Over the January 27th to 30th weekend, the Sault College men’s hockey program took place in a five team American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) DII showcase in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan hosted by the LSSU DII Lakers.
In game one on Saturday morning at Taffy Abel Arena, the (3 – 7) Cougars hit the ice against the (10 – 4) Michigan Tech Wolfpack. At 11:48 of the opening period, Wolfpack Nick Balavich sinks an unassisted power play goal to give Michigan Tech a 1 – 0 lead. Sault College’s forward Jason Uhl fires a Cougar goal to even the game 1 – 1 with an unassisted goal. With 3:23 left in the period, Michigan Tech’s Wyatt Conrow finds the back of Cougar netminder Michael Chilelli with helpers coming from Kevin Reminder and Nathan Bondi. Joe Caron brings the Wolfpack’s lead to 3 – 1 with Michigan Tech’s third of the contest at 13:54 of the middle stanza. Balavich and Harrison Mills drew the contributors on Caron’s shorthanded goal. Juergen Steupert increased the lead to 4 – 1 for the Wolfpack at 10:23 of the second with a pass from Jared Harper. Cougar captain Tyler Brown fires his 13th of the season to pull Sault College within two. Defenseman Jeff Auger had the helper on Brown’s goal at 5:30 of the period.
Brown scores his second of the game at 4:35 of the period with a Sault College unassisted goal to close the gap to one. Bondi brings Michigan Tech’s lead to 5 – 3 with unassisted goal 2:55 left in the second to send the Wolfpack into the second intermission up by two. Defenseman Jamie Kamzol finds the back of the Wolfpack’s net 1:44 into the final period with his first of the season on an unassisted marker. 48 seconds later, Michigan Tech’s Conrow improves the Wolfpack’s lead to 6 – 4 with Conrow sinking a goal behind Cougar netminder Carter Bissonette. Garrett Kraut added the assist on Conrow’s goal. Forward Jordan Allick finds Brown for his third of the game at 16:35 of the period to bring the game to 6 – 5 on Allick’s third of the season. Blueliner Michael Caruso registers his first of the season 5:17 into the third with a pass from forward Matt Zalewski. 14 seconds later Balavich fires the Wolfpack’s seventh of the game to bring the lead 7 – 6 with Michigan Tech ‘s third unassisted goal of the contest.
Forward’s Cody Poirier and Don Towell set up the Cougar Kamzol’s tying goal at 7:03 of the period to send the game into a five minute overtime period. 1:06 into the extra period, forward Matt Zalewski sinks the game winner for Sault College to improve the Cougars record to 4 – 7. Brown had the helper on Zalewski’s overtime goal.
The Cougars were back in action at 5:30 on Saturday when they met the (7 – 17 – 0 – 1) Northern Michigan Wildcats in game two of the weekend. Mitchell Kazmierczak gave the Wildcats a 1 – 0 lead with a goal behind Cougar goaltender Michael Chilelli with a pass from Northern Michigan’s Justin Pantle adding the contributor. Kamzol evens the game 1 – 1 at 2:31 of the opening period with Brown drawing the assist on Kamzol’s power play goal. Brown gives the Cougars a 2 – 1 lead with 1:21 left in the first with veteran forward Jett Lennox sending a pass to Sault College’s captian. Defenseman Caruso has the contributor on Brown’s fifth of the weekend at 17:35 of the middle stanza. With Sault College on a power play, Brown improves the Cougars lead to 4 – 1 with Caruso and Zalewski adding the assists at 16:06 of the second.
Forward Brian Genua scores his first of the season to increase the Cougars lead to 5 – 1 at 14:35 of the period. Brown registered his fifth point of the contest with the lone goal on Genua’s power play goal. One second past the halfway marker of the second and the Cougars on a power play, defenseman Riley Bennett finds Brown to bring Sault College’s lead to 6 – 1. With 3:58 left in the period, Northern Michigan’s Wes Zegan finds the back of Michael Chilelli’s net with a pass from Matt Husak. 40 seconds later and the Wildcats on a power play, Dione Potila scores Northern Michigan’s third of the game with Ethan Busch Anderson setting up the third of the game. Ethan Busch Anderson closes the gap to two for the Wildcats at 9:54 of the third. Mac Evans and Gavin Porter drew the helpers on Anderson’ goal. With .12 left in the game, Blind River native Bennett sinks his first of the season to give the Cougars a 7 – 4 win on an unassisted Sault College goal.
With the Cougars shorthanded on Sunday morning with a short bench, Sault College fell to the Ferris State DII Bulldogs in a 11 – 1 physical affair. Don Towell had the contributor on Sault College’s Jason Uhl’s goal in the loss.
Photo Credit: Joyce Uhl