The Blades of Southwest Michigan and Portage Northern Huskies will enter 2018 at the top of the SWMHSHL standings off of Wednesday’s victories at Wings West. The Huskies won 4-3 in overtime against Kalamazoo United and the Blades defeated the Kalamazoo Eagles 5-0.
Although Portage Northern dominated the shots on goal 15-5, Kalamazoo United had the first period’s lone goal. With 11:28 remaining, Brenden Warner scored seven seconds into a powerplay. With 12:35 to go in the second, Will Todd evened the game for the Huskies and less than a minute later, Quentin Roseboom gave them the lead. United evened the game at 2-2 by the end of the period on a four-on-three powerplay score by Dominic Monendo.
United went back ahead with 13:58 on their third powerplay goal, this time from Hunter Laurin. They had a chance to potentially put the game away with about four minutes remaining on a penalty shot, but Warner’s attempt went wide. The Huskies were able to tie it up with 2:03 remaining on Todd’s second goal, forcing overtime. 40 seconds into OT, Roseboom won it for the Huskies.
The win puts Portage Northern into second in the SWMHSHL standings at 3-1-0 and moves them to 4-7-0 overall. The Huskies are off until they play the Blades in for first place on Wednesday, January 3. United falls to 1-6-0 overall and 1-2-0 in league play. They travel to Eastside Saturday and host Lakeshore/St. Joseph the following Saturday.
After an even and scoreless first period, the Blades dominated the shots on goal 27-6 in the second. Eagle goalie Drake Witt turned away 26, but the Blades finally beat him with 3:58 remaining on a powerplay score by Jaxon Dobrolowski. The flood gates opened in the third period with one goal from Chase Stenger and three by Cole Shafer. Blade goalie Zac Hattan was credited with 20 saves in the shutout.
The Blades move to 11-4-0 overall and remain unbeaten in league play at 4-0-0. They get right back at it Thursday hosting Kenowa Hills, then Adams and Reeths-Puffer the following weekend. The Eagles fall to 3-7-0 overall and 1-4-0 in the SWMHSHL. They travel to Jackson Saturday.
Listen back to Wednesday’s games below:
PORTAGE NORTHERN VS UNITED – BOX SCORE.
BLADES VS EAGLES – BOX SCORE.
Listen live online Wednesday on the Slocum Sports Network to a high school hockey doubleheader from Wings West in Kalamazoo. Game one at 5:30 p.m. has Kalamazoo United against Portage Northern. Game two around 7:45 p.m. sees the Blades of Southwest Michigan against the Kalamazoo Eagles. It is the final SWMHSHL doubleheader prior to the end of 2017.
Portage Northern is 2-1-0 in the league, tied for second with Mattawan, and 3-7-0 overall. The Huskies hold league wins over the Eagles and Portage Central, with their loss to Mattawan. Kalamazoo United is fourth in the league at 1-1-0 with a win over the Eagles and a loss to the Blades. United is 1-5-0 overall, most recently falling to Division 1 #9 Troy 6-5. United won both meetings against Portage Northern last season (6-3, 7-3).
The Blades sit at the top of the league standings at 3-0-0 on wins against Mattawan, United, and Portage Central. They’re 10-4-0 overall with the Eagles at 3-6-0 by comparison. The Eagles are fifth in the SWMHSHL at 1-3-0, getting the first win last week over Portage Central. The Eagles won 3-1 in their tournament meeting last season over the Blades, with the teams splitting their regular season games.
Listen live online Wednesday to both games on the Slocum Sports Network. United/Portage Northern is set for 5:30 p.m. with the Blades/Eagles around 7:45 p.m.
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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