Cats win 2 league Games over weekend

by Coach Elliott on December 7, 2010

The Northview Wildcats got off to a good start in the Northwest Hockey Conference this past weekend with a pair of wins over Bowling green and St. Johns. The wins improved the Cats to 4-1-1 overall and 2-0-0 in league play.

On Friday night the Cats took on long time league powerhouse Bowling Green. Northview had lost each of the previous 2 league openers both times at home to the Bobcats. Sophomore Drew Crandall helped them get off to a better start this year with a  Powerplay goal just over 2 minutes in. Crandall was able to convert a breakaway pass from Zach felser  to stake the Cats to an early 1 to 0 lead. Just over a minute later the Cats forecheck was able to produce another goal. After a turnover Crandall found fellow Sophomore Tyler Dewitt at the point. Dewitt’s shot was tipped home by Aaron booth for a 2 to 0 lead. The Cats would strike for a 3 to 0 lead in the early going of the 2nd period. On a 5 on 3 advantage Tyler Harding’s one-timer found the back of the net of a pass from Graham Kelsey and the Cats would never look back. Northview would pepper the BG net for most of the evening as they outshot the Bobcats 41 to 22. All-league goalie Nathan Gay was able to keep it close but the Bobcats could only muster a Powerplay goal late in the 2nd as the Cats skated away with the 3 to 1 win. Junior Goalie Phil Bowles stopped 21 of 22 shots to pick up his 3rd win in as many chances. He has given up just 2 goals in his 1st 3 games while stopping 56 of 58 shots on the year.

On Saturday night the Cats renewed their rivalry with the Titans. It was all about the special teams in this one. 36 of the 45 minutes would be played with 1 team holding the man advantage as the penalty box seemed to have a revolving door. 13 minor penalties for the Cats and 14 for SJJ resulted in 4 Powerplay goals and 2 shorthanded goals. Fortunetly for the Cats 4 of the 7 overall goals belonged to them as they made it 4 in a row over the Titans 4 to 3.  Aaron Booth would get the Cats on the board first converting a powerplay opportunity from Kelsey and Culver for a 1 to 0 lead. Culver made it 2 to 0 early in the 2nd with a shorthanded effort of the hard work and pass from Zach Felser. The 2 goal lead was short lived as the Titans converted on that same Powerplay to cut the lead to 2-1. Brent Easton would answer right back as his shot found its way to the net off a face off win by Dalton Carter to restore the 2 goal cushion. The back and forth game swung back to the Titans as their goal once again closed the score to within 1 goal after 2 periods of play. Just over 5 minutes into the 3rd period Ryan Laplante hit the eventual game winner off a turnover deep in the St. Johns end to give the Cats a 4-2 lead. St. Johns would catch a break on a shorthanded goal as the puck seemed to dip on its way to the net to give the Titans life at 4-3. However the Cats would keep the pressure on the Titans the rest of the way out for the hard fought 4 to 3 win.  Austin Gryca stopped 21 shots to earn his 1st win of the season and push him past 2002 graduate Tommy Lavoy into 7th place on the all-time wins list in team history.

This weekend the Cats go on the road for the 1st time down to Findlay Friday night before returning home for  a battle with defending league champ St. Francis at Tam-o-Shanter on Saturday night. Both games are scheduled for 7 O’ Clock.

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