By Wendi Reardon Price
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Hartland — The Wolves continued their momentum as they shut out Howell in the MHSAA Division 1 Ice Hockey Regional 3 Semifinal on Saturday night, 2-0.
“It was what we expected,” said Nathan Bryer, head coach for Clarkston Varsity Hockey. “Howell is going to come out. Howell is going to compete. They are a very good physical, fast, skilled team so it was exactly what we expected.”
After holding control in the Highlanders’ zone and taking numerous shots on the net, sophomore Eric Wade scored the first goal for the Wolves with 1:14 left in the first period, with an assist from sophomore Ron Wade.
“We knew it was going to be a hard game and we knew we couldn’t overlook anything to get game one taken care of,” Bryer said.
The second goal came from senior Theo Walker on a shorthanded goal to the top of the net with 10:47 left in the game.
Sophomore Calum Hartner had 15 saves in the shutout while the Wolves made 35 shot on Howell’s net.
“Calum has been a big piece of our puzzle,” Bryer said. “He bought in tonight. He competed on every puck and same with our defense. All six of our defense bought into what the ‘D’ coach tells them to do and it showed tonight.”
It did show especially when Howell pulled their goalie with just over a minute left in the game and put a little more pressure on the Wolves’ defense.
Bryer added it was another night the team showed their depth and having four lines helped.
“It’s been our thing all year – our depth and being able to use 12 forwards and being able to use 6-7 ‘D’ all night,” Bryer said. “It wears other teams down.”
The Wolves (21-2-2) play Hartland (19-6) the regional final on Wednesday at Hartland Sports Center, 5:30 p.m.
“It’s a tall task,” Bryer began about the Eagles who have won 11 consecutive regional championships. “They are very deep, very skilled, fast, physical – any description you want to put on a state championship hockey team they have it. We know it. So we know we have to show up and give it our best.”
The winner moves on to the MHSAA Ice Hockey Division 1 Quarterfinal 2 to play the Stoney Creek/Rochester United winner from Region 4 at Suburban Ice – Macomb on Saturday, 12 p.m.