Muskegon Lakeshore Sports Center – The Hartland Eagles made the trip westward to face the Mona Shores Sailors on Friday night. The game was fast and physical for three periods. The visiting Eagles would skate to a hard fought victory, 4 to 2 over the Sailors.
The eagles would strike first with a scrappy unassisted goal from Jake Gallagher (No. 13) midway through the first period. Hartland would face a tough home crowd officiating crew for the remainder of the game. With Gallagher in the penalty box, Luke Cowan (No.15) and Josh Albring (No. 27) went to work on the penalty kill. Thirty seconds into the PK, Cowan and Albring skated down the ice shorthanded and Luke finished off the rush with his first goal of the night. Mona Shores would punch back with a goal and the period would end 2 to 1 Hartland.
There would be no scoring in the second period but plenty of chances for both sides. The momentum seemed to be in the favor of the visiting Eagles when they were not in the penalty box.
The third period would see the team swap goals early and then a major penalty was assessed to Joe Ulstrom (No. 18) that would put the Sailors on the power play for five minutes, Luke Cowan scored his second goal of the night from his steady line mate Josh Albring to make the Hartland lead up by two. Mona Shores would not go away and showed grit and determination by scoring their second goal of the night,
With the score 3 to 2, Joe caught a Mona Shore player with his head down crossing the blue line and the referee made a critical call with 7 minutes left in the game. After a lengthy internal discussion amongst the linesmen and referee, a five minute major penalty was accessed to Ulstrom. This would open the door for the Sailors to salvage the game on a 5 on 4 major power play. Christian Spangler (No. 30) did what he has done all season long and made critical saves that kept his teams lead to secure the victory,
The five minute Hartland penalty killing would extinguish any hope the Sailors had. Josh Albring added a power play goal with less than a minute left in the game to put the boys of winter in control, This was a great test for the Eagles and should provide a taste of playoff hockey as the target on their back gets larger every week as they continue to climb the high school hockey rankings.
The next game is Wednesday January 20, 2016 against Grand Blanc at 7 PM at the Hartland Ice Arena, (Pictures provided by Bill Tulpa)