Mona Shores hockey team rallies to claim another hard fought win over Reeths-Puffer, 4-3

 

By Justin Haggerty
Local Sports Journal

MUSKEGON – The Mona Shores hockey team has swept Reeths-Puffer in two games this season.

But the Sailors have had to fight to earn the W’s both times.

Mona Shores goaltender Jacob VanderLee covers up the puck during Wednesday's action against Reeths-Puffer. Photo/Joe Lane

Mona Shores goaltender Jacob VanderLee covers up the puck during Wednesday’s action against Reeths-Puffer. Photo/Joe Lane

Nick Edlund scored midway through the third period to give the Sailors the winning goal in a come-from-behind 4-3 victory Wednesday at L.C. Walker Arena.

Mona Shores trailed by one goal, fought back to take a two-goal lead, then found themselves tied in third period before Edlund’s goal settled the issue.

The Sailors beat the Rockets earlier in the season in another intense game, 3-2.

“It’s been a long rivalry,” said Mona Shores coach Dan Quaine, whose team improved to 8-5 on the season. “Each team comes ready to play, it doesn’t matter what the records are, just throw those out the window and hold on and get ready for a big game.”

R-P goaltender Wil Mierz made some show=stopping saves in the scoreless first period, including an unthinkable glove save that should have gotten Shores on the board.

No. 12 Brody Vanderlinde looks to control the puck for Reeths-Puffer. Photo/Joe Lane

No. 12 Brody Vanderlinde looks to control the puck for Reeths-Puffer. Photo/Joe Lane

“I thought he (Mierz) played outstanding tonight,” Rockets coach Eric Sikkenga said after his team dropped to 8-4-1 on the season. “He made some incredible saves and gave us a chance to win the game.”

Connor Weessies got the Rockets on the board at 5:13 of the second period on a wrist shot from the left side of the crease that snuck under Sailor goalie Jacob VanderLee.

Vanderlee was getting his first start of the season after transferring from Reeths-Puffer in the offseason.

Mona Shores tied the game less than a minute later when Zachary Tilden grabbed the rebound from an Elijah Wilson shot and slammed it into the open side of the net.

The Sailors scored twice more in the period to take a 3-1 lead. Nathan O’Neil scored at 10:17 and Sawyer Jensen scored 20 seconds later.

Mona Shores' Elijah Wilson reacts after finding the goal. Photo/Joe Lane

Mona Shores’ Elijah Wilson reacts after finding the goal. Photo/Joe Lane

Both goals came on odd man rushes that Mierz had little hope of stopping.

“Jensen had a nice goal with tic-tac passing and good puck movement. Wil (Mierz) played great for them, he made some big saves,” Quaine said. “That was one of the things we talked about, we had to get the puck moving on him.”

R-P’s Andy DeYoung scored a shorthanded goal at the 13:00 mark of the second period to bring the Rockets to within one goal, 3-2.

Reeths-Puffer’s Riley Draper tied the game almost six minutes into the third period, when he won a faceoff and wristed a shot past VanderLee.

It stayed that way until the 8:31 mark, when the Sailors claimed the victory.

Mona Shores’ Travis McCloud set up the goal by drawing Mierz to his right, then passed left to Edlund, who slid the puck into the open net.

The two teams will face off again March 2 in the first round of the state tournament.

 

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