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Lake Orion Boys Hockey fights back to tie in MAC/OAA showcase game

Senior Dylan Rosen, 25, rips off a wrist shot late in the second period. Photo by G. Ouzounian (click for larger version)
February 08, 2012 - The Dragons of Lake Orion tested their might against St. Clair Shores Feb. 4 in the MAC/OAA showcase where teams for each conference pit themselves against their equal, but after a back and forth game, the two top seeded teams tied at 3-3.

The Dragons scored quickly in the first period where they dominated play with 17 shots on goal to SCS's 4. Senior Dylan Rosen scored after receiving a pass from senior Justin McKelvey.

The second period proved the Dragon's downfall however, as SCS managed to put away three goals before the buzzer sounded. The first was during a four on four power play, the second on a five on three power play and the last with both teams at full strength. Despite not scoring once, Lake Orion still managed to outshoot SCS with seven shots to the Shorians' five.

The third period saw the Dragon's regain their fire, with a quick goal by senior Nick Balavich received from junior David Otto. McKelvey scored again off a back-and forth-pass from Balavich and senior Elliot Rinke. The game tied, the final buzzer sounded.

Orion fell behind on the quantity of shots in favor on quality, as SCS outshot Orion 15 to nine. The game total was Orion, 33 shots, SCS, 24 shots.

Head Coach Nick Field said the second period was an "anomaly" and said unusual deflections and bad breakaways were the cause of the SCS's three goal period.

"It was a good game - I thought we carried the play in the first and third periods," said Field. "But in that second we had some bad breaks. There was an odd flow to the period and two of those goals coming off the glass to right in front of the net where they had a player was unusual.

"To our credit though we fought back to the tie. The third was a reflection of the first though. There was flow, we dominated, we got two goals to tie it back up. That's the way it's been this season, every time we get down there's no quit in our guys - For the most part we just find a way to fight back up."

Field added penalties played a roll in the game and remarked there were one too many missed scoring opportunities.

Next for the team, after a game against Chelsea on Feb. 9, will be the Michigan Public High School showcase on Feb. 11. The tournament includes around 53 teams and is a chance for the teams to display their skill.

Following the showcase, the Dragons will play Novi on the same day.

Conerning Chelsea, Field said rather than worry about what the other team can do, the Dragons concentrate on their own play.

"I don't know much about Chelsea, but I've been told they're a good team," said Field. "It doesn't matter who we play - we play to win and we concentrate on ourselves. It's about making sure we play our best every night.

Next week the OAA playoffs will begin. The Dragons are now 11-5-3 overall.

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