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:
HUSKIES VS EAGLES
UNITED VS MUSTANGS