The Southwest Michigan Blades claimed their final regular season game Wednesday within the Southwest Michigan High School Hockey League, defeating Portage Northern 6-3.
The Blades were held without a shot on goal for nearly the first five minutes, but made their first shot count on a goal by Three Rivers junior Jaxon Dobrolowski. The rest of the first stayed fairly even and clean, until the Huskies got a penalty for too many men on the ice in the final minute. The Blades didn’t take long to tally a powerplay goal by Harper Creek’s Zac Gothard.
Portage Northern started the second with a goal in the first minute by Will Todd. The Blades quickly responded with three goals in about a four minute stretch. Schoolcraft’s Parker Lawrence got two, one on a five-on-three powerplay, with Three Rivers’ Jett Haifley scoring in the middle. The Huskies were able to get one back before the end of the second, courtesy of Caleb Martin, for a 5-2 score.
Tyler Simon scored quickly in the third to give Portage Northern some hope, but penalty woes for the rest of the period crippled any comeback hopes. White Pigeon’s Cole Shafer added one more goal for the Blades.
Haifley finished with a four-point night on a goal and three assists for the Blades. Comstock’s Zac Hattan made 22 saves in the win. PN’s Peter Todd stopped 28.
The Blades finish the league slate with a 9-1 record and move to 25-5-2 overall. Two non-league games remain prior to the league tournament, as the Blades host Clarkson Friday, then head to Grand Ledge/Fowlerville on Sunday, February 18.
Portage Northern drops to 8-10 overall and 5-4 within the league standings. They travel to Ann Arbor Huron Saturday, then end league play the following Saturday against Mattawan. That meeting with the Wildcats may determine second place in the standings, with Mattawan jockeying with the Huskies for position.