Category Archives: Hockey

PREVIEW: United Plays Blades for Top Spot, Mustangs Meet Eagles

12-13 hockey

Listen live online Wednesday on the Slocum Sports Network to a high school hockey doubleheader from Wings West.   Up first at 5:30 p.m., the Blades of Southwest Michigan play Kalamazoo United.  Around 7:45 p.m., the Portage Central Mustangs face the Kalamazoo Eagles.

The Blades and United are the only unbeaten teams remaining within SWMHSHL play.  The Blades are 2-0-0 with a 3-1 win over Portage Central and a 4-3 victory over Mattawan.   United’s lone league game was a 4-1 victory against the Eagles.

Overall, the Blades are 8-4-0 with a 1-3 mark over the weekend at the Cornfield Cup tournament in Culver, Indiana.   United is 1-3-0 overall, falling 10-3 at Northview Saturday.   United won both meetings against the Blades last season, 6-1 and 5-4.  The last Blade win over United was in the SWMHSHL tournament in February 2015.

In the second game, both the Eagles and Mustangs are trying to get their first SWMHSHL win.  The Eagles are 1-5-0 overall and 0-3-0 in league play, while Portage Central is 1-4-0 overall and 0-2-0 in the SWMHSHL.    Both teams got their lone win to date over Kenowa Hills.   Portage Central won both meetings over the Eagles last season, 6-4 and 4-1.    The Mustangs have won their last seven games over the Eagles, with the last Eagle win coming in February 2014.

Listen to both games live online on the Slocum Sports Network with United/Blades at 5:30 p.m. and PC/Eagles around 7:45 p.m.

RECAP: Portage Northern Claims Canoe Trophy in Rotary Classic

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Portage Northern defeated Portage Central 4-1 Monday evening in the 14th annual Portage Rotary Hockey Classic at Wings Event Center, giving them the canoe trophy for only the third time in 14 tries.  It is the first Husky win in the canoe series since 2013, giving the seven Portage Northern seniors their first canoe in their final try.

Despite the three-goal final difference, the Huskies didn’t hold the lead until a Will Todd snipe put them ahead 2-1 with 2:11 remaining.   Listen to the goal below:

Portage Northern had 15 shots to Portage Central’s eight in the first period, but the Mustangs entered the first intermission ahead 1-0 on a goal by Erek Decker with 56 seconds left.    The Huskies evened the game with 3:17 remaining in the second period with a Koty Meadmore goal.

The game stayed at 1-1 until Todd’s goal with 2:11 to go in the third period.   Right off the next face off, the Mustangs committed a holding penalty, severely hampering any hope at a response.   With 55 seconds left, Quentin Roseboom delivered the rare empty net powerplay goal for a 3-1 lead.   To leave no doubt, the Huskies added one more 23 seconds later, courtesy of Connor Sorge.

Sophomore goalie Peter Todd had 23 saves for Portage Northern with his sophomore counterpart Bryan Gracey turning away 34 shots for the Mustangs.   The Huskies improve to 3-6-0 overall and 2-1-0 in SWMHSHL play.   They return to action at the Jenison Invite over the weekend, their first game is Friday at 6:30 p.m. against Bryon Center.   Portage Central falls to 1-4-0 overall and 0-2-0 in league play.   They meet the Kalamazoo Eagles at Wings West Wednesday at 7:45 p.m. in a game that can be heard on the Slocum Sports Network.

Listen back to Monday’s game below:   Click here for the Box Score.   Click here to see the Huskies celebrate with the canoe. 

PREVIEW: Mustangs and Huskies Compete For the Canoe

12-11 hockey
Listen live online Monday at 6:30 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network to the 14th annual Portage Rotary Hockey Classic from the Wings Event Center.  The winner of this game gets to hold the canoe trophy, which defending champion Portage Central has done 11 times in 13 chances.  Portage Northern’s only victories came in 2013 and 2010.

It is the first 2017-18 season meeting between Portage Central and Portage Northern, who met five times last season.   On the ice, the Mustangs won all four regular season meetings, although one game was later ruled a forfeit in favor of the Huskies.  Last season’s canoe game was a 6-4 Portage Central win, led by a Max Mones hat-trick and a five-point effort from Konnor McLeod.   Portage Northern ended up with the last laugh, winning their Pre-Regional postseason meeting 5-2.

So far this season, Portage Northern is 2-6-0 overall and Portage Central is 1-3-0.   The Huskies are 1-1-0 in SWMHSHL play, getting their first league win Wednesday 7-5 over the Kalamazoo Eagles.   The Mustangs fell in their lone league meeting to date, a 3-1 loss to the Blades of Southwest Michigan on November 22.

Listen live to Monday’s game online on the Slocum Sports Network with puck drop at 6:30 p.m. from the main arena at Wings Event Center.

PREVIEW: WMU Stallions Head to Davenport

12-7 hockey
The Western Michigan Stallions head north Thursday and Saturday for Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League (GLCHL) action against Davenport University.   Both games can be seen live via the Davenport Athletics Network with Thursday’s game around 9 p.m. and Saturday’s around 3:30 p.m.   Both squads are around the .500 mark overall.

The Stallions enter the series with a 9-11-1 overall record, although in GLCHL games, they are 1-7-0-0, eighth out of nine teams with three points.   They began December play last weekend at Kent State, falling 3-2 and 7-1 against the Golden Flashes.   In the latest ACHA Division 1 computer rankings, the Stallions are 30th, needing wins to make up ground for one of the coveted top 20 spots needed for a national tournament berth.

Davenport is currently inside that top 20 narrowly, holding the 18th spot with an 8-8-0 record.    Within GLCHL play, they are 3-2-0-0, placing them fourth with 11 points.    The Panthers have only taken to the ice once post-Thanksgiving, a 7-1 win last Saturday over Eastern Michigan.

Davenport won both meetings over the Stallions last season, 10-2 and 5-1.   Two seasons ago, the Panthers won thrice, 4-3, 4-3 (OT), and 6-2.   The last Western Michigan victories against Davenport came in September 2014.

Both games can be seen live via the Davenport Athletics Network with Thursday’s game around 9 p.m. and Saturday’s around 3:30 p.m.

 

RECAP: Blades Snap Long Losing Streak to Mattawan with Overtime Winner, Huskies Down Eagles

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Alex Ploehn (#23) scored the overtime goal and the third period tying goal for the Blades

The Blades of Southwest Michigan defeated Mattawan 4-3 in the final minute of overtime and Portage Northern topped the Kalamazoo Eagles 7-5 in Wednesday’s SWMHSHL doubleheader at Wings West.   The Blades’ victory snapped at least a 16-game, six-season losing streak to Mattawan, based on the SWMHSHL website’s scores dating back to the 2011-12 season.    Team captain Alex Ploehn had the game winner on a five-on-three powerplay with 33 seconds remaining.

The Blades scored their first goal within the first two minutes from Parker Lawrence, but Mattawan would respond three minutes later with a Sam Puzevic goal.  Midway through the period, the Blades earned two quick minor penalties, allowing for a Jason Moreau powerplay goal and a 2-1 Wildcat lead.   The score stayed 2-1 through the second period, despite the Blades getting four chances at the powerplay.

With 10:41 remaining in the third period, Mattawan took a 3-1 lead on a Zach Wiggins score.   Less than a minute later, Blaine Shafer matched it for the Blades.   The Wildcats picked up another penalty shortly thereafter and on their fifth powerplay of the game, Ploehn scored with 7:23 to go.

The game went to overtime tied at 3-3.  The penalty bug would bite Mattawan again, picking up a major and minor about a minute apart, giving the Blades a five-on-three for the final part of the extra period.   Once again, the senior team captain from Lakeview Ploehn found the back of the net.

Ploehn finished with three points, also getting an assist.  Mattawan’s Wiggins also had three points with his goal and two assists.  Blade goalie Zac Hattan was credited with 26 saves, Mattawan’s Shaffer Moore had 27.   The Blades improve to 7-1-0 overall and 2-0-0 within SWMHSHL play.  Mattawan falls to 2-4-1 overall and 2-1-0 in the league.

In the other game, the Eagles struck first on a Jimmy Wressel goal only 76 seconds into the game.  Portage Northern’s Will Todd responded just over a minute later to even things.  Griffin McLeod and Quentin Roseboom both found the back of the net to put the Huskies up 3-1 at the first intermission.

Dylan Ruggles made it a three-goal game early in the second, followed by Roseboom’s second goal midway through the frame, this one on the powerplay, for a 5-1 Husky advantage.  However, the Eagles scored thrice in the final 5:10 of the second on goals by Zachary Pernie, Wressel, and Colin Mehren, putting the score at 5-4.

Portage Northern added more cushion with quick third period goals from Grant Ernst and Connor Sorge.    Wressel earned a hat-trick on a powerplay goal with 9:36 remaining, but the Eagles couldn’t get any closer than the 7-5 final.   Connor Sorge had three points, adding two assists to his goal.   Wressel added one assist to his hat-trick, Mehren also had four points with three assists.   Portage Northern improves to 1-1-0 in SWMHSHL play and 2-5-0 overall, the Eagles fall to 0-3-0 in the league and 1-5-0 overall.

The Huskies play Saline Saturday at 2:25 p.m. from Lawson Ice Arena.   The Eagles meet Portage Central next Wednesday at Wings West.   The Blades head to Indiana over the weekend for the Cornfield Cup at the Culver Academies.   Mattawan hosts Detroit Country Day at Wings West Friday.

Listen back to Wednesday’s games here:

BLADES VS MATTAWAN – BOX SCORE

PORTAGE NORTHERN VS EAGLES (PART 1) – BOX SCORE

PART 2

PREVIEW: Portage Northern Plays Kalamazoo Eagles, Mattawan Meets Blades

12-6 hockey
Listen live online Wednesday evening on the Slocum Sports Network to a high school hockey doubleheader at Wings West.  Up first at 5:30 p.m. is Portage Northern against the Kalamazoo Eagles, followed by Mattawan and the Blades of Southwest Michigan around 7:45 p.m.

Both the Eagles (0-2-0) and Huskies (0-1-0) are looking for their first win in SWMHSHL play.  The Eagles enter at 1-4-0 overall with Portage Northern at 1-5-0.   They met three times last year with the Huskies winning the most recent game, 4-2 in the conference tournament.   They split their regular season matches with a 5-4 Husky overtime win and a 5-2 Eagle win.

In game two, neither Mattawan (2-0-0) or the Blades (1-0-0) have been defeated by a league foe.    The Wildcats are 2-3-1 overall with the Blades at 6-1-0 thus far.   Mattawan won their tournament semifinal game last year over the Blades 5-0, plus got 6-4 and 6-1 regular season wins.   Mattawan has won at least 16 consecutive meetings over the Blades, according to the SWMHSHL’s scores listed back to the 2011-12 season.

Listen live to both games Wednesday online on the Slocum Sports Network with Portage Northern/Eagles at 5:30 p.m. and Mattawan/Blades around 7:45 p.m.

RECAP: Portage Central Downs Kenowa Hills, Grand Haven Drops United

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Saturday afternoon had teams from the SWMHSHL facing the OK Conference at Wings West, with both leagues getting a win.  Portage Central defeated Kenowa Hills 6-2 for their first win of the season.   Grand Haven bested Kalamazoo United 4-1 to get above the .500 mark.

Portage Central scored the first two goals of their game midway through the first period, first from Jaden Sorenson, then shorthanded by Skyler Sorenson.   Michal Boor put the Knights on the board before the end of the first.    PC then won the second period 3-0 off goals by Skyler Sorenson (powerplay), Konnor McLeod (shorthanded), and Canyon Morse.

The Mustangs added one more from McLeod on a powerplay in the third with Kenowa Hills getting their second score from Brendan Deneen.   Things got heated in the final two minutes with fighting breaking out, leading to three ejected players for both teams.  Unofficially, Portage Central goalie Gannon Miller made 23 saves.   Kenowa Hills’ Derek Smith had 29.   The Mustangs improve to 1-2-0 and Kenowa Hills drops to 0-5-0.

The other game was scoreless after the first period, despite Grand Haven winning the shots on goal battle 16-4.   Kalamazoo United drew multiple penalties in the second period and the Buccaneers made them pay, getting two powerplay goals by Branden Beeler and one from Jake Johnson.   Beeler added an even-strength goal late in the second to put Grand Haven up 4-0.   United’s Matthew Romano got his team’s lone goal in the third.

Unofficially, United goalkeeper Jake Gerhard had 46 saves in the loss.   Grand Haven’s Finn Bylsma had 17.   The Buccaneers improve to 3-2-1 overall and Kalamazoo United falls to 1-2-0.

United’s next game is Saturday at Northview.  Grand Haven neets Hudsonville at home on Friday, December 15.  Kenowa Hills hosts Jenison Wednesday.  Portage Central battles Detroit Country Day Saturday at Lawson Arena.

Listen back to Saturday’s games below:

UNITED VS GRAND HAVEN

PORTAGE CENTRAL VS KENOWA HILLS

PREVIEW: Kalamazoo United Faces Grand Haven, Portage Central Meets Kenowa Hills/Fruitport

12-2 hockey
Listen live online Saturday afternoon on the Slocum Sports Network to a high school hockey doubleheader at Wings West.  Game one at 2:15 p.m. features Kalamazoo United against Grand Haven, followed by game two around 4:30 p.m. between Portage Central and Kenowa Hills/Fruitport.

Kalamazoo United sits at 1-1-0 overall, getting their first win Wednesday over the Kalamazoo Eagles.   Grand Haven enters the weekend at 1-2-1 with three of their four games going to overtime and all four decided by one goal.   Last December, Kalamazoo United beat Grand Haven 3-1, getting 38 saves from goalie Mitch Kihm.

Portage Central enters the weekend at 0-2-0 with Kenowa Hills/Fruitport at 0-3-1.  The Mustangs and Knights did not meet last season.   Their last meeting came in January 2015, a 2-1 Kenowa Hills win.

Listen live to both games online Saturday on the Slocum Sports Network with United/Grand Haven at 2:15 p.m. and Portage Central/Kenowa Hills around 4:30 p.m.

RECAP: Kalamazoo United, Mattawan Earn 4-1 Victories

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Kalamazoo United’s Jake Gerhard made 44 saves in Wednesday’s victory

Kalamazoo United and Mattawan picked up SWMHSHL victories Wednesday evening, as United topped the Kalamazoo Eagles and the Wildcats beat Portage Northern, both by finals of 4-1.   Both winners saw great goaltending as United’s Jake Gerhard made 44 saves and Mattawan’s Shaffer Moore tallied 34.

In the first game, Kalamazoo United’s Brenden Warner scored the opening goal with 10:28 remaining on the first.   The Eagles seemed to have a big opportunity midway through the second off a major penalty against United, but the Hams picked up a shorthanded goal by Garrett Warner.  The Eagles committed a major of their own late in the second and found themselves in a 5-on-3 situation, which United’s Topher Strunk used for a powerplay goal and a 3-0 lead entering the second intermission.

The Eagles scored their goal with 14:29 left thanks to Carter Maxey, but couldn’t beat Gerhard again, despite 20 shots on goal in the third period.   Brenden Warner tallied an empty net goal for the 4-1 final, giving him a three point night off two goals and one assist.   Eagle goalie Huston Born had 24 saves.  United’s win gives them a 1-0-0 start to league play and puts them at 1-1-0 overall.   The Eagles fall to 1-3-0 overall and 0-2-0 within the SWMHSHL.

In the second game, Mattawan’s Jason Moreau scored with 13:27 to go in the first period.   The 1-0 score held until Moreau struck again early in the second.   With 4:59 remaining in the second, Niko Stamas grabbed a Mattawan powerplay goal.   In the final minute, Jake Kruzich added a shorthanded goal for a 4-0 Wildcat lead.   Portage Northern’s lone score came early in the third period on a powerplay from Will Todd.

Kruzich finished with a three point night on his goal and assists on both Moreau goals.  Husky goalie Peter Todd had 22 saves.   Mattawan is 2-0-0 in league play and 2-1-1 overall, Portage Northern drops to 0-1-0 in league action and 1-4-0 overall.

Mattawan hosts West Ottawa Friday at Wings West, then travels Saturday against St. Joseph/Lakeshore.  Portage Northern heads to Jackson Saturday night.   The Kalamazoo Eagles make the trip to Northview Saturday.   Kalamazoo United hosts Grand Haven Saturday afternoon.

Listen back to Wednesday’s games below:

UNITED VS EAGLES – Box Score

MATTAWAN VS PORTAGE NORTHERN – Box Score

PREVIEW: United Faces Eagles, Wildcats Battle Huskies

11-30 hockey

Listen live online Wednesday on the Slocum Sports Network to a high school hockey doubleheader from Wings West.   Game one at 5:30 p.m. features Kalamazoo United against the Kalamazoo Eagles.  Game two around 7:45 p.m. has the Mattawan Wildcats versus the Portage Northern Huskies.

Wednesday will be the first Southwest Michigan High School Hockey League (SWMHSHL) game for Kalamazoo United, as they look to defend their regular season and tournament championship from last season.  It will be United’s second overall match, as they fell 4-2 in their opener at Canton on November 18.

Meanwhile, the Eagles lost their SWMHSHL opener last Wednesday 4-0 against Mattawan.    They’re still searching for their first win as well, sitting at 0-2-1 overall.   United’s lone league loss last season came to the Eagles, as they split their 16-17 meetings.   The Eagles won 4-3 on January 18, with United victorious 9-2 on December 14.

Like United, Portage Northern plays their first league game Wednesday.   They’re 1-3-0 thus far, with their most recent game Saturday in a 5-4 loss to Grand Haven.  Mattawan won their league opener last week against the Eagles.   It was their first overall win as well, with the Wildcats at 1-1-1.

Mattawan beat the Huskies twice last season, 3-1 on January 14 and 9-6 on December 7.   They split their meetings two seasons ago, with the last Portage Northern win on January 27, 2016.

Listen live to Wednesday’s doubleheader online on the Slocum Sports Network.   Kalamazoo United meets the Kalamazoo Eagles at 5:30 p.m., followed by Mattawan versus Portage Northern around 7:45 p.m.