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HOCKEY: Bloomfield Hills Unified defends home ice against Avondale

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Hockey - Boys - 1/24/2013 

Bloomfield Hills Unified 3
Auburn Hills Avondale 1
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BLOOMFIELD HILLS – The Bloomfield Hills Unified Chargers boys hockey team picked up a 3-1 home win over the visiting Avondale Yellow Jackets on Thursday night.

Chase Smith’s power play goal late in the first period was the game's turning point. With the Chargers down 1-0, defenseman Andrew Settecerri fired a perfect pass from the right point to the lower left side of the crease, hitting Smith right on the tape, and Smith fired a high wrist shot to tie the score.

“It was a momentum changer,” Avondale head coach Karl Daiek said.

“We made some adjustments. We spread ourselves out. We got real solid, and that’s when we were able to move the puck,” Chargers head coach Bruce McAlister said. “I think we just as a team really need to think that it’s a team game and not as indivduals.

Bloomfield Hills would carry the momentum from that goal into the second period where they would out shoot Avondale 11-5 and, more importantly, build a two goal lead. Kevin Barnett put the Chargers in front with just over 12 minutes left in the second period when Smith slipped a pass to him through traffic and Barnett fired the puck into the top corner. Smith added his second of the night late in the period to close out the scoring.

But it didn’t start off well for the Chargers. Avondale came out strong early, largely controlling play, at one point holding Bloomfield Hills without a shot on goal for more than nine minutes. The Yellow Jackets strong start paid off with the game’s first goal when Ben Hoffman’s outlet pass found Paul Miriani streaking through the neutral zone and Miriani split the defense, scoring with a deft backhanded shot to give the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 lead with 7:28 to play in the first period.

That was all the offense Avondale could must as the Chargers held the Yellow Jackets to just 15 shots on goal. But solid goaltending from Nikolas Senkowski, who finished with 25 saves, kept the Yellow Jackets hanging around until the end.

“We’re young,” Daiek said. “Hopefully, next time it will be better.” He added that, “We’ll just keep working on it. It’s all we can do.”

Overall, McAlister was content with his team’s performance. “I think we’re starting to build again. We’re starting to move in the right direction,” he said. “It’s good to get a win. It’s good to have something to build on and to work from,” he added.

With the win, Bloomfield Hills improves to 4-3-2 in OAA White, taking over sole possession of third place. The Chargers host Troy in another OAA White battle on Saturday night. Avondale slips to 3-4-2 in OAA White play. The Yellow Jackets host Livonia Franklin in a non-league matchup Saturday.

Last Updated: 1/25/2013 4:10:47 AM EST

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