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January 03, 2013Senior Jake Soyka scored a power-play goal with 2:54 left in the third period to lift host University Liggett's boys' hockey team to a 4-3 win over city rival Grosse Pointe in the first round of last weekend's University Liggett Holiday Invitational.
A standing-room only crowd had the luxury of watching a great game with both teams playing the kind of up-tempo, hard-checking style everyone expected.
Senior Cam Marchese assisted the game-winning goal.
"We had a real good first period, but South's goal early in the second startled us and we played a little tighter than we wanted," Liggett head coach Robb McIntyre said. "They took us out of our game in that second period, but we got the rhythm back in the third period and played well.
"It was a big win over South and now we get a chance to play another quality team in the championship game."
The host Knights jumped out to a 3-1 first-period lead off goals by junior William Yates, from senior Manny Counsman and junior Vincent Scarfone; Soyka, from sophomore Mason Demsey and Counsman; and sophomore Josh Soyka, from Jake Soyka and Counsman.
The Blue Devils' goal was scored by sophomore Alex Newell from juniors Andrew Bigham and Wyatt Flynn.
"We weren't ready to play tonight and it took us until the second period to get it going," South head coach Bobby McKillop said. "You can't play poorly against a Robb McIntyre-coached team or you will lose.
"This was a measure-stick game for us and we lost because we weren't ready to play."
The Blue Devils stormed back in the second period as junior Andrew Hyde, a former ULS player, scored just 28 seconds into the stanza. Newell and Bigham drew assists.
They tied it 3-3 at the 9:08 mark when senior Blake Reece scored and senior Tommy McShane and sophomore Dominic Rinaldi assisted.
Both teams had good scoring chances in the final period, but it was South senior goalie Will Newell who came up with more saves, including back-to-back saves midway through the period when the Knights had shots right on the door step.
When the Blue Devils had a man in the penalty box, the host team took advantage and it took Soyka only 11 seconds into the power play to score the game winner.
The Knights took an untimely penalty with 1:54 left, giving the Blue Devils a man advantage.
They had chances, but sophomore Luke Soyka made two saves in the Blue Devils' man advantage and the defense did the rest, clearing the puck on three occasions to win the game.
The following day, South lost 5-4 to Sault Ste. Marie in the consolation game, dropping to 3-8 overall, while Liggett dropped a 7-4 decision to Muskegon Mona Shores in the championship game, falling to 5-6 overall.
Both teams play before classes resume.