Skyline went 2-0 in their appearances at the Michigan Public High School Hockey Showcase (MPHSHS) this weekend at the Arctic Coliseum. Their final game Sunday was a gritty effort as they had to overcome two one-goal deficits and one two-goal deficit on their way to the 5-4 victory over Farmington. Skyline never lead during the game except for the last 1:29 after sophomore center Isaac Lippert completed his first career hat trick to seal the come back for the Eagles in convincing fashion.
Farmington was the only team to cash in during first period play. Much of the play was kept in the Skyline end, and the pressure finally paid off for Farmington when they got the puck past sophomore goalie Brenden Cobb with just 6:17 left in the period. The Eagles were fortunate to get out of the period only being down by one at 1-0.
The second period has been big for Skyline this year, but this afternoon was not so magical; while they did manage to score twice, so did Farmington. Senior captain Ryan VanDiepen tied the score at 1-1 about 3 minutes into the period when he capitalized on a let down by the Falcon defense. VanDiepen was checked from behind, and a delayed penalty was being called for the infraction, but the play was still alive as Farmington had not gained control of the puck. Thinking quickly, the captain jumped up, gathered the puck and sent a quick shot on net that beat the hesitating goalie. The game remained tied until Farmington capitalized on a power play with 5:22 left in the period to get their lead back 2-1. Less than 3 minutes later, the Falcons added another goal to make it 3-1, and things weren’t looking good for the Eagles. Then with less than 2 minutes left in the period, Lippert got his first of the afternoon as older brother Luke and Sei Nakamura helped out to stop the bleeding and get the Eagles back into it. The period ended with the score 3-2 in the Falcons’ favor.
The third period showed the resolve of the Eagle team as they put the pedal to the metal. Less than 1 minute into the period, Lippert the younger scored his second of the night when Lippert the older gave him a nice feed from behind the net as he came streaking into the zone late to make tie it up again at 3-3. The Eagles couldn’t keep the momentum going, and again gave up a goal when they struggled to clear their own zone – Farmington was up again 4-3. This lead held for much of the third period. With only 3:28 left in the game, junior winger Noah Bradburn scored his team-leading 25th goal of the season on a beautiful feed from Isaac Lippert that knotted the game at 4 apiece. Two minutes later, Lippert completed his hat trick with the help of Sei & Kotoba, the Nakamura brothers, as he gathered the puck off the boards, separated himself from the Falcon defenders and ripped a laser beam shot from the top of the right circle to give Skyline their first lead of the game with just 1:29 left. The Eagles were able to kill the remaining time as sophomore center Ryan Schmunk corralled the puck deep in the Falcon zone and wouldn’t let them get it from him.
Skyline improves to 17-4 on the season. Their next game is Thursday at 7:00 vs Chelsea at the Coliseum. This game will determine the SEC White division champions, so come support your team.