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HOCKEY: Rochester United picks up convincing win over Mattawan

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Hockey - Boys - 12/21/2013 

Rochester United 4
Mattawan 0
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ROCHESTER HILLS – The Rochester United boys hockey team defeated the Mattawan Wildcats 4-0 on Saturday afternoon out at the Onyx Ice Arena.

Rochester United dominated the game from start to finish, piling up 49 shots on goal and rolling all four lines to control the play, pinning the Wildcats in their own zone for long stretches.

“The best thing about today is that we had all four lines going,” Rochester United head coach Craig Staskowski said. “And we’re a tough team. Most teams don’t have that ability to play four lines, and really from our top line to whatever you would consider our fourth line, everyone was going. It was a really good team effort.”

Torre Rocco opened the scoring for Rochester United just over four minutes into the game when he crashed the slot and one timed a pass from Graham Day into the net. Midway through the opening period, Rochester United doubled their lead when Connor McLocklin poked in a loose puck in the goal crease.

Despite dominating the game, Rochester United had a hard time pulling away in large part because of the play of Mattawan goaltender Jake Toth who had a stellar game in net, making 45 saves and robbing United on more than one occasion.

“I thought our goaltending was really strong tonight,” Mattawan coach Mike May said. “Jake really stood on his head only giving up four goals. They had a ton of shots.”

Because of Toth’s play, Mattawan was able to hang around on the score board, but the Wildcats struggled to generate an offense of their own as the Rochester forecheck combined with a defense that did an excellent job of holding the puck in at the line, left the Wildcats struggling to break out of their own zone with consistency. When they did, the United back check made it hard for them to create chances in transition.

Eventually, Rochester United would add a goal by Marshall Bowery late in the third and another goal by Rocco in the final minute to seal the game and provide the final margin.

May looked at the game as a learning experience for his young squad that is rebuilding after graduating most of the players from a team that won 20 games last season. “They’re a good team. We’re young. We’re learning,” he said. “We’re just trying to figure out who we are as a team, and they’re a good hockey team. They move their feet. They transition really well, and hopefully our guys learned something this weekend,” he added.

With the win, Rochester United improves to 7-2 heading into the holiday break. Next up for Rochester United is the annual holiday showcase and a match up against Utica Eisenhower on Friday.

“I’m really happy with the way the guys played,” Staskowski said. “This was a time of year last year where we struggled a little bit, and we addressed that. We wanted to make sure that we finish up the new year the right way. We have goals this year, and we want to make sure we’re working toward them.”

Mattawan falls to 2-7 on the season.

Last Updated: 12/22/2013 3:24:26 AM EST

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