RECAP: Eagles End United’s Unbeaten Season, Wildcats Dull Blades

The Kalamazoo Eagles upset Kalamazoo United Wednesday evening 4-3 to end United’s undefeated season, followed by a 6-4 Mattawan victory over the Southwest Michigan Blades.

In the first game, the Eagles took control quickly, scoring after 1:40 on a James Wressel goal, assisted by Blake Jarrett.   Wressel returned the favor, setting up Jarrett for another goal about five minutes later, giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead that they took into the first break.

United very rapidly tied the game in the second period, as Noel Cavey scored 63 seconds into the period, followed by a Nathan Carr about two minutes later.   Only 63 seconds after Carr’s goal, Cartey Maxey tallied a shorthanded goal for the Eagles, pushing back ahead 3-2.

That score held until the start of the third, where 24 seconds into the period, Quentin Cerruti tied the game once more, thanks to a powerplay goal.   Within the next two minutes, the Eagles again reclaimed the lead, using a David Kiel powerplay goal.  They then held off United for the final 15 minutes to avenge a brutal 9-2 defeat against United back in December.  It puts the Eagles at 2-3-1 in SWMHSHL play and drops United to 5-1 in league play and 12-1-1 overall.

In the second game of the evening, the Mattawan Wildcats topped the Southwest Michigan Blades for the second time this season, winning 6-4.  Early penalties put the Blades behind the eight-ball, setting up a Ben Berkowitz powerplay goal in the first five minutes of play.   Berkowitz scored again during 4-on-4 play a few minutes later, followed by a Jeff Kirkendall powerplay strike not long after, for a 3-0 Mattawan lead at the first break.

The Blades fought back, scoring five minutes into the second thanks to Jaxon Dobrolowski.  With 3:42 left in the period, Alex Ploehn pushed the Blades back within one.  But the Wildcats scored twice in the final three minutes, within 20 seconds of each other, to grab a 5-2 lead at the second intermission.  Kirkendall scored his second, followed by a powerplay goal by Jake Kruzich.

Only 26 seconds into the third period, Brad Kolinski gave Mattawan a 6-2 lead, a hole too big to climb out of.  Dobrowski and Ploehn both got their second goals late in the third, the former on a powerplay and the latter shorthanded, but it was too little, too late.

Mattawan sits at the top of the SWMHSHL standings with 13 points at 6-1-1; they’re 9-5-1 overall.  The Blades are 12-7-1 overall and 2-4 in league play, fifth now after getting jumped by the Eagles.    All six league teams play Friday and Saturday against non-league opponents as part of Hockey Weekend Across America.  The full list of games can be found here.   You can listen back to both of Wednesday’s games on the Slocum Sports Network below:

KALAMAZOO EAGLES VS KALAMAZOO UNITED

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MATTAWAN VS SWM BLADES

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