Source: Sherman Publications

Lake Orion Hockey on fire in State Finals

March 02, 2011

By David Reed

Special to the Review

The OAA Red Division League Playoffs Champions for 2011 are the Lake Orion Dragons.

They defeated Stoney Creek at the OAA Finals on Saturday, Feb. 26 in commanding fashion with a 5-2 victory.

The Cougars came out strong with a goal but as the announcer was reading the score sheet, Brett Reed passed up the middle to Corbin Rainey who beat the goalie’s glove-side to tie the game. Moments later, Jake Kruetizer fed a long pass to Nick Balavich at the Cougar blue line, Balavich skated past the defense and beat the goalie through the five hole. The Cougars scored before the end of the period on a five-on-three power play to even the score.

The Green and White scored the only goal in the second period when Corbin Rainey drove the net from the right wing and Daniel Chappie chipped a backhander over the goalie’s shoulder for the game winning goal.

In the third period the Dragons scored on a power play as their passing took the Cougars out of position allowing Danny Blascak to sneak in from the point to bury a shot for an insurance goal (assists credited to Jesse Cameron and Corbin Rainey). Dylan Rosen fed a pass to Brad Bogus for an empty net goal in the final minute.

Dominic Junjac and Shawn Horton split the goaltending duties as the Dragons out-shot the Cougars 32-15 and held them to only 10 shots in the last two periods.

The Dragons ended the regular season with a 16-7-1 record.

Lake Orion played again on Monday, Feb. 27 against Eisenhower at the Onyx Rochester Ice Arena, getting off to a fantastic start in the Michigan High School Hockey State Playoffs by defeating the team that knocked them out last year’s Regional Finals by the score of 10-2.

The Dragons dominated the first period and out-shot Eisenhower by a 17-7 margin but only found themselves up by a goal, 2-1.

The second and third period were all Dragons as they scored four goals in each period to finish the game and move on to the next round. The Dragons were led by Elliot Rinke (4 assists), Corbin Rainey (3 goals), Brett Reed (3 assists) and Mike Bannigan (2 goals). Six Dragons also had at least two points on the night including, Andrew Vanek, Dan Blascak, Jesse Cameron, Nick Balavich, Dylan Rosen and Zach Koonce.

Dominic Juncaj made 15 saves and recorded the victory. The Dragons out-shot Eisenhower 50-17 on the night.

The Dragons face-off against Rochester United on Wednesday, March 2.