Kalamazoo United added a Southwest Michigan High School Hockey League (SWMHSHL) tournament championship to their accolades Saturday, defeating last season’s champion Mattawan 3-2. It’s first ever tournament title for United, added with their first ever regular season crown grabbed earlier this month.
The lone goal of the first period came with 3:02 remaining when Noel Cavey put it in on the powerplay, giving United a 1-0 lead. Mattawan killed off a five minute boarding major midway through the second period, but right after the penalty, defenseman Eric Smith tallied his first goal of the season for a two-goal United advantage. That advantage lasted all of seven seconds as Ben Berkowitz took off after the faceoff and buried it to put the score at 2-1 into the second break.
United regained a two-goal lead with 14:48 left in the third period on a score by Dominic Monendo and held the two-goal advantage into the final two minutes. With the goalie pulled, Ben Berkowitz put the Wildcats back within one with 1:24 remaining. However, KU goal Mitch Kihm held firm and delivered the tournament title to United. Jacob Remelius had two assists for United, Jake Kruzich grabbed two assists for Mattawan.
United moves to 21-1-1 overall with Mattawan dropping to 11-11-2. Both teams have one week of regular season play prior to state tournament play. United travels to Northview Wednesday night, then hosts a very strong Gabriel Richard squad Saturday at 1:30. Mattawan ends their regular season Saturday at home at 6 p.m. versus Grandville.
Listen back to the tournament championship below. In consolation games Saturday, Portage Central beat Portage Northern 6-3 and the Kalamazoo Eagles downed the Southwest Michigan Blades 3-1.
Following the game, season awards were given out with KU well represented. Cavey and Remelius split the league MVP award with Kihm earning goalie of the year. Coach of the year went to Tyler Eddy of the Blades. All-league teams are below:
G- Mitch Kihm (Kalamazoo United)
D- David Kiel (Kalamazoo Eagles)
D- Jacob Remelius (Kalamzoo United)
F- Noel Cavey (Kalamazoo United)
F- Jeff Kirkendall (Mattawan)
F- Max Mones (Portage Central)
G- Zac Hattan (SWM Blades)
D- Brad Kolinski (Mattawan)
D- Kobe Vincent (Portage Central)
F- Evan Wilson (SWM Blades)
F- Ben Berkowitz (Mattawan)
F- Quentin Cerutti (Kalamazoo United)