2013-01-17 / Sports

Stalemate shows progress of Davison hockey

810-452-2626 • lpaine@mihomepaper.com

Davison’s Ryan Beck (#15), Drew Vandeputte (#8) and Mitchell Margitan (#22) get back on defense at Perani Arena. 
Photo by Michael Selecky Davison’s Ryan Beck (#15), Drew Vandeputte (#8) and Mitchell Margitan (#22) get back on defense at Perani Arena. Photo by Michael Selecky FLINT — A zero-zero tie in OT against Bay City on Saturday shows the progression the Davison hockey team is making. The stalemate came on the heels of a 4-0 loss to Saginaw Valley rival Saginaw Heritage last Wednesday.

After the significant loss last Wednesday, coach Doug Towler was encouraged with the team’s turnaround on Saturday.

“It was interesting,” Towler said. “A realy rarity in all of hockey to end in a 0-0 OT game. They dominated and we couldn’t get the puck out of our end the first 10-11 minutes, but we made the adjustment. The shots on goal were 21-20 in favor of Davison and we carried the play the rest of the game.

“We had some really good opportunities at the net, just couldn’t bury it,” Towler continued. “(RIcky) Gonzalez came up really good for us. It was just a really good hockey game, and the fans were on the edge of their seats the whole time, and we could hear all the ooohss and ahhs in the building.”

Towler said the excitement brought the Michigan Warriors out of their locker room early and they were watching to see the outcome.

“Ricky made four or five really good saves for us and so did Heritage’s goalie for them, but the whole team came through for us in this one,” Towler added. “We’ve been trying to find our consistency and intensity in every shift, learning how to battle and engage. For the first time this year, we got that. It was just a good team effort and showed the kids what they are capable of.”

Last Wednesday was a wakeup call of sorts for the team, though, as Towler said the boys played perhaps their worst game of the season.

“We got beat 4-0. That was probably our worst effort of the year.,” Towler explained. “We had a few practices after that to deliver the wake-up call. (Saginaw) has a very experienced team, but we just did not have the effort. That’s our predicament this season, getting the kids to understand what the 100 percent effort looks like, and feels like. They should be gassed when they give that all-out effort.”

Netminder David Arterburn was peppered with 52 shots from Heritage and Towler noted that Davison was outshot, 21-1 in the second period.

“David played well and stopped 52 shots, but we were out-shot 21-1 in the second. We didn’t battle for the puck and make things difficult for them. That’s just very frustrating as a coach, and for the kids.”

Towler added that maybe everyone eased up too much during the holiday break, but added that the team will continue to work to handle the pressure situations and to give the all-out effort. He also expects Brandon Orth back at the end of January.

“It’s not about winning the games,” Towler stressed. “The kids have had a lot of time to figure out where we are and we want to make the playoffs , so we just really need to continue to put the effort in and make that next step in the progress and where we are and where we want to be going forward.”

Yesterday Davison took on non-league Lapeer co-op at the Polar Palace and hits the road again to take on Midland Dow at the Midland Civic Arena at 7:15 p.m. Saturday.

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