By Dave Tomczak
Local Sports Journal
MUSKEGON – Grand Haven hockey had plenty of opportunities to stay in its game against East Kentwood at the L.C. Walker Arena Saturday.
But the Bucs would finish the contest 1-for-9 on the power play and dropped a 6-3 decision to the Falcons in the consolation game of the 25th Annual Stan Konrad Memorial Tournament.
Both teams lost on the tournaments opening night Friday, Grand Haven a 4-3 loss to Portage Central, and East Kentwood, 5-4, to tournament host Mona Shores. Saturday’s game was a chance for one of the two teams to regain some momentum heading into the second half to the season.
Early on it looked as if the game could go either way. With the Falcons controlling a lot of the action and Bucs goalie Robert Arterburn stopping anything that came at him.
Finally East Kentwood broke through at the midway point of the first period when Alexander Birkman founded Adam Goudelock alone in front of the Grand Haven net.
But the Bucs would answer back quickly when Hayden Modaff won a battle for the puck in the corner and found Jake Steggles at the side of the net, who jammed the puck home, and tied the game up at 1-all only 1:55 after the Falcons goal.
After that however, it was all East Kentwood, beginning with final three minutes of opening period. Goudelock would score after two Bucs defenders ran into each other allowing the loose puck to find the Falcons forward for a 2-1 lead with 2:40 left in the first. A minute later, Sherman Mowery would score short-handed, putting in his own rebound, for a 3-1 lead after one. The Falcons would outshoot the Bucs 16-3 in the first.
Grand Haven started the second period with four power plays in the periods first seven minutes, but were held to only three shots on net during that time.
Neither team would find the net again until Kentwood’s Birkman knocked the puck in off the right post on a breakaway with 2:35 left in the second for a 4-1 lead.
The Bucs finally cashed in on the power play with goal by Nathan Schmidt at the 15:13 mark, sending Grand Haven into the second intermission down 4-2.
Grand Haven entered the third period needing to cut the lead in half early on to put the pressure on the Falcons. Instead, East Kentwood’s Goudelock would record the hat-trick just 27 seconds into the period for a 5-2 lead. Six minutes later Cameron Morris made it 6-2 EK.
The Falcons would finish the game with a 36-18 shot advantage and goalie Sarah White finishing with 15 saves.
Grand Haven’s Pat Modaff finished off the scoring in the game with eight minutes left, and the Bucs’ Arterburn ended the game with 30 saves.
2014 KONRAD MEMORIAL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Grand Haven – Jake Steggles
East Kentwood – Sherman Mowery
Portage Central – Jared Lutz
Mona Shores – Alec Sturr; Cory Sander; Ben Essenberg (MVP)