Flyers soar on senior night
The Flyers seniors were honored on Monday night (2/8/16), both on and off the ice.
Flyers coach Ken Anderson said of the evening “Senior night is always a special night. It marks the beginning of the end of the boyâs high school hockey careers and the journey into adulthood marches on. Some will continue on with hockey at the next level, some will join an adult league and some may hang up blades for a while. But the life lessons the game teaches will hopefully stay with them forever. I wish them the best of luck. I know they will all do well.”
The starting lineup for the Unified(Farmington Harrison & North Farmington) Flyers saw all six seniors fielded, led by captain Jack Cikra(North). Alternate captain Brandon Glasser(North) and Chad Hoffman(Harrison) completed the forward lineup. Alternate captain Andrew Nathan(Harrison) and Tyler Magdich(Harrison) manned the defense and Thomas Bacon(North) had goaltending duty.
The first was a slow period for the Flyers and they would be on the short end of a 2-1 score at the end of it. It was at that point Bacon said enough, “I felt terrible, I was letting down my team and I decided no more goals.” Bacon was peppered with 18 shots in the first, allowing the only 2 goals that the Walled Lake Western Warriors would notch for the night. Bacon would end up stopping 42 total shots on the evening.
All the goals in the first came in a relatively short time, starting when the Flyers Blake Maddalena tapped the puck in with a small scrum in front of the net after a shot from the point by junior Carlos Tobar.
The Warriors would respond a mere 39 seconds with their own tap in when Matt Alati picked up the rebound in close in the slot from a shot by John Petruno. Mitchell Katkin would get the second assist.
The period was capped off with 1:09 left when Warrior Justin Smith would find the back off the net, assisted by Joey Bruce and Josh Mitchell.
The Flyers looked sluggish and Nathan commented “We came out a little slow but then in the second period we seemed to pick it up as a team and overall we started skating a lot harder. Laying the body on some people and getting some goals.” The second period was indeed the period for goals for the Flyers.
The first goal of the period came on the power play when Maddalena fired an absolute bullet from the left side point, going in the upper corner glove side of the Warriors netminder Anders Elmblad. Brandon Glasser fed the puck up to the near side point-man Jamie Dodd who passed it over to Maddalena.
Maddalena would get the natural hat trick just under a minute later when at the 14:26 mark where he was found knocking on the back door and got the goal off of a shot from Cikra. Cikra got the only assist.
Cikra was on the same page as Nathan on the slow start, “I thought we started out slow and I think once the second period started we came out shooting a lot of pucks on net and playing the body a lot more. Put some pressure on them and they were giving back up to us.”
And shooting is what gave Cikra a power play goal with 3:33 left to go in the second, getting the insurance goal with Jack Bleibtrey in the box for head contact. Maddalena would get the only assist on the goal giving him his forth point of the night.
3:33 of the second also marked a goaltending change when Zack Megyesi would take over. The Western goaltending tandem saw 33 shots overall.
The third period had no scoring, but there was plenty of action. Western pounded 17 shots on Bacon and he stayed true to his word, not allowing any past him. Things got chippy at the 11:35 mark when Maddalena would get the high school equivalent of a Gordie Howe hat trick when he was called for roughing along with the Warriors Katkin. Katkin was also given an additional two minutes for head contact and a game misconduct.
The Flyers are playing well, but still need to polish some things up. “We need to play hard, score goals, keep moving our feet and take the body.” Hoffman stated simply.
The Flyers will be put to the test Wednesday, 2/10/16, when they try to get another mark in the win column to increase their overall record to 8-12 (1-8 in conference play) and square off against Livonia Franklin.