Four-goal third period gives Novi the semi-final victory over southern Lyon
It is not long since Novi saw the south of Lyon unified
The Wildcats ended their regular season against Unified, ending a six-game winning streak on February 20 with a 3-3 draw.
However, in the Region 15 semi-finals, Novi did more than just match Sud Lyon Unified. The Wildcats (13-10-3) handed Unified their first loss since Jan.31, beating southern Lyon (20-5-1), 7-2, after a four-goal third period.
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After a season in which he lost to Howell in the regional semi-final, Novi will face Livonia Stevenson in the regional final at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at Eddie Edgar Ice Arena.
“The thing is, our team has grown a lot over the season,” said Jay Naidu, senior at Novi. “We used to break down and that would be it. I think with our coaching staff and all of our great captains we were able to turn the tide in the coming periods and I think we really put our things together and were able to move forward.
Shed 2-0 in the middle of the first period, junior Tanish Nichanametla opened the scoring for Novi, folding the puck from behind on a power play called after a counter-check by Ben Jones from south Lyon. Forty seconds later, Naidu scored his ninth goal of the season.
Tied 2-2 after a period of play, Novi took his first lead of the game – the decisive goal – in a way that mirrored his first. Senior Sharma Maanas took advantage of a power play after a countercheck from Jones.
“We just had to regroup, and we did it,” said Novi head coach Mark Vellucci. “Getting that goal on the power play was huge.”
After the Wildcats took a one-goal lead, there was no turning back.
Sharma had a hat trick, scoring two goals in the third period, while Naidu opened the third period with her second of the game. Anikeith Datta finished the scoring for the Wildcats, scoring the last of five power play goals scored against South Lyon Unified.
The south of Lyon Unified gave up seven goals in a game just once before their loss to Novi on Friday, losing to Howell, 7-4, on February 11.
With that came a bit of frustration for South Lyon Unified. They recorded eight penalties in the third period, including one after a fight between Unified senior John Gardiner and Novi junior Austin Balconi.
With 7:26 remaining in the game, Gardiner was called up for a two-minute brutality penalty, a two-minute unsportsmanlike penalty and a 10-minute misconduct penalty.
Mitchell Skamiera, from south Lyon, scored his only two goals of the day in the game’s opening eight minutes, which Vellucci attributed to Novi not showing up right away, but finding solace on the ice as he went. and as the match progressed.
Novi regrouped, beating a team he tied just over a week ago. With that, Naidu feels that no matter who they face in the final, the Wildcats have the momentum on their side.
“Once we start I think our team is a bit unstoppable,” said Naidu. “I think we have the power and the skills of the team. Once we get moving I think it’s a pretty tough team to stop.