2017-12-06 / Sports

Alliance hockey takes first loss, splits weekend games

BY SPORTS STAFF


The Alliance’s Max Hubbell makes a stop outside the net against the United on Nov. 18. 
Photo by Brandon Pope The Alliance’s Max Hubbell makes a stop outside the net against the United on Nov. 18. Photo by Brandon Pope HUDSONVILLE — The Alliance hockey team (Almont, Goodrich, Imlay City, LakeVille, North Branch) faced a pair of tough road games over the weekend, splitting the games and tallying its first loss of the season. The team fields nine players from North Branch this season.

On Saturday, the Alliance bounced back from a Friday night loss and topped Hudsonville 5-3. Hudsonville jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 13:26 in the opening period. The Alliance evened the score at 10:25 when Matt Brauer rippled the mesh on a helper from Kurtis Winget. Hudsonville found the net just 20 seconds later to take a 2-1 lead. With just 17 seconds left in the first, the Alliance evened the score once more when Jacob Young scored on a helper from Winget.

The Alliance scored the only two goals of the second, taking the lead for the first time in the game when Winget tallied his first goal of the game, assisted by Dakota Lehman at 12:47. With 5:04 remaining in the second, Young found the net for the second time for an unassisted goal to give the Alliance a 4-2 lead.


Lapeer’s Jordan Moore battles with a Swartz Creek-Clio-Flushing player at the Polar Palace on Nov. 29. 
Photo by Joe Oster Lapeer’s Jordan Moore battles with a Swartz Creek-Clio-Flushing player at the Polar Palace on Nov. 29. Photo by Joe Oster In the final period, the Alliance extended its lead to 5-2 when Winget added his second goal with 9:13 remaining. Hudsonville then cut the deficit to two with four minutes remaining for the final goal of the game.

“Every Alliance player was determined to win this game, especially in light of the loss the night before and because senior captain Zack Hanaford sustained an injury in the first period of the game and was unable to continue to play,” said Alliance coach Tom Ferreri.

Max Hubbell was between the pipes for the Alliance, stopping 44-of-47 shots. Winget led the offensive effort, tallying a pair of goals and a pair of assists, following by Young who had two goals as well.

“This was an impressive road win, one in which all the Alliance players played the part in,” Ferreri added. “As a group, they were 100 percent committed to give maximum effort and play within our system.”

On Friday, the Alliance was handed its first loss of the season after falling 4-3 to Grand Rapids West Catholic Central. West Catholic took a 1-0 lead in the first, scoring the only goal of the opening period.

In the second, West Catholic tallied three goals and the Alliance finally got on the board with a goal from Winget to give West Catholic a 4-1 lead.

The Alliance then tried to orchestrate a third-period comeback, but fell just short. Jacob Young rippled the mesh at 9:37 in the third to take the score to 4-2. Dakota Lehman then added the Alliance’s third and final goal of the game with an assist from Johnny Labombard with 5:38 remaining. The Alliance were then unable to get any more offensive effort rolling in the final minutes leaving the comeback falling just short.

“It was a well-played game by both teams,” said Ferreri. “Our team refused to give in and they come out in the third period and mounted a comeback to bring the game back to a one-goal game. With our goalie pulled, we had several quality scoring chances, but just couldn’t score the tying goal.

“After winning our first five games, it was a disappointing loss for the Alliance. All in all, it was a solid effort in light of the fact that is was a one-goal loss, on the road and we were able to mount a comeback,” Ferreri concluded.

The Alliance, 5-1, travels to the Dort Federal Event Center tonight to face Davison and will travel to Saginaw Bay Ice Arena on Saturday to play the FNV Griffins. — K.R.

LAPEER

The Lightning, 0-3, were off over the weekend, but hit the ice tonight against Pontiac Notre Dame Prep at the Polar Palace at 5 p.m. — J.O.

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