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Sweet defeat adds to Dragon rivalry

Austin Morse celebrates his first goal. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
February 02, 2011 - Lake Orion's senior night was all but memorable for them as they lost 5-2 in a dominating performance by the Clarkston Wolves varsity hockey team.

Not only did Clarkston blow out their biggest rivals, they also clinched a playoff spot with the victory.

"It was the biggest crowd we had all year," said senior Connor Hughes.

The bleachers were packed shoulder to shoulder and the 'jungle' was standing up cheering the Wolves the whole game.

It was almost as if the extra fan base ignited both teams from the opening faceoff.

"We didn't really change the gameplan going into tonight, we just played our game," said senior captain Dillon Drayer.

As the puck dropped to begin the game, both teams came out skating hard.

After a few missed shots by Lake Orion, the Wolves got a good opportunity on the net.

At the 10:34 mark in the first period, junior Brad Pizzey received a pass in front of the net for a top shelf goal.

The jungle went crazy and from that point on, the rivalry game was on.

Every hit delivered by each team made the crowd cringe and players were throwing their bodies to block every puck.

Lake Orion's Corbin Rainey tied the game just before the first period ended, but that was the last time the Dragons made the game competitive.

The Wolves opened up the second period with a goal by senior Austin Morse, making it 2-1.

Although it seemed like the Dragons had the puck in the Wolves' zone for most of the second period, whenever Clarkston got a scoring chance, they capitalized.

At the 6:11 mark Drayer broke away for a one-on-one opportunity with the goalie and scored, making the game 3-1.

Clarkston's offense pulled through when needed, however a lot of pressure was put on freshman goalie Jack Viazanko.

"There is a little bit of pressure being a freshman and a goalie, but I try not to focus on that pressure, I just push it aside and play along with my team," said Viazanko, who saved 36 shots on the net.

Lake Orion looked worn down after making consecutive goal stopping saves.

Clarkston added one more goal, this time from Adam Larkin, before the period came to an end, putting them up 4-1 going into the third.

Both teams looked drained in the third, seeking to end the game.

Lake Orion scored once more with 12:38 left putting the score at 4-2.

Clarkston reacted by icing the cake with a goal of their own at 1:32 to go in the game with one Dragon in the penalty box.

While Lake Orion maintained control in the Wolves' territory goalie Horton Shawn skated towards the Dragons' box to bring an extra man in.

The action didn't go unnoticed by Clarkston and Morse took a shot. The puck landed in the back of the net as Shawn reached out and landed flat on the ice.

With the final score of 5-2 in favor of the Clarkston Wolves, they hope to ride the momentum of this victory in games to come, including the upcoming playoffs in March.

"This win will really shoot us into the playoffs. I think we'll make it pretty far this year," said Drayer.

Nick Loomis, senior at Clarkston High School, is son of Sandy and Jeff Houle is a 17-year-old, pursuing a career as a sports journalist. After graduating this June, he plans on attending Central Michigan University where he hopes to get a degree in journalism.
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