The Kalamazoo Eagles downed Kalamazoo United 9-1 Saturday at Munn Ice Arena, sending the Eagles to the regional championship in their debut MHSAA tournament campaign. Their second postseason win keeps the Eagles hot streak intact, as they’ve won 11 of their last 12 games.
Despite a lopsided 16-1 shots-on-goal tally for the first period, the Eagles were only able to score once on Loy Norrix junior goalkeeper Parker Remelius. Plainwell sophomore Justin LaGrow would break through with 4:26 remaining in the first for a 1-0 lead.
The Eagles exploded with three goals in the first 76 seconds of the second period, via Gull Lake’s James Onderlinde, LaGrow, and Harper Creek’s Adam Ratliff. GL junior Garrett Hoard made it 5-0 with 10:04 left in the second and the score stayed there into the intermission.
United was able to get some offensive pressure in the latter periods and tallied their lone goal early in the third via Hackett Catholic’s Brendan Collins. The Eagles would rack up four more after that and end the game 42 seconds early via the mercy rule. Trent Stoner and Alex Johnson scored in the third, plus additional goals by LaGrow and Hoard.
LaGrow finished with a hat-trick and an assist. Ratliff had five points with a goal and four assists. Remelius unofficially stopped 43 shots in defeat while Cody Rhodes had nine saves in victory.
Kalamazoo United finishes the season at 6-19-1, showing significant gains from their one-win 2018-19 campaign. United graduates four seniors; Brandon Murray, Jack Kirschensteiner, Brandon Fleckenstein, and Garrett Warner.
The Kalamazoo Eagles are now 20-7 and have a shot at a regional title Wednesday at 7 p.m. from Munn against the Mid-Michigan Marauders, who defeated the Eastside Stars 6-0 in the other semifinal. The Eagles blew out the Marauders 8-2 and 9-1 in two February meetings.
Listen back to Saturday’s regional semifinal broadcast here. The regional champ moves onto next Saturday’s 1 p.m. quarterfinal at Brighton, which would be broadcast live via JoeInsider.com if the Eagles advance.
The Eagles and Marauders are the only SCHSHL teams remaining in the MHSAA tournament field after Saturday’s results. From the South division, Mattawan fell 3-0 to Grand Rapids Catholic Central Saturday and Portage Central lost Thursday 2-1 to Forest Hills Northern-Eastern. From the Central division, Lumen Christi dropped a 3-2 result to Forest Hills Central and Okemos was pummeled 9-1 by Hartland.