The Kalamazoo Eagles beat Portage Central 5-1 Wednesday evening, keeping the Eagles tied with Mattawan for first place in the SCHSHL South Division. That means next Wednesday’s game with the Eagles and Wildcats will be winner-take-all for the division title.
Entering the night, the Mustangs still had a shot at the crown as well. However, the loss and Mattawan’s 4-0 win against Portage Northern guarantees that PC will finish third in the division standings.
Plainwell’s Huston Born had an excellent night in goal, unofficially turning away 28 shots for the Eagles. Born also made numerous penalty kill stops as the Eagles had to kill off major penalties in both the second and third periods. Bryan Gracey had 33 saves in defeat for PC.
The Eagles scored in the first and final minutes of the first period with the former by Gull Lake’s Cullen Ward and the latter from Harper Creek’s Adam Ratliff. During a four-on-four in the second, Parchment’s Jimmy Lindstrom gave the Eagles a 3-0 lead.
The Mustangs finally broke through with 1:12 left in the second period as Justin Hayward scored during a five-on-three powerplay. PC wouldn’t score again, despite having more than four consecutive minutes of a five-on-three to close the game after third period fisticuffs. GL’s Trent Stoner and Plainwell’s Alex Johnson had the third period Eagle goals.
With the win, the Eagles and Mattawan are both 6-1 in the South Division. Now 13-6-0 overall, the Eagles host Port Huron Friday and travel to meet Mid-Michigan Saturday prior to their showdown with the Wildcats next Wednesday. You can listen to Wednesday’s game with Mattawan via JoeInsider.com next week with puck drop at 5:30 p.m. ET.
Portage Central falls to 4-3 in division play and 7-12-0 overall. The Mustangs head to Jackson United Saturday, then close divisional play next Wednesday with Portage Northern, which will also be heard live via JoeInsider.