For the majority of the night, the Eagles and the Bulldogs traded goals in pairs as both teams opened their 2015 - 2016 MHSAA hockey seasons at the Kensington Ice House in Brighton Wednesday night. In the end however the visitors from Hartland would skate off with a 4-3 victory.
The first period belonged to Hartland as they took a 2-0 lead just 3:77 into the contest. D Joe Ullstrom (18) got the scoring started for the Eagles with an assist from F Luke Cowan (15) and just minutes later it was Cowan's turn to light the lamp as he scored with an assist from F Jake Gallaher. Both goals came at even strength and the score would stay 2-0 advantage Hartland as things moved to the second period.
The Bulldogs swung momentum back their way in the second period as they scored two goals of their own late in the period. The Bulldog's first goal came with 5:29 left in the period on a short-handed opportunity by F Lee Pietila (9). Less than 2 minutes later, Brighton would tie the game at 2-2. This goal came on the power play from D Nick Foran (15) assisted by Pietila and Jay Keranen (4).
The rule of two seemed to hold for most of the third period as Hartland put two quick tallies on the board again. The first goal came at the 15:49 mark from F Nick Snyder (11) with the assists coming from D Kyle Mazur (5) and Cowan. A second quick goal game a little over a minute later as F Josh Albring (27) hit the back of the net with an assist by F Jake Behnke (10).
The Bulldogs would pull to within one goal late in the contest on an even strength goal by F Matthew Kahra (22) with the assist coming from F Sam Brennan (5). The Bulldogs would pull the goalie late in the game in an attempt to knot things back up but a slashing penalty took away the man advantage and allowed Hartland to take the game to the tune of a 4-3 final.
Next up on the Hartland (1-0) schedule is Walled Lake Western Friday night at Walled Lake while the Bulldogs (0-1) travel to Detroit Catholic Central on Saturday.
From the outset of Saturday's Prep Bowl game against Riverview Gabriel Richard, the Lakers looked like a team on a mission and they did not disappoint their fans as they cruised to a 49-21 victory.
Offensively WOLL's Chris Cartier carried the ball 16 times for 286 yards and 3 TD's to establish the offensive pace. The passing game complimented the running game although it wasn't as needed at Ford Field. Laker QB Clay Senerius was 6-9 for 180 yards and an additional 2 TD's.
Both teams advance to the MHSAA playoffs next week with Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes (9-0) slotting into to Region 3 District 2 matchup in Division 8 against Clarkston Everest Collegiate (5-4) and Riverview Gabriel Richard landing in Division 7 Region 4 District 2 and hosting Grosse Point Woods University Ligget.
The MHSAA has released the 2015 High School Football Pairings and there are very few surprises for Livingston County Teams.
This year's qualifiers from the county are Brighton, Hartland and Howell are grouped in the same District in Division 1. Hartland (6-3) will be traveling to Brighton (8-1) for the opening round in a rematch of a mid season game that saw Hartland knock off Brighton is a low scoring affair. The other game involving a county team has Howell (5-4) traveling to Grand Ledge (9-0) to get things rolling.
The winner of the Hartland and Brighton game will then take on the winner of the Howell and Grand Ledge game the following week. If Grand Ledge defeats Howell, they will host the game. If Grand Ledge loses, the winner of the Brighton/Hartland game will host.
Expect game times to be finalized sometime tomorrow and as soon as I have those, this will be updated.
Fowlerville dropped their match this evening to Williamston in straight games 16-25, 17-25 and 23-25.
In the third game the Glads held a lead late and looked to be in position to extend the match to a 4th game but the Hornets came up with a big serve and went on to take the decisive game.
Howell (5-3) v Novi (4-4)
Howell is looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2012 while Novi is hoping that a victory will be enough to land them in the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Howell started the season strong at 4-0 before going 1-3 in their last 4 games. Novi started the season slow losing their first 3 before picking up some key wins include a 26-20 victory over South Lyon on a last second play. Look for Howell to go back to the playoffs this year. Howell by 3
Hartland (5-3) v Salem (3-5)
Hartland is another of the local teams that has a win and in situation this week and they are paired against 3-5 Salem. Two of Salem's 3 wins have come at the expense of South Lyon and South Lyon East and the win against the Lions was the first week after a coaching change. Look for a the Eagles to join the Highlanders in the playoffs with a win this week and potentially be matched up in the first round. Hartland by 14
Brighton(7-1) @ South Lyon (4-4)
Brighton looks to have their starting QB back this week at least for some of the game and while South Lyon has picked up wins in their last two games, neither opponent has been the caliber of the Bulldogs. I expect Brighton to get a lead early in the first half and then work on things for their opening round playoff game next week. Brighton by 13
South Lyon East (1-7) v Pinckney (3-5)
Pinckney is rolling defensively having only given up 24 points in their last 3 games. The Pirates only managed 6 points against Kettering last week but should manage more than that against SL East who has averaged 35 points allowed this year. Look for Pinckney to continue their late season surge and move to 4-5 for the year. Pinckney by 21
Fowlerville (4-4) @ Waverly (2-6)
This is the game that scares me. On paper, Fowlerville should win easily but they have that loss to Ionia sandwiched between two strong wins against Lakewood and Williamston. Add to that the outside possibility of a playoff spot on the line and I really start to doubt myself on this one. Still, there is a strong uptake in the program and Waverly is a team that the Glads should beat. In a high scoring contest look for the Glads to pull this one out and then sit and watch on Sunday night to see if they are in the playoffs. Fowlerville by 2