Portage Central faced a new opponent in the Dearborn Unified Co-op program on Friday night.
The teams battled hard with chances for both sides, but finished the first period in a scoreless tie.
Dearborn Unified took advantage of a Mustang mistake and scored early in the second period. A DU forward faked a move towards the net and crossed up the Mustang defenseman, “breaking his ankles” and sending him sliding across the ice into Mustang goaltender, Bryan Gracey. While Gracey was recovering his footing, the DU forwards attacked the net and sent the defenders scrambling. Eventually, a DU forward was able to backhand the puck through a crowd and into the net.
DU’s second goal started when a PC defender went for a poke check along the boards and missed. The DU forward skated right around him, headed straight to the net, dragged the puck across the top of the crease and flicked it into the goal as he was being knocked over by a Mustang defender.
PC spent much of the third period in the DU zone and had a number of shots and scoring chances to close the gap, but were not able to sneak one past the DU goalie. In a last ditch effort, PC pulled the goalie for an extra attacker, but even that didn’t work as the Mustangs could not score and DU eventually scored an empty net goal for their third goal of the night.
The Mustangs were not able to score on their 24 shots on goal. Bryan Gracey finished the night with 23 saves on 25 shots.