BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The Wolves opened their winter season with a pair of wins during the Alpena Showcase on Friday and Saturday.
“First and foremost for me is the work ethic,” said Clarkston Varsity Hockey Head Coach Karl Daiek. “They worked hard through both games. It is the first element you have to have, a will to work hard.”
He added as a coach and a perfectionist, he is always looking for better performances.
“For the first two games, it’s good but it’s not our end goal,” he said. “We need to play quite a bit better. Again, we have only had five practices so it’s hard to get them up to speed in two weeks. I am encouraged.”
The Wolves opened the showcase with a 4-0 win over FNV Griffins. They took the lead in the second period with two goals then added two more in the final period.
Charles Eppink led with two goals. Cole Goble and Joey Ketzler had one goal each. Hunter Carene, Logan McGivern and Ryan Galligan had one assist each.
Goalie Jakob Harper had 13 saves.
“Jakob had a shutout his first game,” Daiek said. “It’s good and encouraging. Jakob coming on board is really a blessing, otherwise, we wouldn’t have a goalie.”
Clarkston defeated University Liggett on Saturday, 5-4. They opened the first period with three goals.
Eppink led with one goal and two assists. McGivern had two goals. Brandt Botterill and Ketzler had one goals each. Carene had two assists as Cameron Thomas and Ethan Adams had one assist each. Harper had 20 saves in the net.
Daiek added Eppink and McGivern did great in their first games for the team.
“Eppink is an impact player,” he said. “Logan is another one. We’ve got our standbys. Some guys who are pretty good on both ends of the ice, and they have been with us for awhile. We certainly have the potential to do very well. It’s nice to see the new guys immediately making an impact.”
He added returners Botterill, Thomas, Goble and Galligan each had two good days in Alpena.
“Some of the guys on the defensive side played pretty well,” Daiek said. “We know what they are capable of.”
The Wolves play in the Cranbrook Thanksgiving Tournament on Friday and Saturday.
“It’s definitely going to be a step up for us,” said Daiek in terms of competition. “The teams weren’t bad in Alpena, but they aren’t the caliber we will be facing pretty quickly. We are going to have to dial in a little faster. We have two more practices so hopefully we can address the most important items.”
He added they still need to get the new players up to speed with the Clarkston program.
“It’s new to them – they have worked under different coaches and different systems,” he said. “Now they have to get up to speed with what we do. They will. It’s a good group of kids and they are knowledgeable enough about the game to make adjustments. They will get there and they want to.”
They play Brighton on Friday at 5 p.m. The time of Saturday’s game will be determined based on the results from Friday.
BY WENDI REARDON PRICE