2017-12-28 / Sports

Grand Blanc hockey overpowers Lapeer

By Sports Staff

Grand Blanc’s Curtis McElroy moves past a Northville opponent on Dec. 6. 
Photo by Brandon Pope Grand Blanc’s Curtis McElroy moves past a Northville opponent on Dec. 6. Photo by Brandon Pope LAPEER – Grand Blanc’s offense could not be stopped at the Polar Palace last Friday as it cruised to an 11-4 win over Lapeer. Alex Zaliagiris netted his first-ever varsity goal with the help of Trevor Zelenock and Kieran Howard before Lapeer answered with two goals to put the Bobcats in a 2-1 hole.

Garrett Lesser then notched a power play tally, assisted by Jacob Strickland and Curtis McElroy, making it a 2-2 game after one. Owen Walker got it going in the second period with a top-shelf goal from Hayden Seguin. It was then Chase Homer’s turn, getting his first of the year from Wyatt Smith and Alex Mosqueda.

Lapeer wouldn’t go away, though, with another two goals to tie it up. Grand Blanc went back on top when Walker scored, assisted by Lesser, and then Homer added another on the power play, assisted by Smith and Brody Rosol, to make it 6-4 heading into the third.

Walker would complete the hat trick, which was fed to him by Lesser and McElroy before Lesser added another of his own with the help of McElroy. Walker would net his fourth of the night from McElroy and Lesser to go up 9-4 and then Kevin Lahaie got his second of the year on the power play from Howard and Nick Gorney.

Josh Griffel scored with only one second remaining on the clock to up the lead to 11-4. Nick Hensley was between the pipes and split the duties with Andrew Braum.

The Bobcats started off strong but late breaks cost them last Wednesday, traveling to Livonia Franklin for the second time in less than a week, taking a 4-1 loss. Lesser netted an impressive goal while lying on his back with helpers from Walker and Strickland late in the second period.

After that, Franklin began to assume control, drawing even at 15:16 of the third. With less than five minutes remaining, Franklin took the lead and then added to it with 1:50 left. Grand Blanc was pushing to try to draw even, but Franklin finished it off with an empty netter.

Grand Blanc, 4-5-0, is now off until Jan. 5 at the Dort Federal Event Center against Livonia Churchill. – B.P.

ALLIANCE: The Alliance hockey team (LakeVille, Almont, Goodrich, Imlay City and North Branch) was able to keep an even 2-2 score during Friday’s match up against Davison, until the Cardinals pulled away in the third period to take a 6-3 win over the Alliance.

The Alliance struck first when Zak Hanaford tallied the first goal of the night on an unassisted, shorthanded goal at 4:44 in the first. Davison then drew even with 14.9 seconds remaining. Davison then followed up with its second goal of the night at 13:31 in the second for a 2-1 lead. The Alliance then evened the score once again as Dakota Lehman rippled the mesh on a shorthanded goal, set up by Kurtis Winget and Will Garbutt.

Davison then ripped the game wide open, outscoring the Alliance 4-1 in the third. The Cardinals tallied backto back goals before Hanaford put one between the pipes for his second goal on a helper from Winget with 5:23 remaining.

Davison continued to pick up the pace as it added the final pair of goals with less than two minutes remaining.

“We were extremely pleased with our team’s effort on the defensive side of the puck, highlighted by going into the third at 2-2,” said Tom Ferreri, Alliance coach. “Our players were committed to winning puck battles and playing physical. Coach Towler has his team playing with focus, discipline and an extremely high level of play.”

Last Wednesday, the Alliance faced the Bay Area Thunder in back-to-back games, coming away with a pair of wins. On Wednesday, the Alliance took the matchup on the road and topped the Thunder 4-3, adding to Saturday’s 7-2 win at home.

Bay Area took a 1-0 lead at 14:01 in the first, but the Alliance answered back just three minutes later to even the game when Hanaford rippled the mesh on a helper from Matt Brauer. Both teams were unable to score in the remainder of the first.

The Alliance then opened the second to take the lead at 15:25 as Hanaford added his second goal of the night, assisted by Thomas Manko. Bay Area then evened the score once again just two minutes later. At 10:09, the Alliance took the lead as Jacob Young found the net, set up by Brauer, for a 3-2 lead.

Neither team scored again until the final four minutes of the game when the Alliance added an insurance goal with 4:24 remaining as Young added his second goal of the night, unassisted. Bay Area would then rally for just one more goal with 48 seconds left for the 4-3 final. Max Hubbell was in net for the Alliance, saving 22-of-25 shots.

“This was an extremely well-played game on the part of both teams,” Ferreri said. “Collectively, our players were committed to playing defensive-minded hockey and we were pleased that the team challenged themselves to pick up a difficult road win.”

The Alliance, 7-4, will be back in action on January 3 against Fenton/ Linden. – K.R.

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