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HOCKEY: Berkley-Ferndale Unified falls to Canton WITH VIDEO

BERKLEY – The visiting Canton Chiefs picked up a hard fought 2-0 win over the host Berkley-Ferndale Unified hockey team on Wednesday night.

Ian Fagan scored both goals for the Chiefs. Fagan opened the scoring with 1:20 in the first period when he one timed in a pass from Christian Flack to convert a short-handed two on one opportunity. Fagan doubled the Chiefs’ lead just 23 seconds into the second period when he skated down the left side and unleashed a hard wrist shot that clipped the crossbar on its way in.

“We made a couple of mistakes, and they capitalized on it,” Berkley-Ferndale head coach Jeff Fleming said.

That was all the offense that Canton would need as the Chiefs played a strong defensive game from the outset, holding Berkley-Ferndale to just 20 shots on the night behind stellar team defense. Canton got strong games from defenseman Bryan Eastman and Drew Oldani in particular as the Chiefs won the battles in the slot in front of goaltender Justin Kolbicz to limit the quality of Berkley-Ferndale’s opportunities, and Kolbicz came up with a handful of tough saves when the Chiefs needed him en route to posting the shutout.

“Our team philosophy on defense is to protect the house and protect the front of the net there, and we did a really good job of doing that tonight,” Canton head coach Jeremy Majszak said. “We try to outwork every team,” he added.

Canton was especially effective in the first period, holding Berkley-Ferndale to just four shots in the first period and none in the first six minutes as the Chiefs sucked the energy out of the home crowd early and didn’t give them much chance to get back into it as the game wore on.

“We didn’t come out playing our style or tempo of hockey. We got away from that right from the get go. First shift, we took a penalty. I don’t think we’ve taken a penalty on the first shift all season, and that puts you behind right from the get go,” Fleming said.

“In the first period, it was really loud here, and we’re not used to having that many people in the stands and being that loud. We kind of played to it a little bit, but we kind of silenced them real quick in the first period,” Majszak said.

The Bears would rebound in the next two periods, playing better as the game wore on. In particular, Berkley-Ferndale’s defense was also quite stout on the evening, holding the Chiefs to just 23 shots overall and just 12 after the first period. But they could never quite solve the Canton defense or goaltender Justin Kolbicz.

“I thought we started getting stuff together in the second period, and I thought we outplayed them in the third period all over,” Fleming said.

Berkley-Ferndale slips to 18-6 overall and winds up the regular season with a home game against Livonia Franklin on Friday. Canton notches up their third straight win, improving to 7-16-1 overall against a very difficult schedule as they look ahead to the playoffs.

Last Updated: 2/21/2013 7:39:59 PM EST

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