The Wayland Unity Knights were assessed a check from behind major penalty in the first period of their game against the Bishop Foley Unified Warriors on Saturday night.
It was enough to cost them the game.
The Warriors topped the Knights 5-1 at the Troy Sports Center.
The Warriors scored two goals on the power play from the Knights major, called at 11:47.
Dominic Doxen opened the scoring for the Warriors with a power-play goal, with Austin Lukaschewski setting up the goal at 11:27.
Lukaschewski then got the first of his three goals in the game on the same power play at the 8:30 mark. Rudy Stuglin got the helper for the Warriors.
It was 2-0 for the Warriors at the end of the first period.
In the second period, Lukaschewski stripped the puck from a Knights player on the Warriors' blue line. The Knights were on a power play. The puck popped out and dribbled towards center ice.
Lukaschewski picked up the puck and was off to the Knights net on a breakaway. Fans could hear the Knights bench holler “Catch him! Catch him.”
They didn’t catch him.
Lukaschewski, a veteran goal scorer, buried the puck in the Knights net to give the Warriors a 3-0 lead on the short-handed goal at 4:26.
“Whenever he gets the puck”, Warriors head coach Dave Williamson said afterwards, “people come out of their seats because something is going to happen”.
Lukaschewski completed his natural hat trick on an unassisted goal scored early in the third period.
With a 4-0 lead for the Warriors, the Knights' prospects were growing dim until 12:25 of the third period. The Knights Tony Grooters got a bullet past Warriors goalie Alex Day to end his shot at a shutout.
Kyle Dane and Zach Vachon got the assists for the Knights. The score was now 4-1 for the Warriors.
The Warriors Tyler Hiltunen added the game’s final goal with an assist to Doxen at 6:07 in the third period.
“We forced a turnover in our own end”, Williamson said. “(We) got a breakout pass and, and Tyler got open, and got a shot on net. It went in and that was huge”.
Day and Knights' goalie Conner von der Hoff both faced 26 shots.
“Alex Day again was stellar in net,” Williamson said.
Kristin Doxen, who was injured in the game the night before, sat out this game. She is expected to return to the lineup for next Friday’s road game against rival Shrine. Filling her place on defense was Andrew Williamson, who came off of injured reserve and played his first game of the season. Williamson saw limited action.
Coach Williamson liked what he saw from his team.
“The young guys today, Alberto (Nava), Stevie (Jacques), Matty (Blake) and (Dominic) Finazzo, they all contributed," he said. "They gained a lot of confidence today. They battled and they saw when they do the little things, good things will happen”.