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Hayward Carries the Puck Into the Zone

Okemos PowerPlay downs PC

By Todd Hufford, 12/08/18, 2:30PM EST

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PC rally falls short

Portage Central jumped out to a quick lead as Hunter Maschke scored 14 minutes into the first period with an amazing goal. Canyon Morse took a heavy shot from the slot on the Okemos goalie. The shot bounced off the goalie and flipped up into the air. Maschke skated in front of the net and carefully deflected the puck out of mid-air with the shaft of his stick and into the net. PC carried the play until just before the end of the period when PC was called for boarding and received a major (5 minute) penalty.

Using the power play, Okemos scored on a tic-tac-goal play with only 15 seconds left in the first period. Okemos would score 45 seconds in to the second period and again a minute later to take a 3-1 lead. Okemos scored 3 power play goals in 2:12 minutes. Okemos added an even strength goal later in the second period to lead 4-1.

When the teams took the ice for the third period, it was clear that Portage Central would not give up or go away quietly. The team took more chances and it paid off. After a number of saves by PC goalie, Bryan Gracey, Luke Sproule started the rally as he skated up the ice, twisting through the Okemos defense. After deking around two defenders, Sproule deftly passed the puck across the crease to a hard charging Justin Hayward who slammed it into the back of the net. This ignited the Mustangs and they kept the pressure on. Two minutes later, Hayward cut off an Okemos clearing attempt and sent a wrist shot from the point through traffic and into the top corner of the net. Despite the pressure and chances, the Mustangs were not able to net the tying goal and then a number of late penalties killed the rally.

Bryan Gracey stopped 35 of Okemos’ 39 shots on goal while the Mustangs scored 3 on their 27 shots on goal.