The Clarkston Wolves beat South Lyon Unified, 2-1, late Friday night. The game was the first of two of the Metro High School Invitational, a conference showdown that has five members of the KLAA playing five members of the OAA, with all games played at the Novi Ice Arena.
Both teams were in midseason form, as the exciting contest produced end-to-end action, big hits, fierce fore-checking, well executed special teams and magnificent goaltending.
The scoreless first period came to an end with Clarkston controlling most of the period, outshooting South Lyon 11-6, with South Lyon penalty kill doing its job as the Wolves has five power-play opportunities.
South Lyon junior net minder Aaron Callan made one outstanding save after another to keep the Unified team in the game and the game scoreless.
The second period remained scoreless with both goalies - Wolves senior Jack Viazanko and Callan - shutting down the opposition. The first big opportunity at 10:27 of the second was a penalty shot, which was called against South Lyon, but another big save by Callan kept Clarkston off the scoreboard.
The score remained the same late in the second, when Clarkston’s Garrett Polish picked up a loose puck and fed Kyle Hogarth, who beat Callan to the wide stick side, to open the scoring. The teams went to the locker room, with the Wolves leading 1-0.
South Lyon trying to end their offensive slump peppered 20 shots on Viazanko, while the Wolves managed 11 on Callan.
Penalty calls went South Lyon's way in the third, and it ended its 93 minute scoring drought on the power-play when junior defenseman Blake Robertson knocked down an attempted clearing attempt at the blue line and directed a shot towards the net, where junior center Corey Robertson fed senior Cam Thomas, whose backhand crossed the goal line to tie the game at 1-1.
The game was deadlocked for only 81 seconds, when Wolves forward Jacob Laporte grabbed the puck and raced downed the ice on a breakaway, beating Callan on a shot over his glove hand.
South Lyon had a couple of opportunities to tie the game. With 5:55 left, Clarkston was whistled for two minor penalties. South Lyon coach Bill McCreary called a timeout to draw up a couple plays, but South Lyon could not punch in the equalizer, as Clarkston’s special teams delivered despite being short two players.
South Lyon outshot Clarkston 37-33 for the game.