Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Monday Matinee

On Monday the 20th of February, Mt. Pleasant hosted a rare, school day Matinee when Lansing Catholic came to town. The two teams squared off a year ago in a holiday tournament in Lansing that the Oilers were crowned Champions of.

As Mt. Pleasant ran a full compliment of three lines and five defense man, every player on the roster logged minutes and at the end of the day the Oilers found their record improving to 8-13.

Mt. Pleasant opened the scoring on a nice wrap around goal from Sophomore Max Heeke with an assist going to Sophomore Theron Krapeck. The teams headed to the first intermission with the Oilers holding a 1-0 advantage.

Lansing was able to answer, knotting the game at one just two minutes in to the second period and from there it was a back and forth, at times sloppy and un-disciplined period that ended with the Oilers holding a 6-3 lead heading in to the third.

Scoring goals in the second period for the Oilers were Robert Backus (2), Nick Coscarelly (2) and Dan Pulver with assists to RJ Cilibraise, Erc DeLorenzo, Backus (3)and Pulver. Adam Salisbury was relieved after the second by Freshman Nick Burkholder. Salsibury made 18 saves on 21 shots faced.

The third period was a much more disciplined, defensively sound period played by the Oilers, allowing Lansing only 5 shots on net. They were able to get one past Burkholder on a great individual play by Tory Brown of Lansing.

The Oilers added to their lead on goals by Pulver, Nathan Pittsley and Jesse McDevitt-Irwin. Helpers were handed out to Backus, Pittsely and Derek D'Artagnan.

The Oilers will travel to Midland Wednesday night to take on High at 7PM.

The game must go on

Every once in a while a team must suffer through adversity to learn to come together and play as a TEAM. Whether they are losing by a goal, winning by 5 or simply working hard in practice, hockey is a sport that must be played by the ever changing 5 guys on the ice and cannot be dominated by any single player.

Sometimes this lesson can be a tough one for young hockey players, but the sooner they learn it, begin to accept it and pull together, the more successful the team will be regardless of the scoreboard and stat sheet.

Mt. Pleasant traveled to Saginaw Wednesday night facing some adversity of it's own and although the scoreboard reflected a 4-2 defeat to Heritage, the young Oilers team showed signs of the teamwork it will take to accomplish the goals they set out at the beginning of the year.

Several questionable calls on Mt. Pleasant led to Heritage scoring two power play goals and ultimately was the deciding factor in a tough conference loss.

Oiler scoring was provided by Nick Coscarelly and Robert Backus with a lone assist to Drew Dickinson. Adam Salisbury recorded 40 saves in the loss. The Oilers, now 6-13 will host Saginaw Nouvel on Saturday night for it's own Senior night.

Cold Winter nights....

Amidst a snow storm, icy roads and temperatures in the single digits, the Oilers traveled to frigid Gaylord, Michigan to take on the Blue Devils Friday night.

What turned out to be a very physical, hard fought game didn't end the way the Oiler faithful had hoped as Mt. Pleasant fell to 6-12, with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Blue Devils.

A game that had a combined 34 penalty minutes and only 3 goals had plenty back and forth action and strong goal tending on each end of the ice. Adam Salisbury made 31 saves in a losing effort for the Oilers, while only one of Mt. Pleasants 19 shots were able to find the back of the net.

Mt. Pleasant will next face Heritage and try to redeem an earlier season defeat when they travel to Saginaw on Wednesday night.

Rematch with Bay City

The Wolves came in to Mt. Pleasant Wednesday night looking to sweep the season series with the Oilers and that's exactly what they did.

Scoring three goals in the third after and evenly played first period proved to be too much for the young Oilers to overcome and they fell in defeat to Bay City.

The lone Oiler goal was scored by Junior Nathan Pittsley with an assist going to Nick Coscarelly.

The final score was not an indication of how close the two teams played, but again the Oilers couldn't overcome penalties and lost 4-1 in a Saginaw Valley League game.

On Friday the Oilers will travel up 127 to take on Gaylord.

Oilers return to Midland

On Saturday February 4th, the Oilers returned to the Midland Civic Center to take on the Tri Valley Titans. Attempting to avenge and earlier 4-1 defeat to the Titans, the Oilers came out of the locker with some hop and took the play to the Tri Valley.

It was the Titans however, who capitalized on an Oiler mistake early in the game to take a 1-0 lead. An inadvertant bounce off the boards and a mis-directed pass caught a few of the Oilers playing out of position and led to a goal that would cause the Oilers to chase the remainder of the game.

The Titans added to it's one goal lead half way through the second and took a 2-0 lead in to the third.

The Oilers lone goal was scored by Nick Coscarelly with assists to Robert bakus and Evan Huber. Sophomore Adam Salisbury suffered a tough defeat making 34 saves on 36 shots. The Oilers now fall to 6-10 and will host Bay City next Wednesday at the Ice Arena.

Conference Foe defeated.....

Playing back to back nights against teams that you gauge your program against has it challenges, throw in the fact both games being away and having to play shorthanded due to injury and suspension and the Midland Dow/Mt. Pleasant conference game on Wednesday night seemed to leave no question as to the outcome.

However................there is a reason the games are played!

The Oilers rolled in to Midland, still reeling from last nights tough loss to Big Rapids at Ferris. The boys played as if they had everything riding on one game and at the end of the night would enjoy the short bus ride back to Mt. Pleasant.

The first period was completely dominated by Dow as they out shot Mt. Pleasant 12-0, but strong goal tending and a good penalty kill held Dow off the scoreboard allowed the Oilers to get in to the locker room and regroup.

The second period would prove the deciding factor as Mt. Pleasant answered Dow's quick goal and subsequent 1-0 lead with two of its own by Junior Nick Coscarelly and Senior Eric DeLorenzo. Assists were handed to Dan Pulver & Coscarelly and the Oilers headed in to the third carrying a one goal lead against their conference rivals.

Strong goaltending and defensive play was once again the form as Dow out shot Mt. Pleasant 13-1, with the lone Oiler shot resulting in a unassisted goal by Danny Pulver, which gave mt. Pleasant a 3-1 lead with ten minutes to play in the period. The Oilers played sound positional hockey, allowed a lone goal with 3:45 left in the game, then really buckled down and controlled the flow the last three minutes of the game earning a much needed conference win.

Freshman goaltender Nick Burkholder allowed two goals on 39 shots and was able to help preserve the win for the Oilers, now 6-9 and will face Swan Valley on Saturday.

Playoff Preview??

On Tuesday night, the Oilers traveled to Big Rapids to take on the Cardinals at Ferris State University. In a possible preview of the Pre-Regional playoffs, Mt. Pleasant played a very spirited game against the team that knocked them out of the playoffs a year ago.

Robert Backus got the scoring started in the 1st period, with assists to Evan Huber and Senior Derek D'Artgnan. Unfortunately the lead would last less than a minute as the Cardinals quickly answered to tie the game at 1 and send the game in to the locker room even.

The second period had plenty of action as the teams combined for five goals along with several scoring chances and physical play.

The Oilers tallied three goals scored by Evan Huber and two more by Backus giving him hat tricks in back to back games. Assists on the three goals went to Danny Pulver and Tyler Jackson.

The third period started with Mt. Pleasant holding on to a 4-3 lead, but two very controversial goals in the period for Big Rapids allowed the home team to sneak out with a victory.

Adam Salisbury made 44 saves in the loss.