William Clark scored a pair of goals to help Saline defeat Bedford, 5-2, Tuesday at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. Saline’s second straight win lifted the Hornets’ record to 5-9.
The Hornets matched the Mules’ physicality and played a strong defensive game.
“We needed it. It was a good team win. We did a lot of good things - blocking shots, sticks in passing lanes,” Saline coach Paul Fassbender said. “It’s good to start the new year with two in a row.”
Bedford struck first with a goal just seconds after Saline killed a penalty Jimmy Fuleky scored from the goalmouth to make it 1-0.
Midway through the period, after two unsuccessful powerplays, the Hornets answered. Connor Wright forced a turnover just inside the blueline, creating a mini two-on-one for Alex Lozovvy and Josh Peitz. Lozovvy saucered the pass through the defenseman and Peitz buried it to tie the score.
Later in the period the Hornets scored again. Clark picked up loose change in the slot and lifted a backhander over the goalie to make it 2-1. Julian Downey and Griffin Clark picked up assists.
In the second period the Hornets took command with two goals midway through the period.
First, William Clark scored from Keegan Bunting and Downey. A little more than three minutes later, Joe Raupp one-timed a perfect pass from Ben Wild through to make it 4-1. Colton Cundiff also drew an assist.
Cole Mason replied for Bedford with a deflected shot from the right wing. But defenseman Yanic Sadek restored the three-goal lead with a quick rush up the left wing and a hard low shot that beat the Bedford goalie.
Cody Stein stopped 22 of 24 shots for the Hornets. His best save came on a breakaway with about three minutes left and prevented the Mules from making it interesting.
It was a big win, said Stein.
“They’re a rough team, a bit of chippy team and a bit of dirty team. So it was important to go out there and keep our heads calm. We’ve had trouble with that, so it’s good that we stayed under control, played our game and came out on top,” Stein said.
Teams continue to struggle with new MHSAA rules on body checking. The rules, based on USA Hockey rules, emphasize that hitting must be used to separate a player from the puck, not to physically punish, intimidate or take advantage of a vulnerable player.
That resulted in Connor Wright being assessed a five-minute major penalty for a hit in the second period. It was the kind of hit that would have drawn fans out of their seats and been celebrated a year ago. In fact, the Hornet teammates all stood up and cheered when it was delivered. The powerplay was nullified by a five-minute major assessed to Bedford a little more than a minute later. In all, officials assessed 13 penalties on the two teams.
Saline returns to action at 3 p.m. with a game against Lenawee United in Jackson.
The Saline Post 3 Stars
William Clark - Big game for the Saline junior who’s taking advantage of the six inches he grew since his sophomore year. Clark scored two goals
Cody Stein - Stein made a few big saves early when Bedford held a 1-0 lead and then made a spectacular save on a breakaway late in the contest. Turning aside 24 of 26 shots for a win is always a good thing.
Yanic Sadek - The Saline senior has been a stalwart on the blueline, providing stability and experience. He was also pleased to score a big goal that basically put an end to any Bedford comeback hopes.