Dec 29—ACME—From one rock to another.
Traverse City Central buzzed Rockford 8-0 in Wednesday’s Scott Miller Memorial Holiday Invitational at Center Ice Arena, earning a second-round date Thursday with the Division 1 No. 7 Salem Rocks.
The Trojans scored the eighth and final goal with 4:29 remaining to end the game early via the mercy rule and hand the Rams their most lopsided setback of the season.
Salem (5-4) topped Toledo St. John’s 2-1, with a 39-18 advantage in shots on goal, to get a shot at Central.
Koen Burkholder scored a hat trick to give him nine goals in 10 games.
“He works hard and he’s been doing a really good job,” TC Central head coach Chris Givens said of the senior forward. “We want to see him be confident with the puck. Cutbacks, tight turns, stops and starts, using his body — because he’s so big — to protect the puck and just working himself into good shooting areas.”
Central blew the game open in the second period after a 2-0 lead following the first. The Trojans scored on four of their first five shots on goal of the second stanza, with Burkholder striking first, followed by Hunter Folgmann, Owen Dawson and Cam Peters — all on four consecutive shots on goal for a 6-0 lead 2:15 into the period.
Rockford (2-8), which started the third period short-handed because of a bench minor assessed after the second stanza ended, began the season ranked No. 6 in Division 1.
Zack Troyer and Dawson scored first-period goals for TC Central (5-3-2), and Burkholder lit the lamp twice more — once with 4:07 left in the second and then again in the third to end the game at 8- 0
The Trojans and Rocks play Thursday at 7:30 pm in the semifinals, with Toledo St. Francis and Saginaw Heritage meeting in the other semifinal at 5:15 pm The Bay Reps face Traverse City West at 5 pm Thursday in the consolation bracket
Toledo St. Francis, a team coming off back-to-back state finals appearances in Ohio, made its return to the Scott Miller Memorial with a 5-3 win over the Bay Reps.
The Reps (7-2-2) had a first-period score by Drew Hardy wiped out for deflecting the shot with a high stick. Toledo took his first lead shortly thereafter on a Jamison Rose goal, but Larson Miller evened it up with 4:38 left in the first.
“We let an opportunity slip early, especially since they were a little tentative enough in the first 10 minutes,” Reps head coach Mike Matteucci said. “They really picked it up after they scored their first goal.”
Ethan Egelski scored off Tyeson Griffore and Hardy assists to even it 2-2 before Easton Fleitz struck and Sawyer Zielinski laid two goals for a 5-2 lead by the Knights (7-5-1). Garrett Hathaway saw his first action in goal, coming on in relief of Aiden Reamer after the fifth goal.
Jake Dunphey scored the Reps’ last goal, assisted by John Hawkins and Chris Gay.
The Reps played short-handed after Riley Pierce and Zander Griffore were ejected from the Midland game. Those two will miss Thursday’s second round of the tournament, but be eligible to return Friday.
Without two of its skaters, team manager Noah Endres dressed for the game, but didn’t see the ice. Matteucci said he’d dress again Thursday, and hopes to get Endres some ice time.
Hathaway injured his ankle in Traverse City St. Francis’ state semifinal game and hadn’t yet played this season. He and Reamer each made eight saves in net.
St. Francis, which won the 2020 state title and finished runner-up last year, graduated 16 seniors off that finalist team. The Knights have played only two of 12 games at home this season against a grueling schedule.
WEST STANDS TALL AGAIN
Ethan Westendorf went top shelf for the only goal out of 33 shots on Mason West in the first two periods. West ended with 46 saves for the Traverse City West Titans.
“He’s incredible,” TC West first-year head coach Zach Bargy said. “Some of the saves he makes, you have to make up a word for it. I can’t imagine there’s a better goalie in the state than him.”
Heritage (5-4), which started the season ranked No. 7 in Division 2, claimed the tournament the last five times it’s been played.
Cole Winters scored two goals for the Hawks, with Owen Turner adding one.
The Hawks won last year’s tournament with a 4-2 win over Rockford in the final after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the 2020 event. The Hawks capped the 2019 tournament with a 5-4 win over Toledo St. John’s, then the fifth-ranked team in Ohio.
Bargy played for the Reps from 2010-14, the team his Titans take on Thursday.
“Not conflicting at all for me,” Bargy said. “I’m all green and gold. I gave that up a long time ago, so no conflict at all. I will be 1,000 percent invested in the green and gold.”
* Alex Telepo scored the game-winner 2:39 into the third period to propel Salem to a 2-1 win over Toledo St. John’s.
* Peter Manginen also scored a goal for the Rocks, and Kristian Chorkey made 17 saves to preserve the win.
* Anthony Leech scored for St. John’s and 6-foot-5 senior Zachary Lojewski stopped 37 shots.
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