PREVIEW: United/Hudsonville, Portage Central/Northern Meet Wednesday

hockey-1-11Listen Wednesday online through the Slocum Sports Network to another high school hockey doubleheader from Wings West.  The action starts at 5:15 p.m. with non-conference play between Kalamazoo United and the Hudsonville Eagles.   Following that at 7:30 p.m., it’s a cross-town and conference battle between Portage Central and Portage Northern.

Kalamazoo United is off to an impressive 10-0-1 start, as they return almost their entire roster from last year’s 13-14 team.   They sit at the top of the SWMHSHL at 5-0 and hit the ice for their first game of the new calendar year Wednesday against a team they beat twice last year (7-3 and 7-1) in Hudsonville.

Like United, Hudsonville looks to be improved from a season ago, where they finished 8-16-2.   They’re 6-4 this season with all four losses decided by only one goal against teams holding a winning record.   Both teams have a player averaging more than a goal per game; Noel Cavey for United (14) and Nate McDaid for Hudsonville (17).

The second contest of the evening features cross-town and conference foes with the Portage Central Mustangs against the Portage Northern Huskies.   They’ve already met twice this season with both wins going to the Mustangs.   They played their first conference game on December 12 (6-4), then met in a non-conference contest five days later (4-3) in the Jenison tournament.

After a slow 0-5 start, Portage Central has gone 4-2 since for a 4-7 overall record.  Having played each conference opponent once, they’re 2-3 in SWMHSHL play, tied for third with the Southwest Michigan Blades.   Portage Northern is the lone team without a SWMHSHL win yet at 0-4.  At 3-8 overall, they just snapped a lengthy losing streak with their most lopsided victory of the year Saturday,  a 6-1 win at Okemos.

Listen to both contests Wednesday online via the Slocum Sports Network.   Kalamazoo United vs Hudsonville is scheduled for a 5:15 p.m. start with Portage Northern and Portage Central at 7:30 p.m.

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