Listen live online Wednesday via JoeInsider.com to high school hockey with the Kalamazoo Eagles against Mattawan at 5:30 p.m. ET, followed by the Blades of Southwest Michigan against Kalamazoo United around 7:45 p.m. It’s the final Wednesday league doubleheader prior to next week’s SWMHSHL postseason tournament.
Entering Wednesday, the Blades have already locked up the top spot at 8-0 in league play. Portage Central is second at 6-3, but Mattawan still has a shot at the #2 spot holding a 5-3 mark. Although who finishes second is still in dispute, the Wildcats and Mustangs are guaranteed to meet next Wednesday in the #2 vs #3 tournament semifinal. They also will battle Saturday in the annual Renbarger Cup contest.
The fourth and final spot in the tournament semifinals is still up for grabs. Portage Northern currently sits fourth at 3-6 with the Eagles at 2-6, although the Huskies would hold the tiebreaker due to their head-to-head sweep. Meanwhile at 1-7, Kalamazoo United isn’t mathematically eliminated yet, although they face very long odds.
For the Eagles, losing Wednesday’s meeting with Mattawan would sink their semifinal hopes. Their first meeting on December 7 saw the Wildcats win in overtime 2-1. The Eagles are 7-20-1 overall with Mattawan at 8-11-2.
For United (1-16-1 overall), any faint hope at finishing fourth requires a monumental upset Wednesday over the first place Blades (32-8-0-1). The Blades haven’t lost to a SWMHSL team since the Kalamazoo Eagles overtime upset on January 27, 2017, their lone league loss last season. Their first meeting on December 12 was a 4-1 Blade victory.
You can listen to both games via the embedded player below Wednesday with the Eagles/Wildcats at 5:30 p.m. and the Blades/United around 7:45.