January 10, 2013It was a nice beginning to 2013 for Grosse Pointe South's boys' hockey team.
The host Blue Devils used a 23-save performance from junior goalie Andrew Wright to shutout Dearborn Unified 4-0.
"This was a nice way to start the second half of the schedule," head coach Bobby McKillop said. "Andrew was solid in net, our defense was very good in our own end and the offense put the puck in the net. It was a nice game for all of our players."
McKillop rolled four lines and all three defensive pairings. Led by seniors Brad Kohut, Jake Corden, Ryley Maher and Blake Reece, as well as sophomores Will Barrett and Ian Corbett, the defense played well in front of Wright.
Grosse Pointe Southâ€™s Andrew Bigham, shown above playing Liggett a couple
of weeks ago, played well in the Blue Devilsâ€™ first game of 2013.
After giving up nine shots in the first period, the Blue Devils gave up only seven shots in the second stanza and seven in the third.
Neither team scored in the opening period, but the home squad put what would be the game-winning goal on the board in the second stanza.
Senior Max Corden scored on the power play with junior Andrew Bigham netting the assist.
Dearborn had its ample opportunities to get on the board. It had two two-man advantages in the first period and another in the third period. Overall, South was whistled for 11 penalties, making its special teams play vital to the victory.
"It was tough to roll the lines in the first period since we were in the penalty box quite a bit," McKillop said. "I'm proud of how well our special teams played. They were on the ice a lot and they came up big, especially on those two-man advantages."
Dodging damage on the power plays was crucial and the play of the senior defensemen, led by Kohut, was huge. Kohut is gaining more and more confidence with his increased role on the blue line.
It was still a tight game until junior Andrew Hyde scored at the 13:04 mark of the third period, giving the Blue Devils some breathing room. Corden had the lone assist.
In a span of 43 seconds late in the game, the Blue Devils lit the lamp twice as sophomore Cameron Mogk scored on the power play at the 2:30 mark and sophomore Dominic Rinaldi tallied at the 1:47 mark.
Corbett and junior Wyatt Flynn assisted the first goal and Reece assisted the final tally.
With the win, South improved to 4-2 in the Michigan Metro Hockey League and 4-8 overall.
Coming up for the Blue Devils is a home game Saturday, Jan. 12, against Allen Park.
"I can see a definite improvement from everyone on this team," McKillop said. "The guys are starting to understand the style of hockey I want them to play.
"The concepts are sinking in."
In other Michigan Metro Hockey League action, the Blue Devils play at Saline Tuesday, Jan. 15, and travel to Dearborn United and Ann Arbor Pioneer Wednesday, Jan. 23, and Saturday, Jan. 25.
The Blue Devils also compete in the Liggett Showcase the weekend of Jan. 18.
South plays Grosse Pointe North and either DeLaSalle or Liggett.