Monthly Archives: January, 2017

PREVIEW: Ostego (8-5) vs Pennfield (7-4) in Boys Basketball

bb-1-31Listen Tuesday evening on the Slocum Sports Network as the Pennfield Panthers host the Otsego Bulldogs in boys basketball.

For the Panthers, they enter at 7-4, trying to build off of their 12-9 mark from last season.  They sit at fourth in the Interstate 8 Conference standings, with their four losses coming to the three teams in front of them, including a 73-55 defeat to Parma Western on Friday.  Pennfield is averaging 63.8 points per game while allowing 60.5 a contest.   If they defeat Otsego, it would be their second victory of the season over a team .500, along with the 85-83 overtime win against Olivet in their season opener.

As for Otsego, they’re seemingly back to where they’re used to being.  Last season’s 3-18 mark was a stark departure from the 20+ wins of the previous two campaigns.  The Bulldogs are 8-5 thus far and are tied for third in the Wolverine Conference North Division.  They lost to league-leading South Haven 59-51 on Friday.   Three of Otsego’s wins are over teams with winning records, including over Pennfield’s conference rival, Marshall.   The Bulldogs are averaging 66.3 points per game and allowing 54.1 a game through 13 contests.

This matchup was recently established in boys basketball.   One year ago, it went to Pennfield, winning on the road over Otsego 66-57 on January 5, 2016.    Listen to Tuesday’s game on the Slocum Sports Network with a scheduled tip-off of 7 p.m., pending the JV game.

Full Day of Hockey Ends on Buzzer-Beating Winner by Portage Central

0128172119The third and final contest Saturday at Wings West was the most dramatic as Kobe Vincent scored with 0.4 remaining to deliver a 2-1 win for Portage Central over Mattawan in the 15th annual Renbarger Cup game.  In the earlier games in the fifth annual Youth Hockey Fights For Kids with Autism event, Kalamazoo United defeated Portage Northern 7-3 and the Southwest Michigan Blades topped the Kalamazoo Eagles 4-3.

In the final game, it stayed scoreless until 13:08 remained in the second period on an unassisted Mattawan goal by Ben Berkowitz.  With 24 seconds left in the second, Max Mones deflected a shot from Erek Decker to tie the game on the powerplay at 1-1.    Both teams had powerplays and chances, but both defenses and goaltenders held firm, keeping the score at 1-1 until the final second of regulation.   At 0.4, senior defenseman Kobe Vincent put it over the left shoulder for the Portage Central victory.

Listen to the final moments here:

The victory puts Portage Central at 7-12 overall and 4-4 in SWMHSHL play, good for third in the standings.  Mattawan falls to 10-7-1 overall and 6-2-1 in league play.   The win ends a two-year losing streak for the Mustangs against the Wildcats.   Mattawan had beaten them 6-1 this season and won thrice last year, including in the league championship.

In the first game of the evening, Kalamazoo United moved to the top spot in the league standings, improving to 7-1 in league and 17-1-1 overall thanks to a 7-3 win against Portage Northern.   The loss dropped the Huskies to 5-14 overall and 1-7 in league.

United gained a 2-0 lead after the first period thanks to goals by Topher Strunk and Noel Cavey.  Nathan Carr added to the lead in the second, but Eli Cartier was able to keep it from getting out of hand for the Huskies.  He scored to make it 3-1, then scored again following Cavey’s second goal for a 4-2 score at the second intermission.  Hunter Taplin put United back up by three within a minute of the third, but Griffin McLeod’s shot from center ice two minutes later made it a two-goal game once again.   From there, United clamped down and scored twice in the final three minutes; Cavey getting his third, followed by the first high school goal from freshman Jack Kirschensteiner.

Following that in the second game of the evening, the Blades of Southwest Michigan took the 12th annual Rivalry Cup game over the Kalamazoo Eagles 4-3.  The Eagles started ahead with two goals in the first five minutes, coming from David Kiel and Blake Jarrett.   The Blades tied the game up by the break on scores from Evan Sampson and Alex Ploehn.   The Eagles scored on the powerplay thanks to Zachary Blackwell early in the second, but Jaxon Dobrolowski used a shorthanded goal to tie the game up again.

It remained tied at 3-3 until 8:09 remained in the third when the Blades scored shorthanded again, this time from Dominic Buentello.  The Blades kept the score at 4-3 from there despite a messy third period which saw ejections for two players from each squad.   The win avenges a 1-0 loss to the Eagles from earlier in the year, putting the Blades at 15-7-1 overall and 3-4 in league play, good for fourth.   The Eagles drop to fifth at 2-5-1 in league play and 7-11-1 overall.

League play resumes Wednesday at Wings West with Portage Northern hosting the Blades at 5:30, followed by the Eagles and Portage Central at 7:45.   Next Saturday, Portage Northern hosts Lowell/Caledonia at 2:15, followed by the Eagles and Marysville at 4:30 and the Blades against United at 6:45.   Meanwhile, Mattawan hits the road for two non-conference games over the weekend, against Cadillac Friday and Big Rapids Saturday.

Listen back to all three games from Saturday night below:




RECAP: #20 Rochester Beats WMU Stallions 7-6

Like their previous ten meetings, the Western Michigan Stallions and 20th-ranked Rochester College played a one-goal game Friday.   Unlike their previous five meetings, Rochester won, defeating the Stallions at Lawson Ice Arena 7-6.   It was a tight game and very clean, other than the scrapping right at the game’s conclusion.

Rochester had the game’s first goal with 16:27 on the clock in the first period thanks to Chris Williford.   With 9:14 left, Wyatt Ford evened things up.  But 30 seconds later, Joe Swenson put the Warriors back ahead and they held the lead into the break.

With 15:18 remaining in the second, Zach Mudge’s 20th goal of the season tied the game for the Stallions.  With 12:22 left, Ford scored off a great assist by Christian Sana, giving Western Michigan its first lead of the game.   At 11:21 on the clock, we had the game’s first penalty and three seconds later, a howitzer from Mike DiFranco evened the game at 3-3.

With seven minutes left, Colin Schieman reclaimed the lead for WMU, but the game’s second penalty led to Rochester’s second powerplay goal, coming from Ryan Jaros with 2:29 in the period, to tie the game at 4-4 after two.   Rochester ended the period on the powerplay and only two seconds after it ended, 32 seconds into the third period, Josh Foster deflected a Dakota Olvin shot to push the Warriors ahead 5-4.

At 13:01 remaining, Niko Michos scored for the Stallions to tie things at 5-5.  With 9:26 remaining, poor positioning by Stallion goalie Myles Madden allowed Jacob Burford to score a weak one to give the lead back to Rochester.   But the lead was short lived, as Mudge fed Brandon Grillo with 8:29 left to even the game once again.

In the final four minutes, Western Michigan got its first powerplay of the game.   However, a turnover led to a decisive short-handed goal by Brandon Mezuk with 2:40 on the clock.   The Stallions couldn’t even things up before the final horn and immediately after said horn, a couple of players began to fight.   Even Rochester goalie Zakk Olvin got into the scrap, going after Mudge following Mudge’s confrontation with Zakk’s brother Dakota with four seconds to go, which had prompted a penalty against Rochester.  The evening ended with Stallion forward Zachary Roberts getting helped off the ice after a scuffle with Shawn Adam.
The defeat drops Western Michigan to 13-13-1-1 overall and 3-8-1-0 in GLCHL play.   Rochester improves to 16-9-1-1  and 7-4 in league play.  They’ll have a short amount of time to diffuse the tempers, meeting on Rochester’s home ice in Macomb Saturday at 1:30 p.m.   It will be the fourth meeting this season between the two; the Stallions won both meetings of a home-and-home back in October.

Listen back to Friday’s contest here:

PREVIEW: WMU Stallions Set for #20 Rochester

Listen live Friday on the Slocum Sports Network to ACHA hockey with the Western Michigan Stallions hosting the 20th ranked Rochester College Warriors.   It’s the first game of a home-and-home with WMU hosting Rochester at Lawson Arena in Kalamazoo Friday at 7:30, followed by Saturday’s game at 1:30 from Suburban Ice in Macomb.  Their rivalry has been incredibly competitive as the last ten meetings have all been decided by only one goal.

Both Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League teams are fighting for position in the final month of the season, trying to finish in the top 20 for a trip to Nationals.   Rochester is currently right on the line at #20.   They dropped one spot after losing both games last week of a home-and-home with #4 Davenport, 6-2 and 2-1.   They’re 15-9-1-1 overall and 6-4 in official league games.

For the Stallions, they lost Sunday at Davenport 5-1, but earlier in the weekend swept then 22nd-ranked Indiana Tech with 4-2 and 8-3 finals.   Despite the strong weekend overall, the Stallions only gained one spot in the latest rankings, moving to #27.    Overall, Western Michigan is 13-12-1-1 with a 3-7-1-0 mark in league play.

These teams met for a home-and-home back in October with both games needing overtime.  Western Michigan took both by finals of 4-3, with the game at WMU going to the shootout and the game at Rochester ending in OT on a Corey Siwula powerplay goal.   The Stallions have won the last five meetings between the two teams.  In their four meetings last season, Rochester won the first in October, then dropped the next three.    Two seasons ago, Rochester took three of the four games.

Listen to Friday’s contest on the Slocum Sports Network, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Lawson Arena in Kalamazoo.

RECAP: Huskies Rally for OT Win over Eagles, United Flattens Mustangs

Portage Northern erased a 4-1 hole Wednesday night to get their first SWMHSHL victory of the year, defeating the Kalamazoo Eagles in overtime, 5-4.  In the earlier game, Kalamazoo United mercy ruled Portage Central 8-0.

In the second game, the Eagles scored the game’s first goal shorthanded with 3:04 left in the first period, James Wressel assisted by Carter Maxey.   With 10:46 in the second, the Eagles made it a 2-0 game on a David Kiel powerplay goal, assisted by Nick Burr.

With 8:04 in the second, the Huskies got on the board thanks to Eli Cartier off an assist by Griffin McLeod.   But within the next three minutes, the Eagles had goals from Wressel and Maxey to grab a 4-1 lead into the second break.

After missing opportunities on the powerplay in the first two periods, the Huskies took advantage of Eagle penalties in the third.  With 8:55 left, Cartier scored a powerplay goal with assists from Will Todd and Grant Ernst.  Not even a minute later, they had another powerplay and another goal, this time from Grffin McLeod with 8:19 left.   At 2:04 on the clock, Ernst scored with an assist from Cartier to tie the game and force overtime.

OT only lasted 53 seconds as off a long deflection from the Husky defensive zone, Cartier took off and scored unassisted, grabbing a hat-trick and a 5-4 win for Portage Northern.   They improve to 5-13 overall and get their first league win at 1-6.  The Eagles drop to 7-10-1 overall and 2-4-1 in league play and end a five-game win streak which included the only loss Kalamazoo United has suffered this season.

As for United, they ran by Portage Central 8-0.   Noel Cavey and Hunter Taplin had goals in the first period.   They both struck again in the second on powerplays, along with goals by James Amat and Brenden Warner.   Quentin Cerruti and Jacob Remelius had goals in the third to end the game via the mercy rule.   Cavey finished with six points, adding four assists to his two goals.

United improves to 15-1-1 overall and 6-1 in SWMHSHL play, one point behind Mattawan (who has played one more game) for the league lead.   Portage Central is 6-12 overall and 3-4 in league play, still in third thanks to the Eagles falling to the Huskies.

United will play at the Eastside Stars Friday.   Then Saturday, all six league teams meet in games that can be heard on the Slocum Sports Network.   It’s the Huskies against United at 1:30, the Southwest Michigan Blades and Eagles at 4:15, then the Mustangs and Mattawan at 7.

Listen back to both of Wednesday’s contests below:



PREVIEW: United vs Mustangs, Eagles vs Huskies Wednesday

hockey-1-25Wednesday features another SWMHSHL doubleheader from Wings West on the Slocum Sports Network.   In the first contest at 5:30 p.m., Kalamazoo United meets Portage Central.  After that at 7:45 p.m., the Kalamazoo Eagles meet Portage Northern.

After losing their first game of the season last Wednesday to the Eagles, United bounced back with 9-1 and 5-1 wins over Northview and Jenison in the weekend showcase.  They’re 14-1-1 overall and 5-1, trailing Mattawan (6-1-1) by three points for the league lead.  In their first meeting with Portage Central back on December 7, United won 4-1.   Meanwhile, the Mustangs are 6-11 overall and 3-3 in league play, good for third in the standings.  They split their weekend showcase, defeating Grand Haven 3-1, but falling 5-4 to Davison.

For the other matchup, the Eagles are riding a tide of momentum that started with their 7-7 tie with Mattawan at the start of the month.   Last week, they gave United its first loss, then picked up wins over Cadillac and Grand Rapids Northview as part of the weekend showcase.   Now at 7-9-1, it’s a strong turnaround from a slow 2-9 start to the year.

Even with a win and draw against the top two teams in the league, the Eagles are fourth at 2-3-1 in SWMHSHL play, one point back on Portage Central.  As for Portage Northern, they are the lone winless team in league play at 0-6 entering their first meeting of the season with the Eagles.   The Huskies are 4-13 overall, having lost 3-1 and 8-3 to Okemos and Rockford over the weekend.

Listen to United vs the Mustangs, then the Eagles and Huskies on the Slocum Sports Network.   Game one is scheduled for 5:30 with the second game to follow around 7:45.

RECAP: Schoolcraft Boys Race by Marcellus 88-38

Despite sharing 8-1 records entering Tuesday’s contest at Schoolcraft, the Eagle boys dominated the Marcellus Wildcats en route to a 88-38 win.  Full court defensive pressure gave the Wildcats fits in the first half, leading to a ton of turnovers, many in the back court.  Schoolcraft raced out to a 29-12 lead by the end of the first quarter and a 63-19 score by halftime. Even with decreased pressure, the running clock, and playing reserves, the Eagles still outscored Marcellus in the second half 25-19.

All but one of the 13 dressed Eagles scored with Jason Feddema topping them all with 15, most of which came in the first quarter.  Caleb Eustice added 13 and Ricky Clark had 10.  Despite the 50-point loss, Marcellus actually had the top scorer among all players, 16 by Brandon Clark.

Schoolcraft moves to 9-1 and meets Constantine, who was Marcellus’s lone loss entering the game, on Friday at home.  Marcellus drops to 8-2 and heads to Martin Friday.

Listen back to Tuesday’s game below

PREVIEW: 8-1 Teams Meet as Schoolcraft Hosts Marcellus

bb-1-24Listen on the Slocum Sports Network Tuesday evening to a boys basketball showdown between two schools sitting at 8-1 on the season, as the Schoolcraft Eagles will be hosting the Marcellus Wildcats.

For Marcellus, this is a major turnaround from the 3-18 mark they posted last season.  Their lone loss came in their second game of the season to Constantine (3-6), 60-57.   Since then, they’ve beaten the likes of Howardsville Christian (6-1), and Bloomingdale (6-4).  If they can pull off a win at Schoolcraft, it would easily be their most impressive win yet.   It’s a bad memory for the returning Wildcats, with the Eagles smashing them 60-11 last season.

Schoolcraft’s lone loss came at unbeaten Hackett Catholic two weeks ago, 50-39.  In the newest AP poll, Hackett is the second-best team in Class C.  Like Marcellus, Schoolcraft only has two wins over teams currently above .500, although their most recent game was an impressive 88-48 demolition at 6-2 Delton-Kellogg.   The Eagles are pushing for back-to-back winning seasons, building off a 12-7 mark last season.

Listen to the contest on the Slocum Sports Network with tip off scheduled for 7 p.m. pending JV play.

RECAP: Harper Creek Boys Snap Losing Streak, Beat Three Rivers 64-46

The Harper Creek Beavers boys basketball team defeated the Three Rivers Wildcats at home Monday night 64-46, ending a seven-game losing streak to move to 4-7 overall.  It also ended a four-game winning streak for Three Rivers, putting them at 6-3 overall.

The Wildcats initially built a four-point lead in the first quarter, but the Beavers jumped ahead thanks to eight-straight points by Javian Hodges.  They took a 15-10 lead into the first break.  Harper Creek slightly extended the lead by halftime to seven points at 25-18.   Three Rivers started the third quarter on a 9-1 run and briefly reclaimed the lead.   After a timeout two minutes into the frame, Harper Creek got back ahead and had a five point lead, 42-37, after the third.   From there, the Beavers assumed control.

In only his third game this season, Pennfield transfer Dom Gibson led the Beavers by scoring 15 points.  Three teammates, Hodges, Ryan McCafferty, and Jeremiah Davis, scored 11 points.  Jalen Heivilin topped the Wildcats with 15 points.   Tirrell Hausmanis added 13.

Three Rivers has little time to think about their loss, as they return to action Tuesday at home against Vicksburg.  They then head to Edwardsburg Friday.  The Beavers are off until Friday, when they head to Jackson to meet Northwest.

Listen back to this game below:

PREVIEW: Harper Creek Hosts Three Rivers in Boys Basketball Monday


Listen to high school boys basketball Monday night on the Slocum Sports Network as the Harper Creek Beavers host the Three Rivers Wildcats.

For the Beavers, they’re looking to turn their season around.   After winning their first three games, they’ve dropped seven in a row for a 3-7 record.  It’s been a brutal schedule with six of the seven losses coming to teams above .500 and to their credit, Harper Creek only fell by two-possessions to the likes of Marshall (8-3), Parma Western (10-2), and Pennfield (6-3).

The schedule doesn’t get any easier Monday with Three Rivers sitting at 6-2 on the year.   The Wildcats have won four straight, including an impressive 64-49 victory two weeks ago over Sturgis (8-2).   Both the Beavers and Wildcats posted winning records last season, with the Beavers taking their lone meeting on the road, 67-47.

Listen to the action Monday online via the Slocum Sports Network from Harper Creek High School in Battle Creek.   Tip off is scheduled for around 7 p.m.