe Trophy in Rotary Classic

Digital Camera
Portage Northern defeated Portage Central 4-1 Monday evening in the 14th annual Portage Rotary Hockey Classic at Wings Event Center, giving them the canoe trophy for only the third time in 14 tries.  It is the first Husky win in the canoe series since 2013, giving the seven Portage Northern seniors their first canoe in their final try.

Despite the three-goal final difference, the Huskies didn’t hold the lead until a Will Todd snipe put them ahead 2-1 with 2:11 remaining.   Listen to the goal below:

Portage Northern had 15 shots to Portage Central’s eight in the first period, but the Mustangs entered the first intermission ahead 1-0 on a goal by Erek Decker with 56 seconds left.    The Huskies evened the game with 3:17 remaining in the second period with a Koty Meadmore goal.

The game stayed at 1-1 until Todd’s goal with 2:11 to go in the third period.   Right off the next face off, the Mustangs committed a holding penalty, severely hampering any hope at a response.   With 55 seconds left, Quentin Roseboom delivered the rare empty net powerplay goal for a 3-1 lead.   To leave no doubt, the Huskies added one more 23 seconds later, courtesy of Connor Sorge.

Sophomore goalie Peter Todd had 23 saves for Portage Northern with his sophomore counterpart Bryan Gracey turning away 34 shots for the Mustangs.   The Huskies improve to 3-6-0 overall and 2-1-0 in SWMHSHL play.   They return to action at the Jenison Invite over the weekend, their first game is Friday at 6:30 p.m. against Bryon Center.   Portage Central falls to 1-4-0 overall and 0-2-0 in league play.   They meet the Kalamazoo Eagles at Wings West Wednesday at 7:45 p.m. in a game that can be heard on the Slocum Sports Network.

Listen back to Monday’s game below:   Click here for the Box Score.   Click here to see the Huskies celebrate with the canoe. 

PREVIEW: Kalamazoo Central Girls Host St. Joseph in Potential District Preview

12-12 basketball
PROGRAMMING NOTE:  This game has been moved to Wednesday due to snow.   Unfortunately, we will not be able to broadcast it due to prior commitments. 

Listen live online Tuesday around 7 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network as Kalamazoo Central hosts St. Joseph in girls basketball.   These teams are district foes once again and have met in the district tournament three consecutive seasons.  All three were won by Kalamazoo Central, including a 61-51 final last season at Portage Northern.

In their regular season meeting last December, St. Joseph was a 63-60 winner on their home court.  The Bears also won the regular season meeting two years ago at K-Central 63-44.

So far this season, the Maroon Giants have played once, a 63-26 win over Loy Norrix Saturday.   The Bears dropped their opener 40-38 at Harper Creek, but sit at 3-1 after wins against Portage Northern (45-13), Edwardsburg (40-37), and Lakeshore (53-29).

Listen live to Tuesday’s game online on the Slocum Sports Network with tip-off around 7 p.m., from Kalamazoo Central, pending the JV result.

PREVIEW: Mustangs and Huskies Compete For the Canoe

12-11 hockey
Listen live online Monday at 6:30 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network to the 14th annual Portage Rotary Hockey Classic from the Wings Event Center.  The winner of this game gets to hold the canoe trophy, which defending champion Portage Central has done 11 times in 13 chances.  Portage Northern’s only victories came in 2013 and 2010.

It is the first 2017-18 season meeting between Portage Central and Portage Northern, who met five times last season.   On the ice, the Mustangs won all four regular season meetings, although one game was later ruled a forfeit in favor of the Huskies.  Last season’s canoe game was a 6-4 Portage Central win, led by a Max Mones hat-trick and a five-point effort from Konnor McLeod.   Portage Northern ended up with the last laugh, winning their Pre-Regional postseason meeting 5-2.

So far this season, Portage Northern is 2-6-0 overall and Portage Central is 1-3-0.   The Huskies are 1-1-0 in SWMHSHL play, getting their first league win Wednesday 7-5 over the Kalamazoo Eagles.   The Mustangs fell in their lone league meeting to date, a 3-1 loss to the Blades of Southwest Michigan on November 22.

Listen live to Monday’s game online on the Slocum Sports Network with puck drop at 6:30 p.m. from the main arena at Wings Event Center.

RECAP: Hackett Defeats Class D Finalist Buckley 63-59

Digital Camera

After 26 lead changes, the Hackett Catholic boys basketball team emerged victorious Saturday afternoon at Kalamazoo College, beating Class D finalist Buckley 63-59.   It’s the second time this year the Irish have gotten the better of the Bears, as Hackett topped them 3-1 in the Division 4 soccer semifinal back in November.

Neither team led by more than four points.  Hackett held the lead at the end of the first quarter, 15-14.   At halftime, the game was tied at 28.   The Bears claimed a 46-43 advantage into the third quarter  Free throws and fouls ended up playing a big role down the stretch as the Bears lost one of their six-man rotation.  The Irish were 22-29 at the line, compared to Buckley’s 11-17.

Cooper Smith led Hackett with 23 points, including 9-13 at the foul line.  Heath Baldwin was next for the Irish at 14 points, nine of his points came in the third quarter.  Casey Gallagher had 11.  Austin Harris topped the Bears at 15 points.  Next in line were Joey Weber with 13 and Brock Beeman with 11.   Denver Cade, who led Buckley with around 21 per game last season, was held to nine.

The win puts Hackett at 2-0, joining their 62-22 win Friday over Lawton.   They return to action Tuesday at home against Wyoming Potter’s House Christian.   Buckley starts the season 0-1, their first regular season loss since March 1, 2016.   They begin Northwest Conference play Tuesday at Onekama.

Listen back to Saturday’s game below:

HACKETT SCORING: Cooper Smith 23, Heath Baldwin 14, Casey Gallagher 11, Brennan Creek 8, Jacob Niesen 4, Aidan Gillig 3

BUCKLEY SCORING: Austin Harris 15, Joey Weber 13, Brock Beeman 11, Denver Cade 9, Ridge Beeman 6, Tyler Francisco 5

RECAP: Schoolcraft Boys Win Opener, Girls to 4-0 with Sweep of Delton Kellogg

Digital Camera

Schoolcraft’s Trenton Lomason (#12) scored 23 points in their victory

Schoolcraft claimed both parts of a varsity doubleheader at home Friday, defeating Delton Kellogg 71-33 in boys action and 58-40 in girls play.   The Eagles took their first SAC Valley division contests with big scoring efforts from Lydia Goble and Trenton Lomason, getting 28 and 23 points, respectively.

The boys game was never in doubt, with a 26-6 score by the end of the first quarter and a 51-16 mark at halftime.   Lomason, a transfer over the summer from Vicksburg, hit seven three-pointers.  Kobe Clark and Riley Piper both scored 12 points.   Delton Kellogg’s best was 11 by Josh Lyons.  It was Schoolcraft’s first game of the season, meanwhile DK drops to 0-2.

The Panthers opened the girls game with a three-pointer, then surrendered a 10-0 run to Schoolcraft.   Delton Kellogg got back within four by the end of the first quarter and briefly reclaimed the lead in the second, but the Eagles carried a 27-15 advantage into halftime.   The Panthers narrowly won the third quarter 19-16, but Schoolcraft put the contest out of reach in the fourth.

Goble’s 28 point effort featured six three-pointers.  Kennedy Leighton added 12 in the victory.   Lillian Howard topped Delton Kellogg with 13 points.   Schoolcraft’s girls improve to 4-0 with Delton Kellogg dropping to 2-1.

Both the Delton Kellogg boys and girls return to action at Hackett Catholic next Friday.  The Schoolcraft girls hope to avenge their volleyball regional final defeat Tuesday at Bronson.   The Eagle boys and girls both host Lawton Friday.

Listen back to Friday’s games below:

GIRLS

BOYS

SCHOOLCRAFT GIRLS SCORING: Lydia Goble 28, Kennedy Leighton 12, Gabi Saxman 9, Anna Schuppel 4, Adrienne Rosey 3, Olivia Ingle 2

DELTON KELLOGG GIRLS SCORING: Lillian Howard 13, Caylin Lopez 7, Abby Howard 6, Erin Kapteyn 5, Sam Mohn 3, Emily Shepard 2, Victoria Green 2, Lexi Parsons 2

SCHOOLCRAFT BOYS SCORING: Trenton Lomason 23, Kobe Clark 12, Riley Piper 12, Jakob Huysken 9, Bryce VanderWiere 6, Austin Webb 4, Brice Walther 3, Brady Flynn 2

DELTON KELLOGG BOYS SCORING: Josh Lyons 11, Shane Reinhart 8, Cole Pape 7, Brock Pape 2, Alex Diggs 2, Joel Lopez 2, Cameron Rasler 1

PREVIEW: Hackett Catholic Battles Buckley at K-College in Marquee Boys Contest

12-9 basketball

Listen live Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network as the Hackett Catholic Irish meet the Buckley Bears in boys basketball from Kalamazoo College.  These programs combined for 45 victories last season and this game should serve as a playoff-level test to start the season.   Located about two-and-a-half hours apart, these schools first became acquainted back on November 1st with Hackett defeating Buckley 3-1 in the Division 4 soccer state semifinal.

Hackett was a Class C quarterfinalist two seasons ago in boys basketball.  The Irish went 19-2 last season, eliminated by conference rival Kalamazoo Christian in the district tournament.   Hackett returns 10 players from last year’s varsity team, including two guys who averaged double-digit points per game in Cooper Smith and Heath Baldwin.   Saturday will be Hackett’s second game of the season, as they open at conference foe Lawton Friday.

Buckley finished last season 26-1, only losing in the Class D state championship game 78-69 to Powers North Central.   The Bears return all six players who scored in their first  state final appearance.    Averaging double-digit points per game last season were Denver Cade, Austin Harris, and Joe Weber.   Saturday’s game will be Buckley’s 2017-18 opener.

Listen live to Saturday’s game online on the Slocum Sports Network with tip-off scheduled for 1 p.m. from the Anderson Athletic Center at Kalamazoo College.

PREVIEW: Schoolcraft and Delton Kellogg Start SAC Valley Play

12-8 basketball

Listen live online Friday on the Slocum Sports Network to boys and girls varsity basketball as the Schoolcraft Eagles host the Delton Kellogg Panthers.   On both sides, it is the first test of the season within the always strong Southwestern Athletic Conference (SAC) Valley division.   The girls varsity is scheduled for a tip-off around 6 p.m. with the boys to follow around 7:30 p.m.

Both girls teams are unbeaten on the young season with Schoolcraft at 3-0 and Delton Kellogg at 2-0.   For the Eagles, they’ve won their games by 18, 18, and 19, trying to build off the 20-6 state quarterfinal run of last season.   Delton Kellogg took their opening games by 25 and 19.   Although the Panther girls were 8-13 last season, each of their all-SAC selections from last season return.

On the boys side, Delton Kellogg is 0-1, dropping their opener 64-39 Tuesday against a very strong Wyoming Kelloggsville team.  For Schoolcraft, Friday’s game will be their debut.   Both teams will need to replace more than two-thirds of their scoring output from last season.   The Panthers finished 14-8 in 2016-17, the Eagles went 22-2.

The Schoolcraft boys and girls both swept Delton Kellogg last season.   The Eagle boys rolled the Panthers 88-48 the first time, followed by a 69-29 score in the rematch.  The girls saw a 62-31 Schoolcraft win in game one and a 48-30 score in game two.   Delton Kellogg last beat Schoolcraft in girls play on February 17, 2015.   For the boys, Schoolcraft has won 19 consecutive meetings according to scores available back to the 2008-09 campaign.

Listen live to Friday’s games online on the Slocum Sports Network. The girls varsity is set for 6 p.m. with the boys to follow around 7:30.

PREVIEW: WMU Stallions Head to Davenport

12-7 hockey
The Western Michigan Stallions head north Thursday and Saturday for Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League (GLCHL) action against Davenport University.   Both games can be seen live via the Davenport Athletics Network with Thursday’s game around 9 p.m. and Saturday’s around 3:30 p.m.   Both squads are around the .500 mark overall.

The Stallions enter the series with a 9-11-1 overall record, although in GLCHL games, they are 1-7-0-0, eighth out of nine teams with three points.   They began December play last weekend at Kent State, falling 3-2 and 7-1 against the Golden Flashes.   In the latest ACHA Division 1 computer rankings, the Stallions are 30th, needing wins to make up ground for one of the coveted top 20 spots needed for a national tournament berth.

Davenport is currently inside that top 20 narrowly, holding the 18th spot with an 8-8-0 record.    Within GLCHL play, they are 3-2-0-0, placing them fourth with 11 points.    The Panthers have only taken to the ice once post-Thanksgiving, a 7-1 win last Saturday over Eastern Michigan.

Davenport won both meetings over the Stallions last season, 10-2 and 5-1.   Two seasons ago, the Panthers won thrice, 4-3, 4-3 (OT), and 6-2.   The last Western Michigan victories against Davenport came in September 2014.

Both games can be seen live via the Davenport Athletics Network with Thursday’s game around 9 p.m. and Saturday’s around 3:30 p.m.

 

RECAP: Blades Snap Long Losing Streak to Mattawan with Overtime Winner, Huskies Down Eagles

Digital Camera

Alex Ploehn (#23) scored the overtime goal and the third period tying goal for the Blades

The Blades of Southwest Michigan defeated Mattawan 4-3 in the final minute of overtime and Portage Northern topped the Kalamazoo Eagles 7-5 in Wednesday’s SWMHSHL doubleheader at Wings West.   The Blades’ victory snapped at least a 16-game, six-season losing streak to Mattawan, based on the SWMHSHL website’s scores dating back to the 2011-12 season.    Team captain Alex Ploehn had the game winner on a five-on-three powerplay with 33 seconds remaining.

The Blades scored their first goal within the first two minutes from Parker Lawrence, but Mattawan would respond three minutes later with a Sam Puzevic goal.  Midway through the period, the Blades earned two quick minor penalties, allowing for a Jason Moreau powerplay goal and a 2-1 Wildcat lead.   The score stayed 2-1 through the second period, despite the Blades getting four chances at the powerplay.

With 10:41 remaining in the third period, Mattawan took a 3-1 lead on a Zach Wiggins score.   Less than a minute later, Blaine Shafer matched it for the Blades.   The Wildcats picked up another penalty shortly thereafter and on their fifth powerplay of the game, Ploehn scored with 7:23 to go.

The game went to overtime tied at 3-3.  The penalty bug would bite Mattawan again, picking up a major and minor about a minute apart, giving the Blades a five-on-three for the final part of the extra period.   Once again, the senior team captain from Lakeview Ploehn found the back of the net.

Ploehn finished with three points, also getting an assist.  Mattawan’s Wiggins also had three points with his goal and two assists.  Blade goalie Zac Hattan was credited with 26 saves, Mattawan’s Shaffer Moore had 27.   The Blades improve to 7-1-0 overall and 2-0-0 within SWMHSHL play.  Mattawan falls to 2-4-1 overall and 2-1-0 in the league.

In the other game, the Eagles struck first on a Jimmy Wressel goal only 76 seconds into the game.  Portage Northern’s Will Todd responded just over a minute later to even things.  Griffin McLeod and Quentin Roseboom both found the back of the net to put the Huskies up 3-1 at the first intermission.

Dylan Ruggles made it a three-goal game early in the second, followed by Roseboom’s second goal midway through the frame, this one on the powerplay, for a 5-1 Husky advantage.  However, the Eagles scored thrice in the final 5:10 of the second on goals by Zachary Pernie, Wressel, and Colin Mehren, putting the score at 5-4.

Portage Northern added more cushion with quick third period goals from Grant Ernst and Connor Sorge.    Wressel earned a hat-trick on a powerplay goal with 9:36 remaining, but the Eagles couldn’t get any closer than the 7-5 final.   Connor Sorge had three points, adding two assists to his goal.   Wressel added one assist to his hat-trick, Mehren also had four points with three assists.   Portage Northern improves to 1-1-0 in SWMHSHL play and 2-5-0 overall, the Eagles fall to 0-3-0 in the league and 1-5-0 overall.

The Huskies play Saline Saturday at 2:25 p.m. from Lawson Ice Arena.   The Eagles meet Portage Central next Wednesday at Wings West.   The Blades head to Indiana over the weekend for the Cornfield Cup at the Culver Academies.   Mattawan hosts Detroit Country Day at Wings West Friday.

Listen back to Wednesday’s games here:

BLADES VS MATTAWAN – BOX SCORE

PORTAGE NORTHERN VS EAGLES (PART 1) – BOX SCORE

PART 2