WATERFORD – The Waterford Mott Corsairs exploded for six goals in the first period en route to an 8-4 victory over the Walled Lake Northern Knights in KLAA North boys hockey action late Friday night.
The Knights actually struck first when Austin Sansom scored a short-handed goal on a breakaway just 4:26 into the game. This continued a trend from the past few games when the Corsairs had gotten behind early.
But this time the Corsairs would answer back right away, scoring later in the same power play with a goal by Todd Bonniver. It was the first of six-straight goals for Corsairs, who were actually out-shot 7-3 in the game’s first eight minutes before dominating the second half of the period.
The turning point came midway through the first period when Drew Patterson gave Mott a lead that they would never relinquish, as the puck bounced out between the circles and Patterson stepped into a slap shot, ripping it into the back of the net. Just over two minutes later, Austin Sereno got his first of the game — a highlight-reel goal where he picked up the puck along the boards at the top of the circle, cut to the center and executed a double deke that beat the Walled Lake Northern defense and left the goaltender completely off balance, giving Sereno an open net to tuck the puck into. After that the Corsairs were in control for the rest of the period, dominating the final eight minutes to take a 6-2 lead after the first period.
“We had a really strong first period. We came out really flying and playing hard, and we developed a bit of a lead there,” Corsairs head coach Marty White said. “I think the big positive today was our strong first period.”
Sereno would finish with a hat trick, while Bonniver and Max Vancil would each score twice as the Corsairs top unit exploded.
“They did very well,” White said of his top unit. “Our third line stepped up and did pretty well for us.”
Trailing 6-2 entering the period, the Knights got goals from Sansom, who finished with a hat trick, and Eric Woolf, who had a goal and two assists. Walled Lake Northern had a patchwork lineup that was missing seven regular players, but the group settled down in the later periods. However, the deficit it had dug in the first period was simply too much to overcome.
“We struggled in the first period, didn’t play very well. We played a lot better in the second,” Knights assistant coach Eric Tunison said. “We take the second period positive. If we come out and play like the second period, if the kids come out and compete like they did in the second period, then they can stay in any game.”
Overall, White was happy to get the win, but he was also looking for a bit more consistency from his team.
“We just have to work on trying to bring three consistent periods. If I can get three periods like the first one, I’ll be a lot happier,” he said.
With the win, Waterford Mott (5-7) improves to 3-1 in KLAA North play. The Corsairs host first-place Walled Lake Central Saturday night in a key divisional showdown. Walled Lake Northern (4-7-1) slips to 0-4 in KLAA play and travels to Grand Blanc Saturday night.