Wildcats hold firm against Alpena team
MANISTIQUE – A weekend road trip yielded mixed results for the Manistique Wildcats U-19 girl’s hockey team. Following a pair of losses to Mackinaw City on Saturday, the Cats headed down to take on the Alpena Warriors Sunday.
In the match-up the Cats split with the Warriors, losing game one 4-3 and winning the night-cap 9-6.
“Our offense took a little crash on Saturday,” Coach Doug Casey said. “Mackinaw fielded a full team and they ran us ragged. Despite the losses, I thought the girls played a couple of their best games of the season.”
Manistique fell behind 2-0 in the opener against Alpena before getting on the board. Sammy Walters took a pass from Allison Casey and found the back of the net early in the second period. Trailing 4-1 with less than five minutes to play, the Cats switched things up, moving Hannah Bryant and Darby Demers from their defensive post to offense – a move that produced results.
Bryant scored off an assist from Demers at the 2:07 mark and Demers scored at the buzzer to cut the Warriors margin to one as time ran out.
Following a short break, the Cats hit the ice determined to make the trip back north with a victory. With the new line-up still in place, Manistique jumped out to a 3-1 lead at the end of the first period in game two off two goals by Bryant and one by Demers.
Ahead, Manistique added four more goals in the second period, one by Casey and three more by Demers.
Up 7-3, sparks started to fly in the final 15 minutes of play with seven penalties called in the period (four on Manistique and three on Alpena). In the end, the Warriors outscored the Cats 3-2 in the stretch, but couldn’t close the gap.
Battling at the net, Cassie Walters picked up the loose puck and scored her first goal of the game with 1:45 to play. Bryant got her hat trick seconds later to round off the scoring in the third quarter.
Manistique scored on nine of their 13 shots on goal; Alpena scored 6 times on 33 attempts. Hailey MacGregor was in the net for Manistique.
“We switched things up late in the first game Sunday and it paid off,” Casey said. “Darby and Hanna are hard to stop. While the score does not reflect it, Allison and Sammie also did a great job making the transition from offense to defense.”
Manistique travels to Marquette for a pair of games Sunday.