The Blades of Southwest Michigan defeated Mattawan 6-3 in Wednesday’s Teddy Bear Toss game. The bears were thrown onto the ice following the first goal and collected for donation to area first responders in helping with children in times of trauma.
The fans had to wait until there was 1:19 left in the first period to launch the bears with Schoolcraft’s Parker Lawrence getting the lone first period goal for the Blades, assisted by younger brother Gavin.
Penalties hurt Mattawan as they surrendered two goals early in the second period while serving a boarding major. Bronson’s Dylan Smith and White Pigeon’s Blaine Shafer had the tallies for a 3-0 lead. The Wildcats got one back with 11:14 left courtesy of Cam Agnew.
Lawrence tallied his second goal with 2:10 to go in the second, matched 55 seconds later by Mattawan’s Carson Byers. However, Lawrence would complete the hat-trick with four seconds remaining for a 5-2 Blade lead entering the second intermission.
Agnew scored shorthanded early in the third to get the Wildcats back within two and they had their own major opportunity after a hit leading to Lawrence’s expulsion. However, the Blades killed off the major and Shafer would add an empty net goal to cap off the night.
Vicksburg’s Jack Tomer was the winning goaltender with 27 saves. Mattawan’s Brendan Pellerito stopped 32 in defeat.
The win moves the Blades to 18-15 ahead of a busy weekend beginning with a Friday trip to the Culver Academy. The Blades meet Adams and Riley in a Saturday doubleheader at the Ice Box in South Bend, then host Culver for Sunday morning play at Wings West.
Mattawan falls to 12-3 with the defeat and plays Okemos Friday and St. Clair Shores Unified Saturday, both at Wings West.