Young Reeths-Puffer hockey team begins a challenging week with an 8-2 loss to Northville

By Steve Gunn
LocalSportsJournal.com

MUSKEGON – The Reeths-Puffer varsity hockey team is young, inexperienced and still learning the ropes.LSJ Logo incert

But teams like Northville, Novi and Mona Shores aren’t going to show any mercy.

No. 19 Collin Powers brings the puck across the blue line against Northville forward Daniel McKee. Photo/Jason Goorman

No. 19 Collin Powers brings the puck across the blue line against Northville forward Daniel McKee. Photo/Jason Goorman

The Rockets are off to a 2-5 start this season following a rough 8-2 loss to state-ranked Northville on Friday at L.C. Walker Arena.

Things won’t get easier over the next week for the Rockets, who will host a strong Novi team on Saturday afternoon and play archrival Mona Shores next Wednesday.

Northville, meanwhile, will visit Mona Shores on Saturday at Lakeshore Sports Centre.

“We’re playing like an inexperienced team that doesn’t have any confidence,” said Reeths-Puffer Coach Eric Sikkenga, whose team has only four seniors. “We’re sitting on our heels and letting other teams dicate the tempo of the game.

“We know we have to develop, but there’s a difference between developing and allowing other teams to dictate everything. Our offensive output is not acceptable and our defensive effort is equal to that.”

The Rockets played from behind all night on Friday.

Northville’s Daniel McKee scored the first of his three goals 4:17 into the first period, then his teammate Ty Kilar added a tally about two minutes later, to give the Mustangs a 2-0 lead after one period.

Reeths-Puffer goaltender Colton Koopman prepares for the save against Northville's Riley Brass. Photo/Jason Goorman

Reeths-Puffer goaltender Colton Koopman prepares for the save against Northville’s Riley Brass. Photo/Jason Goorman

The Rockets put themselves back into the game just 10 seconds into second period when Max Schaab tapped a rebound past the Northville goalie.

But Northville’s Zac Osaer answered with a goal 2:23 into the period to give his team a 3-1 lead. The Mustangs added two more tallies and led 5-1 at the second break.

Trevor Fowler scored the Rockets’ second goal at 2:53 of the third period, but Northville answered with a goal from Jimmy Dales and two more by McKee to cap the scoring.

Despite the lobsided score, Northville only outshot the Rockets 38-32.

“We reverted to bad habits,” Sikkenga said about his team pulling within a goal, then letting the game slip away. That’s a sign of inexperienced players.”

When asked how his team can bounce back from an ugly loss and be ready for a good Novi team on Saturday, Sikkenga said it’s up to the players.

“You’ve got make them understand what they have to do,” he said. “You want them to understand the things that worked for us today. The first period was a pretty good period, then we quit going with what worked.

“I think going to bed tonight after an 8-2 loss should change some attitudes.”

 

 

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