Plymouth, Michigan: Saturday, March 9, 2019
For a young man playing high school hockey the opportunity to compete for a state championship is the memory of a lifetime. Most will never play past that level. Some will go on to play college hockey. A few might sign a junior professional contract. It’s extremely rare for even one player to make it to the NHL.
For Trenton and Hartland boys hockey today’s championship matchup is a repeat of last year’s Divison 2 title matchup. Hartland won last year’s final by a score of 4-2. Trenton looking for their share of glory was optimistic after defeating Hartland 2-0 earlier this season.
Hartland hit the ice with a purpose. Head Coach Rick Gadwa had the Eagles prepared for whatever Trenton had to offer. The Trojans could not solve the Hartland pressure on defense. Most Trenton rushes were stymied in the neutral zone. When Trenton was able to advance into the attacking zone, they were unable to maintain possession long enough to create any real pressure on net.
The first big opportunity of the game came when Hartland goalie, Brett Tome(30), was penalized for tripping one of the Trojans behind his own net. Brett’s teammates stepped up and shut down the Trenton power play. Not allowing a shot on goal.
With 4:14 remaining in the first Owen Pietila(96) scored for Hartland on an assist from Joey Larson(9). Just eight seconds later Owen found the back of the net again, staking Hartland to a 2-0 lead. Dakota Kott(13) and Grant Pietila(20) assisted.
A brief scrum broke out after the horn signaled the end of the period. Adam Pietila(10) from Hartland and Logan Styles(2) were charged with roughing. Trenton’s Sean Stanley(23) picked up a cross-checking minor, giving Hartland a power play to open the second period. Hartland outshot Trenton 18-3 in the first 17 minutes.
Hartland did not convert on their power play to start the second. Trenton’s goalie Joey Cormier(30) made a number of fine saves to keep the Trojans in the game. But Hartland converted again with Adam Pietila scored on a feed from Benny Tervo(3) at 13:47 of the period. The superb defensive effort from the Eagles again limited the Trenton attack as they recorded only 3 shots on goal in the second. The stat sheet listed Hartland ahead on shots on goal 33-6.
Trenton tried to step up the pace in the third, but Hartland’s defense held firm. Putting 7 shots on goal, all stopped by Tome, Hartland responded with 11 more shots and the 44-13 shot advantage really told the story of the game.
Gabe Anderson(11) scored on a power play with 4:33 left to play. Assists went to Trent Krause(21) and Grant Briggs(7) and the celebration was on. Hartland had repeated last years title with their 2nd Championship in a row.
Hartland finished the season 27-4, while Trenton’s record was 25-5-1. Congratulations to the Eagles for their big win. They dominated every aspect of the game and deserved the Trophy as Michigan Boys Hockey Division 2 Champions. Trenton can take pride in making it to the championship in back-to-back years. However, they will have to wait for 2020 to try and earn another shot at redemption.