Wolves weather storm to post big wins

BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The game was done for the Clarkston Varsity Hockey team by the end of the second period as they scored eight goals to mercy Royal Oak last Thursday at Detroit Skating Club.
“It was very good,” said head coach Karl Daiek about the game. “We have to keep our focus, and our boys did a pretty good job of that. They moved the puck really well which is what we need to do against any opponent.”
The Wolves opened the scoring five minutes into the game off a shot from Trevor Gilman, with assists from Gage Stamper and Nik Highducheck. Two minutes later, Brent Bachusz added one more to the scoreboard with 10:11 remaining in the first period.
The Wolves grabbed possession from faceoff quickly to try for their third goal which didn’t come until 7:18 left when Highducheck scored with assists from Daniel Milano and Daniel Tremblay to end the first period 3-0.
Bachusz was the first to score in the second period with a quick shot into the net with 13:40 remaining.
The Wolves added two more goals within the next three minutes. The next game from Austin James off a long shot during a power play at 11:51 with an assist from Gilman.
Gilman scored his own goal 30 seconds later off a pass from Highducheck and Marcus Chiappelli, putting the score 6-0.
Tremblay scored the next goal with 6:23 remaining in the second period as his shot hit the top of the net. Milano and Chiappelli assisted on the goal.
Nineteen seconds later, Brandt Botterill scored the eighth goal to activate a running clock after a pass from Austin McKay.
Daiek was happy to see contributions from everybody during the night and being able to give everyone time on the ice.
“It keeps guys who don’t get as much ice, typically, keeps them engaged,” he added on how it helped the team. “Getting everybody in makes everybody feel apart of it, too. Having different scorers encourages all of them to get working because the opportunities are going to come. If they are continually paying attention to what their responsibilities are they will get their rewards, too.”
He said the win will help the players with confidence as they go into the final games of the regular season.
“We are getting players back,” he added. “We have gone through the flu, gone through injuries and so on. We have been short-handed. Now we have a full roster. It’s good. We weathered that storm.”
The Wolves have won three games by a mercy so far this season with two of them being 8-0 shutouts.
“We were mercied six times last year, but we never gave up,” Daiek said, adding he understands what Clarkston’s opponents are going through. “We kept battling and battling. Those are the rewards you get for continually battling and competing. Even though we had a bad year last year, they wanted to compete. The fruits of that labor are coming out.”
The Wolves lost to Detroit Country Day on Saturday, 8-0.
“It will be a tough game and that’s good. We want to play against the best,” Daiek said before the game.
Clarkston(13-8, 7-2 OAA White) heads to the west side of Michigan as they play Kalamazoo on Friday at 8 p.m. and Portage Central on Saturday, 2: 15 p.m. Both games are at Kalamazoo Wings Stadium.
The Wolves are back home on Thursday, Jan. 15 when they host Bloomfield Hills at Detroit Skating Club.