Friday, Apr 20, 2018
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District hockey: Northview, St. Francis move to final

Northview continued its offensive barrage in the district hockey tournament with an 8-2 semifinal win over Bowling Green last night at Tam O'Shanter.

The Wildcats, who outscored Lake and Central Catholic 18-0 in the opening games of the tourney, advanced to the district title game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday against St. Francis de Sales, which blanked St. John's Jesuit 3-0 in the second semifinal.

"Bowling Green didn't fall off the tournament truck," Northview coach Jim Cooper said. "If you turn over the puck to them, they'll find a way to put it in the net. They're one of the most well-coached teams we've faced, so this was a good wake-up call for us."

Alden Hirschfeld opened the scoring for the Wildcats at the

1:22 mark of the first period after a scrum in front of the net knocked the puck loose and onto his stick. Northview never trailed from there.

Bobcats goalie Josh Powers blanked the Wildcats for the next 13 minutes, until Erik LaVoy slipped a shot past him from the right side of the net with 51 seconds to go, giving Northview a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.

"He's an excellent goaltender," Cooper said of Powers. "But he tends to come out pretty far, so we talked about crossing up a bit more before we went out for the second period."

Northview quickly scored on two early power plays in the second period, followed by Hirschfeld's goal at the 4:47 mark that put the Wildcats up 5-0. BG's Blake Simon put the Bobcats on the board with a rebound score with 9:33 remaining, but LaVoy kept momentum wearing a black-and-gold jersey by putting a shot past Powers 52 seconds later.

BG's Rod Yohe added a score with

1:45 remaining to make it 6-2 at the second intermission, but the Wildcats held the Bobcats scoreless in the final period.

Brandon Snead and Hirschfeld each tallied a goal for Northview in the third.

Rivals St. John's and St. Francis had not given up a single goal in the tournament when they met for last night's second game - the Knights outscoring Start and Southview 17-0 and the Titans beating Ottawa Hills and Whitmer 22-0 to reach the final four.

In the first period, both teams played true to form. St. John's was given the best chance to go ahead with three minutes left in the period. Two St. Francis penalties gave the Titans a 5-on-3 advantage, but they couldn't capitalize on the opportunity.

St. Francis eventually broke the drought with 7:02 remaining in the second period. Alex Majewski took the puck just behind the left side of the crease and fed it back to a charging Zach Nodolny, who slipped a shot past Titans goaltender John Unger to make it 1-0.

The Knights added to their lead in the third when an interference penalty gave them a power play on the St. John's side of the ice. Majewski took the tip from Nodolny's face-off and put the puck in the net with 4:20 to go.

An empty-net goal from across the ice with 42 seconds left by the Knights' Brian Bilius sealed the outcome.

Unger finished with 22 saves. St. Francis goalie Mike McAnnich stopped 23 shots.

Contact Ryan Vasko at:

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