BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Icers opened the winter season with lessons on the ice in their 7-4 loss to Anchor Bay last Thursday.
“They have been skating for months, but we have only been practicing for two weeks,” said Clarkston Varsity Hockey Head Coach Karl Daiek. “There’s a lot to cover. They are a little inconsistent with it which I expect. It’s a new coach, new systems, new structure, and it’s all new to them.”
Less than three minutes into the game sophomore Jackson Cooper broke out of the Wolves’ territory with the puck. He skated in front of the Tars’ net and their goalie. He swung his hockey stick, hitting the puck into the net for the first goal.
Anchor Bay tied the score with six minutes remaining in the first period. Clarkston met it with their own goal seconds later from sophomore Danny Milano with assists from junior Brent Bachusz and senior Gavin Eisert.
Milano attempted to get one more on the board with a shot on the net with two minutes to go.
“They were great,” Daiek said about the Wolves opening with two goals. “But it was through the normal course of play. What happens when it starts going the other way? Then, you aren’t doing things that are normal. You try to do more. You get out of position, you don’t focus on your responsibilities. Hockey is a very structured game even though it is consistently flowing. You still have responsibilities when you have the puck then immediately change when the puck changes possession or when it is a 50/50 puck. What these guys need to learn is their responsibilities and how to get into those possessions to do the right things which is going to take some time.”
Anchor Bay gained the lead in the game with five goals scored in the second period and one more in the third period.
Junior Gage Stamper and sophomore Brendan Tungol scored two goals for the Wolves during the final two periods.
“They played well at times,” Daiek said. “I prefer to dwell on the good shifts. I don’t worry about the bad shifts because we have to fine tune it to where they get more consistent. What I worry about is if they give up and don’t keep trying to get better. They aren’t willing to accept that and as a competitor I wouldn’t either. I want to compete, it doesn’t matter who it is.”
He added this year’s team is young and they are going to go against teams older and with more experience.
“The only way for us to catch up is to gain experience in a short amount of time. The key is they just need to stick with it,” he said.
The boys play Lake Orion on Saturday at Detroit Skating Club, 8 p.m.
BY WENDI REARDON PRICE