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Sophomore Jordan Stross. Photo by G. Ouzounian (click for larger version)
January 18, 2012 - The Dragon hockey team came back from winter break a bit rusty, but they are slowly recovering.

The first game Lake Orion played took them far away to Brighton to face off against South Lyon Lions. The home team proved one of the more aggressive opponents Lake Orion has faced this year - the result was a 4-0 shutout that officially ended the Dragons' seven game winning streak. While the score seemed one-sided, Head Coach Nick Field called the game "not as big a blowout as someone would think."

"We outshot them 28-21 and the four goals they scored on were all on chances we should have covered," he said. "We basically had some defensive coverage breakdowns.

"They're a good team and they're deep - I have to give credit where credit is due."

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Besides the defensive breakdowns, Field noted the South Lyon goaltender who he simply said was "quality."

"It's the little stuff you noticed him doing," Field said. "He didn't give up rebounds unless he was deflecting the right way. He made saves he had to make when we didn't expect it. Our kids played hard, but when you play against quality teams with quality goalies you cannot expect to win when you have breakdowns on the defensive zone."

Field added he felt the game was a strange one in that the Dragons played very evenly across the board with no one person shining forth or falling behind. Despite the loss, Field called the game a good one and said he was not disappointed with his team so soon after break.

"Those guys are known for playing physical and very aggressive and they're big, strong and fast," he said. "It can look really out of control, but our kids responded how they should have and how I expected. We didn't get out of control and we continued to play hard."

Next up for the Dragons was Farmington Hills United last Saturday, which Field also called a quality opponent. The game ended in a 2-2 tie.

"It was a good game overall - they're a good team - and we'd like the win but we'll take the tie," said Field. "We had a slow start, they scored two in the first but we really took it to them in the second and third periods."

The Dragons outshot Farmington Hills 45-27. Seniors Nick Balavich and Dylan Rosen scored. Field added goaltender Drew Galasso played well.

The Dragons head west to Grand Rapids for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday against Grand Rapids Catholic Central and Rockford. Catholic Central is ranked in the Top Ten in the state and Field said Rockford will also be a challenge.

Lake Orion is 8-4-1 overall, 5-0 in their division. The latest state hockey standing have the Dragons ranked No. 5 in Div. 1.

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