TAWAS — Lakeshore Badgers head coach Bill Shriver expected a rough game Saturday afternoon, and that’s what he got as his squad lost their second straight when Oxford skated to a 11-3 victory at the Tawas Area Ice Arena.
Coming in with a 0-1 record after Friday night’s 8-4 loss to Southgate Anderson, the Badgers didn’t anticipate a more positive result Saturday, especially because they were playing without senior goalkeeper Alex Shriver.
But they were hoping to avoid the costly penalties they took against Southgate, when they had four in the second period alone and gave up four goals in a span of three minutes.
It turned a close game into a runaway for Southgate, and left coach Shriver stressing the importance of staying away from unnecessary infractions, and not giving the opponent chances with the man advantage.
Ludington senior Sawyer Smith volunteered to step up and play goalkeeper in Alex Shriver’s absence, although he had never played the position before.
The coaching staff weren’t hopeful that the game would go the distance, and while it was ended early because of the eight-goal lead rule, it did get into the third period.
In fact, the Badgers only trailed by two goals, 5-3 entering the final stanza.
“Sawyer did just an incredible job, and then he was just done,” coach Shriver said. “We got into the third period and he couldn’t move. Then, it was like a shooting gallery.
“But, he did way, way better than anyone expected, and the kids did a great job playing in front of him.”
The coach added that all three of the Badgers were good hockey goals, and not a matter of luck or freak plays.
Mason County Eastern freshman Brandon Austin scored the Badgers first goal on assists from Mason County Central senior Russell Schade and Ludington senior Luke Larr.
Lakeshore actually scored the first two goals and had 2-0 lead. The second tally came off the stick of Mason County Central freshman River Claveau, with a helper from Larr. Another freshman, J.T. Szoboszlay of Ludington scored the third Badgers goal from Ludington sophomore Rylan Mirretti and Bear Lake senior Bryce Harless.
“I was real happy. They played really well,” coach Shriver said. “We made a couple mistakes, but in general they did the right things.”
Lakeshore begins a three-game homestand against East Kentwood Wednesday afternoon at the West Shore Community Ice Area on the campus of West Shore Community College. The first puck is scheduled to drop at 3:30 p,m.