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March 07, 2012 - BY JORDAN STOKES

Special to The Clarkston News

Third time was not the charm as the Icers were defeated for the third time this season by rivals, Lake Orion, last Thursday.

The 2-1 loss eliminated the Clarkston Varsity Hockey team from the state playoffs.

"I thought this was it," said junior defenseman Adam Johns. "I thought this was going to be the game we'd shock everyone and move on to win the region for the second year in a row."

The Wolves went into their last rival game of the season with high hopes and expectations after the success of finishing last year at the state quarterfinals.

Two previous losses to Lake Orion were by one goal, including a recent 3-2 loss five days earlier for the OAA Red playoff championship.

Both teams began the game slowly start with only a couple scoring chances in the first period.

This changed immensely when the second period started. Lake Orion came out strong and defenseman Brad Bogus scored the first goal just 57 seconds into the second period.

The Wolves trailed 1-0 nearly the entire second period until senior Adam Bruderick pounced on a loose puck in front of the net with 3:29 remaining to tie the game 1-1.

"It was great to help the team out in a big game," said Bruderick.

The teams exchanged scoring chances in the third period when Dragon Nick Balavich managed to slide another puck past sophomore goalie Jack Viazanko after a battle in front of the Wolves' net with 5:18 left in regulation play.

The Wolves continued to fight back and were fortunate when a Lake Orion goal was disallowed due to goaltender interference. As a result, the Wolves, still trailing, were granted a power play with 2:12 remaining.

"I thought the ref made the right call. Before the shot came I was knocked down by a Lake Orion player and taken out of the play. It was an important call to make for us," said Viazanko.

The Wolves pulled their goalie with one minute left, giving them a six man advantage in a desperate effort to tie the game. The Wolves frantically took shot after shot, but couldn't get the puck in the back of the Dragon's net.

"It's always a dogfight against Lake Orion," said senior forward Gabe Comos. "The breaks just didn't go our way this season. I'm proud of everyone on the team. Nobody gave up and we fought to the very end."

The Wolves ended their season with a record of 11-10-3, and a division record of 7-1-2.

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