The Southwest Michigan Blades defeated Kalamazoo United 4-1 and the Kalamazoo Eagles won 5-4 in overtime over Portage Central in Wednesday evening’s SWMHSHL action at Wings West. The win in the first game left the Blades as the only team unbeaten within league play, with the second game leaving the Mustangs as the lone team without a league win.
The Blades dominated the shots on goal column all game, but entered the first intermission behind 1-0. Jake Gerhard turned away 22 shots in the first for the Hams and Garrett Warner put United ahead with an unassisted goal with 1:54 left.
Midway through the second period, the Blades scored twice within in a minute. The first came from Parker Lawrence, who took advantage as a defender tripped over a fallen stick. The second one came via Jett Haifley for the 2-1 lead after two. The Blades took a 3-1 lead on an unassisted shorthanded goal from Chris Bigelow with 11:05 remaining, then added the final dagger on a 4-on-4 goal by Jaxon Dobrolowski with 4:09 to go.
Blades goalie Zac Hattan had 20 saves in the victory with United’s Gerhard stopping 48 shots. The Blades stand alone at the top of the SWMHSHL standings at 3-0-0 following to win, overall they’re 9-4-0. It was their first win over United since February 2015. United drops to 1-4-0 on the loss and 1-1-0 against league foes.
The Blades are back in action Sunday at the LSJ Warriors, then meet the Eagles next Wednesday at Wings West. United travels to Troy Saturday, then returns home next Wednesday against Portage Northern.
The Eagles never trailed in their game, getting the lead in the first three minutes on a Jimmy Wressel goal. Carter Maxey scored in the final two minutes to put the Eagles up 2-0 at the break. Portage Central grabbed the only goal of the second period with Canyon Morse’s 4-on-4 strike putting the Mustangs back within one entering the third.
With 11:33 left in regulation, Danny Keene pushed the Eagle lead back to two goals. Shortly after, Keene was ejected, along with PC starting forwards Erek Decker and Mitchell Ely for a fracas just before the 10 minute mark.
The score stayed at 3-1 until the Mustangs took advantage of a kneeing major against Wressel. Konnor McLeod’s powerplay goal put Portage Central down one with 3:23 remaining. Although still down a man, the Eagles seemingly had the final dagger on a Maxey empty net goal with 1:27 remaining. Only 13 seconds later, Morse matched it to put the Mustangs back within one. With 27 seconds left, McLeod was able to tie the game.
However, Portage Central couldn’t complete the comeback. 1:54 into overtime, Maxey earned the hat-trick and the victory.
Eagle goalie Drake Witt had 38 saves in the victory, PC’s Bryan Gracey stopped 26. The Eagles jump to 2-5-0 overall and 1-3-0 in SWMHSHL play. It was the first Eagle win over PC since February 2014. Portage Central falls to 1-5-0 overall and 0-3-0 in the league. The Mustangs travel to Grand Haven Saturday with the Eagles heading north to Cheboygan against Utica Friday and Lakeland Saturday.
Listen back to Wednesday’s games below:
BLADES VS UNITED – BOX SCORE.
EAGLES VS MUSTANGS – BOX SCORE.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
The Mattawan Wildcats and Blades of Southwest Michigan saw victories on Thanksgiving Eve, as Mattawan shutout the Kalamazoo Eagles 4-0 and the Blades downed Portage Central 3-1. For all four teams, it was the first action of the season within the Southwest Michigan High School Hockey League (SWMHSHL).
In game one, Mattawan controlled the possession and tempo throughout the entire contest, finishing with 42 shots on goal and allowing only 15. The first three goals came within the first six minutes of action, scored by Zach Swintz, Niko Stamas, and Brad Kolinski. The score held at 3-0 until Zach Wiggins’ goal midway through the third period.
Shaffer Moore earned his first shutout of the season for the Wildcats, giving them their first overall win of the campaign with a 1-1-1 record. The Eagles fall to 1-2-0 on the loss.
In the second game, the Blades scored on a blue-line slap shot from Vicksburg sophomore Austin Zeigler 90 seconds into the match. The game remained 1-0 until Cole Shafer’s Blade goal with 8:15 remaining in the third. Portage Central finally got by Blade goalie Zac Hattan with 4:05 to go on a Mitchell Ely goal, but a Zac Gothard empty netter in the final minute secured the Blade victory.
Hattan made 22 saves, PC’s Bryan Gracey stopped 33 shots. Jaxon Dobrolowski had assists on the first two Blade goals, helping get them to 3-0-0 overall thus far. The Mustangs sit at 0-2-0.
Portage Central is off until Saturday, December 2 at home against Kenowa Hills. The Blades return to action this Saturday at home versus Royal Oak. Mattawan’s next contest is next Wednesday against league foe Portage Northern. The Eagles join Mattawan in the doubleheader Wednesday as they face Kalamazoo United.
Listen back to Wednesday’s games below:
MATTAWAN VS EAGLES
BLADES VS PORTAGE CENTRAL
Listen live online Wednesday on the Slocum Sports Network to a doubleheader from the Southwest Michigan High School Hockey League (SWMHSHL). Game one, set for 5:30 p.m., features the Mattawan Wildcats against the Kalamazoo Eagles. The second game around 7:45 p.m. has the Portage Central Mustangs against the Blades of Southwest Michigan. It’s the first league play of the 2017-18 campaign.
All four teams opened their regular season last week against non-league opponents. Mattawan sits at 0-1-1 with a 2-1 loss Friday at Grand Rapids West Catholic and a 2-2 draw Saturday against Grand Haven. The Eagles are 1-1-0 with a 8-6 Wednesday win over Kenowa Hills and a 8-3 loss Saturday to Jenison. Last November, Mattawan beat the Eagles 6-1. Their January rematch was a 7-7 draw. The last Eagle win over the Wildcats was December 10, 2014.
Both Portage Central and the Blades faced Notre Dame Prep over the weekend. The Mustangs fell 5-3 Saturday, whereas the Blades had a dominant 8-0 win Friday. The Blades also grabbed a 8-2 win over West Catholic Saturday. The Blades won both meetings with Portage Central last season, 5-3 and 2-1. The Mustangs claimed both matchups over the Blades two seasons ago.
Listen live to Wednesday’s action online on the Slocum Sports Network. Mattawan and the Eagles meet at 5:30 p.m., followed the Portage Central against the Blades around 7:45 p.m.
November marks the beginning of the 2017-18 high school hockey season. This post takes a look at the six teams of the Southwest Michigan High School Hockey League (SWMHSHL), how they fared last year and what lies ahead for this season.
|Kalamazoo United||9-1||21-4-1||Pre-Regional Loss|
|Portage Central||5-5||8-17-1||Pre-Regional Loss|
|Portage Northern||1-9||8-18||Regional Final Loss|
Kalamazoo United had their strongest season in program history in 2016-17, claiming their first ever SWMHSHL regular season and tournament championship. The Hams boasted league co-MVPs Noel Cavey and Jacob Remelius, plus goalie-of-the-year Mitch Kihm. They have graduated along with their other top five point scorers. They do have some solid returners back such as the Warner brothers at forward and Nathan Carr at defense, but United will have to replace a lot of offensive production.
Mattawan loses their top two scoring players in Jeff Kirkendall and Ben Berkowitz, along with SWMHSHL 2nd-team defenseman Nate Roberts. They return their other 2nd-team defenseman in Brad Kolinski, their third-highest scorer Jake Kruzich, goalkeeper Shaffer Moore, and just about everyone else from last season.
The Southwest Michigan Blades made a huge jump last season, going from only two total wins the season before to 22 in 17-18. Notably gone are top scorer Evan Wilson and
defenseman Schuyler DeVries, but the Blades return almost everyone from last season, including 2nd-team goalkeeper Zac Hattan for his sophomore campaign.
Portage Central graduated top scorer Max Mones and 2nd-team defenseman Kobe Vincent among six seniors. Notably back for the Mustangs include their #2 scorer Konnor McLeod for his junior year, along with fellow underclassmen Skyler and Jaden Sorenson.
The Kalamazoo Eagles have a new head coach in Randy Shoemaker. He’s no stranger to the league as a former Eagle assistant coach and Mattawan player. Also gone are 1st-team defenseman David Kiel and other key seniors Blake Jarrett and Mark Andrysiak. Returning playmakers include Jimmy Wressel and Carter Maxey.
Portage Northern has to replace top scorer Eli Cartier, but he is one of only three seniors gone from last season. Their 2018 senior class has a lot of major contributors from last season such as Grant Ernst, Griffin McLeod, and Will Todd. Also of note is goalkeeper Peter Todd, who showed flashes of potential after his trial by fire last year as their lone goalie as a freshman.
The master list of home games and league games for all six teams can be found here. Stay tuned to the Slocum Sports Network for SWMHSHL broadcast throughout the winter.
Kalamazoo Central and Mattawan were the victors in Monday’s District 1 first round volleyball matches at K-Central, advancing to semifinal matches Wednesday. The Maroon Giants grabbed their first postseason victory since 2013, beating Portage Central 25-23, 25-23, 27-25. The Wildcats bested Portage Northern 25-22, 25-21, 25-11.
KC and PC was tight throughout, with all three sets ending up tied at 23-23. The Maroon Giants didn’t lead by two in the first set until the 25th point. Kalamazoo Central got up by five early in the second, but found themselves down 20-18 before rallying back. The Mustangs started up four in the third, followed by a three-point Giant lead midway through, before turning into a back-and-forth affair to the end.
Unofficially, Peri Herder topped Kalamazoo Central with nine kills, including the final one. Regina Wolf added eight kills and five blocks, getting her team to 33-15-1 on the season. Ryann Jaqua had 16 kills for PC, followed by 14 from Mackenzie Lundin. Portage Central finishes 28-16 and graduates seniors Maddie Wojcik, Emma Kite, Jessie Zesiger, Kenzie Zook, and Allison Sturgeon.
Mattawan and Portage Northern stayed very even in the first set with neither team taking a multi-point lead until the Wildcats did at the end. The Huskies led for the first part of the second set, but a 7-0 run off the service of Alli Wiese pushed Mattawan ahead and the Wildcats remained in control the rest of the way.
Unofficially, Madison Dorff tallied seven kills and three aces for Mattawan with Kathryn Puzevic also getting seven kills, moving them to 37-7 overall. Emily Lewis led Portage Northern in her final match with 13 kills, followed by 9 from fellow senior Hannah Biddlecome. The Huskies finish 28-23 and also graduate Kaylee Peterson, Ella Lewis, Corinne McCarthy and Cecilia Pirchio.
Mattawan will meet Lakeshore (6-25-1) in Wednesday’s semifinal at 5:30 p.m., followed Kalamazoo Central against St. Joseph (16-26-0) around 7. The winners Wednesday play for the District 1 championship Thursday at 6 p.m. and you can hear the District final on the Slocum Sports Network. All matches are at Kalamazoo Central.
Listen back to Monday’s contests below:
KALAMAZOO CENTRAL VS PORTAGE CENTRAL
MATTAWAN VS PORTAGE NORTHERN