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HOCKEY: Timely goals help Flyers oust Kings WITH VIDEO

Two late second-period goals lead Farmington Unified past Birmingham

FARMINGTON HILLS – Momentum shifts can be a killer, especially when it shifts away from a team on the verge of getting back into a hockey game.

Farmington Unified’s Reede Burnett scored with 4.7 seconds left in the second period. On the surface, it was one of the six goals his team scored in the game. But in reality, it was the dagger that dashed any and all hopes Birmingham Unified had of coming back in the two team’s Division 1 pre-regional game Monday night at Farmington Hills Ice Arena.

Burnett’s goal, coupled with a power-play tally by teammate T.J. Zak two minutes earlier, all but put an end to the Flyers’ 6-4 win over the Kings in the playoff opener for both teams.

“I think it deflated them, to be honest,” Farmington Unified coach Ken Anderson said. “Unfortunately, we let up two after we scored our third. We had a letdown and they pushed, and we didn’t push back. But were were (eventually) able to push back and late-period goals are a killer, for sure.”

The goals by Burnett and Zak came just minutes after Birmingham had made a push to get back into the game. After a goal by senior Alex Minasian gave Farmington Unified a 3-0 lead midway through the second period, the Kings came back quickly to cut the lead to one goal.

Senior Zach Tayler took a pass from junior Conner Liddle and skated up the left side, firing a shot past goalie Hunter Myers to make it a 3-1 game. Two minutes after that, Kings senior Adam Susalla made it a 3-2 game, scoring from Liddle and senior Michael Madigan.

“It’s a momentum killer and it makes it tough,” Birmingham Unified coach John Chateau said. “We did the best we could. The boys never gave up. They worked hard the entire game.”

The Kings certainly did look much better in the second period. Along with the two goals they did score, they had two other chances, but were thwarted by Flyers’ goalie Hunter Myers.

Birmingham cut the lead back to two goals midway through the third period on a power-play goal by Tayler, his second of the night. But Farmington Unified answered back less than three minutes later on a goal by sophomore Austin Bottrell to make it a 6-3 game.

Birmingham scored a last-minute goal by junior Tommy McLeod.

It didn’t take long for the Flyers to get on the board, as junior Matt Coldin scored at the 12:29 mark of the first period. Junior Nic Demchuk sent a pass up to Coldin, who dumped a harmless wrist shot in on goal. Somehow the puck trickled past the goalie to make it 1-0. Zak also picked up an assist on the goal.

Farmington Unified made it a 2-0 game later in the first. Zak was credited this time, with assists going to seniors Eric Stanis and Reede Burnett.

The last time these two teams met, back in early January, Farmington Unified picked up a 3-0 victory. Anderson said his team will have to put up a better defensive effort in its next game Wednesday against Birmingham Brother Rice, which beat Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 3-2, in the other semifinal Monday night.

“For us we were way off (tonight),” Anderson said. “We weren’t working hard in the defensive zone, we weren’t taking care of pucks. We weren’t responsible.

“I told my guys, ‘We won, but we can’t be happy with it.’ We’ve got to come focused at practice tomorrow. But we’ve got to be a lot better.”

Jason Schmitt covers high school hockey for The Oakland Press. Email him at jason.schmitt@oakpress.com, read his "In The Zone" blog here and follow our high school hockey coverage on Twitter @MIPrepZone.



FARMINGTON HILLS UNIFIED 6, BIRMINGHAM UNIFIED 4

BU 0 2 2 - 4

FHU 2 3 1 - 6

First period: 1, FHU, Matt Coldin (Nic Demchuk, T.J. Zak); 2, FHU, Zak (Eric Stanis, Reede Burnett)

Second period: 3, FHU, Alex Minasian (Noah Downs, Eamon Devlin); 4, BU, Zach Tayler (Conner Liddle); 5, BU, Adam Susalla (Liddle, Michael Madigan); 6, FHU, Zak (Downs, Devlin); 7, FHU, Burnette (Minasian, Zak)

Third period: 8, BU, Tayler (Mark Deacon, Susalla); 9, FHU Austin Bottrell (Coldin, Zak); 10, BU, Tommy McLeod (Kevin Kristopik)

GOALIES: BU, Jacob Saroli and Alex Hackert; FHU, Hunter Myers

RECORDS: BU 12-12; FHU 15-11

Last Updated: 2/25/2013 11:14:24 PM EST

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