December 05, 2012 - Icers opened last week with tough lessons in their loss against Birmingham United.
Junior Shawn Cotter shoots back Birmingham United. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
They lost the OAA Red league game, 5-2, while putting 44 shots on the net.
"They had a hot goaltender," said Clarkston Hockey Assistant Coach Roman Krygier. "We outshot them 2-1. We just couldn't put the puck past them. We didn't have our zip we usually have."
The Wolves scored in the second period with 3:33 left to go. Junior Alex Propson grabbed control of the puck and passed it to senior Matt Denny. Denny turned around and shot it into the back of the net, putting the Wolves behind one goal, 2-1.
They kept on shooting on Birmingham United's goalie Jacob Saroli and he kept blocking.
It was Birmingham to score next as Kenneth O'Hanlon scored as the buzzer ended the period, 3-1.
Senior Joe Smith scored the second goal for the Wolves with 8:30 left to go in the game. Junior Chase Weidemann and senior Adam Johns assisted on the goal.
"Birmingham played a very fine game," Krygier added. "They played hard. Two of their goals were power play goals. They worked hard and they beat us."
Junior Jack Viazanko had 15 saves in the net for Clarkston
The Wolves will treat it as a learning experience as they skate forward into the weeks to come.
"They have to continue to play their positions and move the puck quickly," said Krygier. "We did not execute moving the puck quickly like we were capable of doing. We had a lot of shots on net but we weren't picking our spots against the goaltender either. We need to continue to attack the goalie like we know how to do."
The Wolves did continue to attack the goalie in their next game as they headed off against Waterford Mott on Saturday.
They made 41 shots on the Corsairs' goalie Scott Koenigbauer. They won the game, 7-1.
"We had a very strong game," said Krygier. "We have been practicing our power plays, our break outs and our forechecking. It came together really well. They worked hard. It was a good win for us."
They had a slow start to open the game but were the first to score. Denny put the Wolves on the board with his goal with 11:35 to go. Sophomores Drake Drake Gentile and Max Palese.
Junior Shawn Cotter added one more goal before the first period closed. He scored with 3:34 remaining on a power play.
The Corsairs opened the second period with a goal from Austin Sereno to close the score, 2-1.
It would be the first and last time Waterford Mott would score as the Wolves came back to score three minutes later.
This time it was senior Garrett Polish on a power play with an assist from Johns and Weidemann, 3-1.
With less than three minutes to go in the period, junior Carter Rea and Polish struck with a goal a piece to put the score, 5-1. Rea was assisted by Gentile in his goal.
The Wolves opened the final period by scoring their third power play goal of the game. This time it was junior Jacob LaPorte on the other side of a pass from Johns and Polish. LaPorte took his shot and put in the sixth goal for Clarkston at 11:15.
The final goal came from sophomore Alex Tanielian, who scored his first high school career goal. He also just returned from an extended injury absence. Rea and Gentile assisted him with the final goal of the game with less than five minutes remaining.
Junior Nick Surovec had eight saves in the net against Mott.
Krygier noted the difference between the games against Birmingham United and Waterford Mott was the intensity from the Wolves especially since goaltenders from both teams were good.
"We played with a strong team effort to move the puck," he said. "Against Birmingham it didn't come together as I would have liked it to."
The Wolves take on two more foes this week with Salem on Thursday and Farmington on Saturday as they look to improve their current 4-3 record.
"They are two very good teams," said Krygier. "Our chances are very good. We are competitive with them. It is just a matter of executing the play and playing with a lot more intensity. We will have to play very well against Plymouth Salem and Farmington because they are very competitive."
They host Salem at 7:45 p.m. on Thursday at Detroit Skating Club and they head to Farmington Hills Ice Arena to take on the Falcons on Saturday, 3 p.m.
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What can fans expect from the hockey team this season? Find out in the Clarkston Winter Sports Preview in next week's print edition of The Clarkston News, Dec. 12.
The preview includes a team photo, rosters, schedule and interviews.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.