Hockey Club learns from mistakes, goes 1-1 against Northwood
by Elizabeth Casella, Managing Editor
A home-and-home game series is never an easy task for any athletic team to face during the season. Between travel and turnaround time, it’s always a challenge for teams to stay on top of their game. The Ocelots experienced this for the first time this season when they traveled to Midland, Michigan on Friday, Nov. 5 to verse the Northwood University Timberwolves and within less than 24 hours later returned to home ice on Nov.6 for game two.
On Friday, Nov. 5 the Ocelots saw a win fall out of their grasps. The Ocelots lost to Northwood 8-5. It was a rough start to the back-to-back weekend games against the Timberwolves.
“The boys didn’t play with enough intensity and didn’t stick to the systems. We can’t play that way and you have to stick to the system,” said Head Coach Robert Lindsey, when asked about the tough loss against Northwood.
Less than 24 hours after their loss against Northwood, the team quickly turned things around and showed a different side the following night, Saturday, Nov. 6. On home ice a completely energized team hit the ice, skating to a different tune then the night prior. The Ocelots came out aggressive, and pounded Northwood, 7-2, heightening team spirits.
“We played pretty well. It was a good game and we played a full three periods. It was well organized and we had a great defensive zone. Also a great penalty kill. Everything we wanted to execute, we did 100 percent,” said Assistant captain Vince Glenn.
The first period set the tone for the game. Right from the start both teams demonstrated that it would be a very fast-paced game with both teams fighting for puck possession. Both teams wanted to make a move early and not let the other team get the upper hand. Schoolcraft forward Tanner Sweitzer scored the first goal of the night, but was shortly followed up by a Northwood goal scored by Ethan Stutzman. The first period ended tied 1-1.
During the second period the Ocelots started on the attack against Northwood. Schoolcraft scored the second goal by center Zachary Nichols with assists by defensemen Austin McKibbin and right winger Owen Hund to make it 2-1. The Ocelots continued their offensive attack following up with three more quick goals. The third goal was scored by Nichols and assisted by forward Andrew Lindsey. The fourth by forward Zachary Goelniak with assists from left winger Spencer Kovacs and right winger Glenn.
It seemed as if both teams could feel the fire to win because the play became more rough throughout the period with lots of intense contact and fighting for the puck that led hard hits and broken sticks. Ocelots forward Brendan Nutting rounded off the end of the second period with tallying the fifth goal of the game for Schoolcraft with an assist by defensemen Zack Finzel. Schoolcraft goalie Brendan Donaldson kept the Ocelots in the game by making save after save. After two periods of play the Ocelots held tightly to the lead with a score of 5-1.
“We came in more prepared and had the energy right from the beginning. In Midland we all just thought it was fun, but we had no energy and didn’t come out prepared enough as we should have been,” said Nichols.
The Timberwolves tried to fight back hard in the third period and cut down the deficit on Schoolcraft to no avail. They shot more often and harder on the Ocelots goal trying to get some lucky shots. Northwood managed to slide one past the Ocelots at the 15:12 mark of the period, but that was all the Timberwolves would get.
Hund managed to score a goal of his own shortly at 7:27 mark, unassisted sealing the win the Ocelots, 7-2. Kovacs managed to score the sixth goal of the game with the assistance of McKibbin 10 minutes into the period.
“The boys did great tonight. They did a great job goaltending, during faceoffs and on defensive goals. They played as a team and shared the puck and it showed,” said Head Coach Rob Lindsey.
The teams record now stands at 5-5 as of Nov. 6. The Ocelots will be on the road for the next few months. Their next home game is scheduled against the University of Toledo Saturday, Feb. 4.
To stay updated on the team while they are away or for more information on stats, scores and team schedules visit acahockey.org. Fans can also like them on Facebook under the name Schoolcraft College Hockey Club.
For updates on their games from Nov. 11 and 12 check out schoolcraftconnection.com