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HOCKEY: Walled Lake Western breaks tie, blows past rival Central WITH VIDEO

NOVI — When both Walled Lake Western and Walled Lake Central met earlier in the year, neither team was victorious over the other.

In the first meeting, both teams scored three goals and in the second meeting the game ended in a 4-4 tie. But when both teams met up in a MHSAA pre-regional game on Monday the outcome was one sided in Walled Lake Western’s favor.

The Warriors used a two-goal second period to help capture the city cup and beat Walled Lake Central, 6-3, to advance to the next round of Division 2 pre-regionals at the Novi Ice Arena.

“We played a very poised game,” Walled Lake Western head coach Andy Miller said. “We just had a couple of key goals from key players that made the difference.”

With the game already tied at 2-2, Western only needed the first minute and a half to get back on the scoreboard. Freshman Justin Michaelian ripped a shot from the outside hash of the right circle that found the five-hole and the back of the net to make it a 3-2 game.

Sophomore Steven Fillip earned what would prove to be the game winner with just a 1:20 left the second period. After receiving a pass from freshmen Joe Cooper, he walked the puck down the far side boards and wrapped around a goal to give the Warriors a 4-2 lead.

“We’ve been a composed team most of the season,” Walled Lake Central co-head coach Dan Copeland said. “But, we let some things get into our heads and got outside of the things that we’re normally good in.”

“We basically tried to keep the puck out of our own end,” Miller added. “We’ve been focusing on playing position, and getting the puck out. So once we were able to get a lead we able to maintain it.”

During the third period the game did become quiet chippy as both teams sent players to the penalty box, and created very physical play on the ice after Western forward Jalen Cooper fired home a point blank wrist shot to make it 5-2 early in the period.

Walled Lake Central would cut into the deficit 6:05 into the period on a power play goal by senior forward Riley Dunning as he scored from the slot just 24 seconds into the man advantage to make it 5-3.

Western would then cap the game with an empty net goal by Fillip with 42 seconds left.

Both schools played a very close first period. Central jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a goal by senior Drew Kocoves. Western then tied it up on a goal by Cooper within 15 seconds later. Senior Andrew Wood added a goal from the left circle to give the Vikings the lead before Western senior Matt Zimolak tied it up with three minutes left in the period.

“(Western) beat us mentally,” said Copeland. “That’s not to take anything away from them, but they controlled the game very well. We just let the emotions get to us tonight and that was the end result.”

Walled Lake Western will face Walled Lake Northern on Wednesday at the Novi Ice Arena. The last time both teams met, Western beat the Knights 5-2 and Miller hopes his team can repeat the performance.

“I’ll be a battle,” Miller said. “(Northern) has some good defensemen, they’re quick, fast, and they play poised. It’ll be a good one.”

Last Updated: 2/26/2013 3:04:09 AM EST

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