By: Wm. Michael Dixon
Tribune Recorder Leader
The Thumb Area Legion had their conditioning and recovery put to the test last week when they played a three-day stint of back-to-backs starting with a road trip to Saginaw-Bay Ice Arena to take on the Tri-Valley Titans last Wednesday.
Neither team was able to get the puck in the net in the first period, but the Titans hit their stride in the second and never looked back. The Titans put up three goals in the second period and another two in the final period. The Legion got on the board with a goal from Ian McKay (assisted by Colton Hooper) but it was not enough to dig them out of the deficit and they took the loss 5-1.
Lauren Eager tended goal for the Legion, saving 38 of 43 shots on goal for a save percentage of 88.4%.
The Thumb Area Legion hit the road again last Thursday, traveling down to McMorran Place in Port Huron for a matchup with the Port Huron Northern Huskies. The Huskies took control of the contest in the first, running up the score to 3-0 and put the game out of reach in the second period when they rallied for seven goals. The game ended after the second period, but splitting goalie duties for the Wolves was Jayden Collins and Major Barwig. Collins saved 19 of 22 shots on goal and Barwig 15 of 22 shots on goal for save percentages of 86.4% and 68.2% respectively.
The Legion hit the road for the third straight day last Friday, traveling all the way up to Gladwin for the game. Gladwin drew first blood, netting their first goal in the first period. Gladwin added three more goals in the second and finished off with a final goal in the third. The Legion struggled to get on the board, getting skunked 5-0. Lauren Eager was back in goal for the Legion, saving 42 of 47 shots on goal for a save percentage of 89.4%.
The Legion finally returned home this past monday for their “Hockey Fights Cancer” game against the Grand Blanc Bobcats. The event raised $3,636 for the American Cancer Society. The Bobcats broke the ice just over three minutes in the game to take the lead 1-0 and it would be the final time that they led the contest. Peyton Bowerman netted a goal just seconds after the next face off (assisted by Chase Talaski) and Gabe Vanderlip (assisted by Matthew Cummings) added another goal just a few minutes later. The Legion held a 2-1 lead to start the second period. Grand Blanc tied things up again less than two mnutes into the period, but the Legion quickly took the lead back thanks to the unassisted goal from Matthew Schmitt.
The Legion held a 3-2 lead to start the final period. The Bobcats pulled their goalie in the final seconds of the game, hoping to sneak in a goal and tie things up, but a takeaway thanks to the Legion defense and Eli Odle tossed in the free one thanks to the empty net (assisted by Chase Talaski). The Legion improved to 4-8 after the win over Grand Blanc and currently sit in fourth place in their division.
The Legion will get to enjoy a long Christmas break before returning to the ice in the new year on Thursday, January 4th at the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Township. The Legion return home Saturday, January 6th for a 3:30 pm matchup against Southgate Unified.