HOCKEY: Washtenaw United Wins Inaugural Tree Town Trophy
Washtenaw United put in a stellar performance in the first game of the “Tree Town Trophy” series. The round-robin games in the event were designed to showcase the girls HS hockey teams at Pioneer, Huron/Skyline, and the Washtenaw United. Washtenaw opened the series when they played Pioneer HS on Friday night.
Excellent defensive play by United’s Chloe Dillen (Saline) and defense Rylee Kennedy (Milan) and Jillian Eggleston (Dexter) kept Pioneer off the scoreboard for the 1st period.
The second period saw intense forechecking by Raegan Kopitsch (Dexter) and timely defensive clears by Julia Berkholz (Dexter). Kopitsch scored with an assist from Eggleston as the period wound down. The third period included a rally from Pioneer, with a goal by Pioneer’s Piper Campbell on an assist from Nadia Tuzinsky.
But Washtenaw’s Cecilia Henricksen (Chelsea) scored with under 4 minutes remaining in the 3rd to give the United a 2-1 lead. Pioneer took two penalties in the last 2 minutes of the game to give Washtenaw the player advantage. Eggleston took two shots on Pioneer’s empty net and was rewarded with a goal with only 10 seconds left in the 3rd. Washtenaw’s goaltender, Julia Scarcella (Saline), stopped 16 shots while the United recorded 27 shots on Pioneer’s Maddie Grand. The final score was Washtenaw 3, Pioneer 1. Saturday, Pioneer matched up with Huron/Skyline at Buhr Park. A goal by Pioneer in the third gave them a 3-2 win over Huron/Skyline.
The last game in the series saw Huron/Skyline hosting Washtenaw United at Buhr Park Sunday afternoon. Washtenaw’s Raegan Kopitsch (Dexter) scored the first goal with an assist from Sydney Clark (Saline). S
kyline came back to score two goals in the 1st period and another two goals in the 2nd to take a commanding 4-1 lead. Washtenaw United, however, came back energized from the intermission and Clark scored a goal, unassisted, at the start of the 3rd period. Washtenaw’s Clark scored again a few minutes later, with an assist from Chloe Dillen (Saline). A late push by the United’s Julia Berkholz (Dexter) gave the United hope that they would tie the game, but Huron/Skyline’s goaltender stood tall. The game ended with Huron/Skyline winning 4 - 3 over Washtenaw. Julia Scarcella, in goal again for the United, made 33 saves.
With the three teams all posting one win and one loss a piece, the trophy went to Washtenaw United on the goal differential from their Friday matchup with Pioneer.
“We’re excited to win the inaugural round.” Washtenaw’s coach Adam Winters said post-game, “And we look forward to many years of rivalries with our sister programs across Ann Arbor.”
Next up for Washtenaw United is a game Tuesday night (2/15) at 6:30 p.m. vs. Sacred Heart at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. Saturday, 2/19, is Washtenaw’s Sr. Night with the ceremonies starting at 2:30 p.m. at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. The event recognizes seniors Reese Caryl (Saline), Jillian Eggleston (Dexter), Makenna Lupi (Saline) and Julia Scarcella (Saline). Washtenaw will play the affiliate team, Mid-Michigan, once the ceremony has concluded. The United will have two remaining games to their season - a league matchup against Livingston and a trip to Grand Rapids to play their 19U team. Playoffs for the MGHSHL begin March 3rd at Eddie Edgar arena in Livonia.
INFORMATIONAL ADDENDUM: Washtenaw United is a High School Girls’ Hockey Team skating out of the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. The team serves High Schools within Washtenaw County that do not have a dedicated team to play for. Currently, Pioneer and the combined Skyline-Huron have dedicated teams. Washtenaw United is made up of players from Saline, Dexter, Chelsea and Milan. The team is in its second year of play as amember of the Michigan Girls High School Hockey League (MGHSHL).