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Based on a drawing held in December, Portage Central faced Grand Rapids Christian in the opening round of the Michigan High School Hockey playoffs and the game was held at Griff’s IceHouse in Grand Rapids Michigan.
The game didn’t start well for the Mustangs as GR Christian pushed the play in the first period and scored 2:47 in to the first period when a defensive turnover allowed Grand Rapids to keep the puck in the zone and then a shot from the boards somehow made it into the back of the net. GR Christian played a physical, abrasive, grabbing, hooking, clingy style of play and led 1-0 at the end of the period, outshooting the Mustangs 11-3.
The Mustangs made a push in the second period, generating more offensive zone time, but not many shots. The Mustangs were able to tie the game 9 minutes into the second period when Canyon Morse threw a shot on goal from the corner of the rink and the puck hit a defender and flipped up and over the shoulder of the goaltender and into the goal. Hunter Maschke earned the assist on the goal. Unfortunately, the Mustangs weren’t able to generate more offense and after 2 periods, the score was tied at 1. GR Christian outshot the Mustangs 9-5 in the second period.
With the season on the line, both teams played hard and the game was back and forth for the first few minutes. With just over 12 minutes left in the third period, GR Christian scored on an end-to-end rush by one of their players who beat Gracey blocker side from the slot to take the lead.
The Mustangs pushed to equal the score, but were frustrated in their attempt to generate scoring chances and eventually that frustration turned into penalties as the Mustangs took 5 penalties in the last 10 minutes of the third period, allowing GR Christian to score 2 power play goals and put the game out of reach.
The Mustangs ended the 2018-2019 campaign with a 12-12 record.
THANK YOU SENIORS!
With the loss, four seniors ended their Portage Central hockey careers.
#3 Konnor McLeod – Forward – Konnor played 67 games over three seasons earning 82 points on 37 goals and 45 assists while accumulating 261 penalty minutes.
#15 Skyler Sorenson – Defenseman – Skyler played 70 games over three seasons earning 19 points on 9 goals and 10 assists while accumulating 108 penalty minutes.
#18 Canyon Morse – Forward – Canyon played 67 games over three seasons earning 18 goals and 18 assists for 36 points while accumulating 75 penalty minutes.
#7 Jackson Saline – Forward – Jackson played his first season for the Mustangs this year and appeared in 24 games. Jackson earned 1 assist and 15 penalty minutes through the season.