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Riverview's Jacob St. Andrew had the winning goal against Grosse Ile and also had tow goals and an assist in a win over Flat Rock. Photo by Larry Caruso

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HOCKEY: Pirates shade Grosse Ile (PHOTO)

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Things were looking grim for the Riverview hockey team who had trailed Grosse Ile for almost the entire game a week ago; 44 minutes to be exact.

But a big boost of momentum and two goals in the final six minutes of Wednesday night’s contest gave the Bucs a 2-1 win over the Red Devils and snapped a four-game Grosse Ile winning streak.

Shane Nowak is a physical player for the Bucs. Earlier in the game, he had taken a five-minute major and 10-minute game misconduct for checking from behind.

But a little reminder to Coach Al Taurence turned things around.

“I had that same talk in between periods with Shane,” Taurence said. “I told him I don’t want him hitting anybody else; just go out there and score.”

And he did just that.

Grosse Ile had had a goal called off earlier in the period and had other scoring chances, as did Riverview. The clock was winding down and it looked as if the Red Devils’ winning streak would extend another game.

But a scramble in front of the net and a quick punch in from Nowak put the Bucs on board and suddenly it was a different-and tied- game with 6:07 to go.

Garrett Watterworth and Josh Bostic assisted on the goal.

If the match up had been exciting before, it was intensified in the final six minutes.

The atmosphere was suddenly like a tennis match with each team flying down to the others end, setting up a scoring chance before the other offense picked it up for their turn.

Four minutes later, with 2:03 left to play, Riverview struck again with another scrum that ended with Jacob St. Andre finding the back of the net and the score would hold through the final buzzer.

Assists went to Watterworth and Mark Killinback.

Grosse Ile took a timeout after the game-winning goal and spent much of the last two minutes in the Riverview zone.

But the Riverview defense- as they always seem to do- took care of things.

A big scramble in front of the Riverview net minder with 24 seconds left ended with Bostic clearing the puck from the zone and seconds later, Watterworth had a puck bounce high off his skate on a Grosse Ile one-time shot.

The Riverview defense stood tall earlier in the contest, killing off a handful of penalties, including a five-on-three.

“We are very good on the penalty kill,” Taurence said. “Most teams sit back and play a box and I don’t do that. We force everything.”

The Red Devils held the lead through most of the game after an equally strong defensive effort.

Grosse Ile took an early lead when Bob Bialobrzeski found himself right in front of Riverview’s Jakob Lashbrook, paused, and flipped it into the net.

The second period was full of scoring chances, good defense, and overall quality hockey from both teams.

“There’s no question about it,” Grosse Ile Coach Jason Durbin said. “Both teams played well.

“There were times where we kept it in their zone and they couldn’t get it out and then they had it in our zone and we couldn’t get it out.

“What can you say. It was a great game.”

The Red Devil defense was highlighted by a strong effort from sophomore goalie Jordan Gilbert and big body blocks from Hunter McGough, Chad Miller and Bialobrzeski.

“The team played well,” Durbin said. “Unfortunately, the other side which is Riverview was paying well too and they got a couple breaks here at the end and that’s a wrap.”

Despite not scoring on the power play, Durbin was pleased with his team’s effort on each chance.

“I thought we have some pretty good puck movement,” he said. “One, we had quite a few shots … but I would have liked to have seen the puck move a little bit quicker.

“This time of the year, and especially in playoffs, you’ve gotta capitalize on those opportunities and unfortunately, we didn’t.”

Lashbrook got the start, and win, in net for the Pirates and Taurence said he was very pleased with the play of the goalie.

“It was a good win for us and good experience for them,” Taurence said. “We wanted to win, but it was more important that the kids played to the best of their abilities and they did.”

Watterworth tallied two assists for the Bucs hours after having an “A” put on hisersey.

“He’s been working really hard and he’s been positive in the locker room,” Taurence said. “And he got two assists.”

Taurence said he was also pleased with the continued hard work of Chris Hass and John Clemente.

“It was a good win for us,” Taurence said. “We have a lot of good things happening.”

It was the second time the Bucs had topped Grosse Ile this season; a positive for the team who will face Grosse Ile if they beat Carlson in the pre-district.

The loss snapped a four-game win streak for Grosse Ile, but it was the first loss of 2014.

“Going forward, we’ll build off this,” Durbin said. “We’ll take the positives out of it.

“We’re working hard and this is our first loss in our last five games.”

Riverview extended its winning streak to two games with a 9-2 victory over Flat Rock-Airport on Saturday.

The Bucs had a 3-1 lead after 17 minutes and led 5-1 after two periods but a big four-goal third period ensured the win.

Hass, John Clemente and St. Andre each netted two for Riverview and single goals came from Nick Clemente, Shane Nowak and Joshua Bostic.

Dalton Sutherland, Nick Clemente, Tyler Rode and St. Andre had two assists each and Garrett Waterworth, Austin Christie, Mark Killinback, Tyler Bozynski and Nowak also recorded assists.

Brothers Sam Farrah and Seth Farrah scored the Flat Rock-Airport goals.

At the Liggett Tournament over the weekend, the Red Devils dropped two tough games.

Grosse Ile lost 8-0 to a strong St. Francis team and 7-1 to Gilmour.

“St. Francis was good,” Durbin said. “They passed hard, they could skate, they could shoot.”

Grosse Ile’s only goal of the weekend came late in the third against Gilmour.

Hunter McGough scored the lone goal with assists from Jake Ketelhut and Bob Bialobrzeski.

Durbin said his team will get right back to work in preparation for the final four weeks of the season.

Last Updated: 1/28/2014 3:21:33 PM EST