The third period defines the success of Lyon Sud unified hockey
The unified hockey of Lyon Sud intensifies when needed.
Facing a tie at 1-1 at the end of the second period against Northville on Friday, senior forward Jon Gardiner placed the puck in the left side of the net for the second goal of the game.
Gardiner opened the floodgates, as South Lyon Unified (18-2) scored two more goals in the third period, giving the team a 4-1 victory over the Mustangs (5-16-1).
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No matter how close the game was in the first 34 minutes, South Lyon Unified head coach Bill McCreary feels like something clicks in the last 17.
“I know the boys are real competitors,” said McCreary. “They want to win.
For the most part, those wins have been dominant, as South Lyon Unified has averaged just over six goals per game – not losing by scoring more than four in a game – while allowing just over one goal. per game defensively.
But recently, this success came at the end of the game for the south of Lyon.
In Unified’s win over Allen Park on January 30, South Lyon trailed 3-2, heading into the third period. Unified then outscored the Jaguars, 4-1, in the final 17 minutes to win.
The same scenario hit Northville. After South Lyon senior striker Caleb Mulcahy scored the team’s first goal of the game eight seconds into the second period, Northville forward Ryan Krikorian responded 26 seconds later with a goal, a score that will remain until the third period.
At this point in the season, McCreary said third-period success allows his star players to shine most when it matters most, regardless of whether his team have played their best so far.
“You’d like to come out of the gate real strong, wouldn’t you, and take control of the game from the start, but it doesn’t always happen that way,” McCreary said. “As the game progresses and it’s still a close game, our big guys are really stepping up for us.”
Gardiner posted his second score of the day, taking a pass from junior forward Mitchell Skamiera and hitting it into the right corner of the net to take a 3-1 lead. Skamiera scored the fourth and final goal late in the third period.
Missing star defender Anthony Joseph, who had been out with a fever, southern Lyon stepped up their defensive defense, allowing a goal or less for the fourth time in the last five games.
With South Lyon Unified’s scoring ability, the defense has seemingly been an afterthought, a by-product of excellent offensive production.
As the season continues and the opponents get tougher, Lowen said South Lyon Unified has been able to step up in all facets, including defensively.
“At the start of the year, we were doing a bit of it,” Lowen said. “But now that we’re close to the playoffs, it really gets us started and prepared to face these good teams. ”
In his senior season, South Lyon Unified is doing things Gardiner thought he would never be able to.
But with five games to go before the playoffs, the forward is confident, especially when Unified comes out on top in tighter games.
“It’s really just to prepare us more because these flashy games are starting to get old,” Gardiner said. “We need real competition in the mix.”