Boys Varsity Ice Hockey
|Milford High School||7|
|Alliance Hockey Club||4|
Ben Kozar netted a hat trick and Austin Combs had two goals and two assists to lead the Mavs to a 7-4 victory Saturday night, their second win in the past three games, over the Alliance Hockey Club (9-9), a unified team consisting of five high schools.
Alliance's CJ Harris got his first of two goals just two and a half minutes after the drop before Kozar stole the puck from an Alliance defender and scored a breakaway goal to tie it at 12:36 of the first.
Alliance took the lead on their next shift, with Elite Brigade veteran and Alliance leading goal scorer Jacob Young notching his 22nd of the year to make it 2-1 before the crowd had time to get warm in their seats. Milford's Kozar responded with his second goal of the night with helpers from Austin Combs and Tristan Ingram-Reeve to tie it at 2 with eight minutes to go in the first.
The Mavs' Kaz Bowring tickled the twine as he went in all alone on Alliance goalie Will Garbutt off of a perfect pass from Sophomore Liam Markell to give Milford a 3-2 lead after one.
Freshmen Matt Rowe continued his strong play with his third goal in as many games with assists from Sophomores Combs and Bowring at the 8:38 mark of the second to put the Mavs up by two. But Alliance scored again on their next shift of the game to bring them back within one 4-3.
Combs picked up his team leading fourteenth goal after he back checked and caught an Alliance forward who was bearing down all alone on Milford's stellar goaltender Tyler Kerr, before turning the play up ice and converting a power play goal from Rowe and Bowring with 46 seconds to go in the second, giving the Mavs a 5-3 lead and momentum heading into the second intermission.
Both Milford's Kerr and Alliance's Garbutt kept the biscuit out of the basket as both teams had quality chances in an exciting, back and forth first 13 minutes of the third period before Combs buried his second goal of the night from Ingram-Reeve and Rowe for a Milford 6-3 lead with 4 minutes remaining in the game.
Kozar put the game out of reach on the next shift when he netted his third goal of the game and ninth of the season on a strong outside power drive move, with an assist from Freshmen Luke McIntyre for a 7-3 lead with 3:30 to go.
McIntyre's assist, his fourth point of the season, gave him his Family's lead in career point production as a Maverick over his Dad Steve who had three points as a Mav (Redskin) back in the day.
"We talked about the importance of having a good shift after we score since Alliance scored two goals on shifts following our goals earlier in the game, so it was great to see Ben score on the shift after AC scored" said second year Assistant Coach Ian Wiljanen.
Alliance scored with 50 seconds to go to make it 7-4.
Milford's Kerr ended with 29 saves while the Alliance's Garbutt had 32.
"It looks like our first year players are starting to get used to the speed and physicality of high school hockey and are realizing what it takes to compete at this level," said third year Assistant Bob Nolan in a raucous post game Mav locker room.
The Mavs host the Knights of Walled Lake Northern Wednesday 7PM at Hartland. Please come on out and support your local hometown hockey team as they continue to get better every day in preparation for Regionals at the end of February, where Milford is slated to face D3 top ranked Cranbrook Kingswood.
"Thank you to our volunteers who help make the great game of hockey fun for the Team and a big Thank You to our student section, especially the Milford Glass Gang, for your enthusiastic support!"