BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
With a 3-2 overtime loss to Howell, the Clarkston icers closed out their season, Feb. 29.
“The boys played well and that’s all you can ask for – effort, attitude and playing well,” said Clarkston Varsity Hockey Head Coach Karl Daiek.
Howell opened the MHSAA Division 1 Hockey Regional 5 Semifinal with the first goal. Wolf Cameron Thomas tied the game before the first period closed.
The Wolves broke the tie with a goal from Logan McGivern with less than five minutes to go. The teams went into overtime and Howell’s Steven Miller scored during a power play.
“They scored on two power play goals to come from behind and that was that. You can’t do much about it,” Daiek said.
Hunter Carene and Charles Eppink had one assist each and the Wolves had 22 shots on the net.
The Wolves opened the playoffs with a 9-1 win over Oxford/Avondale, Feb. 27.
“It was good,” said Daiek. “We had to work at it. It was a good tune up for Howell.”
McGivern, Joey Ketzler and Ben Zielke had two goals and one assist each. Charles Eppink had one goal and one assist and Donavin James had one goal. Thomas had three assists and Brandt Botterill had two assists. Jakob Harper made 10 saves.
Clarkston finished the season 16-11 overall and 8-5 in the OAA.
“The first goal every year you want to win the league,” said Daiek. “When you are eliminated from that with 4-5 weeks to go, the good thing for me is we never had a letdown. The kids still felt next game we are going to go out there, we are going to give it our all and they did. We weren’t going to win the league, but we beat some teams coming down to the end that were ranked higher than us.”
He added an important thing to him was competing and the team did it.
“You can’t do anything about yesterday, it’s what you do today, what you do moving forward,” Daiek said. “I have to say I was very pleased with the effort right until the last game. When you aren’t going to win the league and you are in a showcase just to play another game it’s easy to say whatever but they didn’t. They competed right until the end. The most important thing for me this year was competing all the way through even without a championship to win. That’s why we play sports.”
He added they also added more competitive teams to the schedule.
“We had a pretty tough schedule,” Daiek said. “I thought with the kids we had to replace and all the new bodies coming in, that I would be comfortable with .500. To their credit, we won 16 which is pretty good looking at the competition. Of course as a coach I am looking at the ones we didn’t win.”
The Wolves graduate 14 seniors – Brandt Botterill, Austin Burrum, Marcus Chiappelli, Charles Eppink, Jamison Eppink, Cole Goble, Ethan Hackstock, Jakob Harper, Anthony Hervias, Doni James, Joey Ketzler, Logan McGivern, Cameron Thomas and Ben Zielke.
“The biggest thing was the competitive end,” said Daiek. “They worked hard all year.”