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HOCKEY: DU wins on lucky bounce in OT thriller over GI

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On Senior Night, Dearborn Unified started out slow, but a lucky bounce in overtime gave them a much-needed win heading into a big game next week against Divine Child.

In the first 17 minutes, DU dominated visiting Grosse Ile, outshooting the Red Devils 15-7, but some penalties and a few lucky bounces late in the first period saw them go down 2-0 heading into the first intermission.

Dearborn Unified took three straight penalties with less than five minutes to go in the first period, and Grosse Ile capitalized on two of them. On a 5-on-3, junior Alexander Pflum found the back of the net, with assists going to sophomore Bob Bialobrzeski and senior Jacob Ketelhut.

Just over a minute later, senior Avery Swain found the back of the net with junior Chad Miller grabbing the lone assist. Both goals were on the power play, and were the final two shots of the period for the Red Devils.

It was tough for Dearborn Unified Coach Brian Dallas and his squad. “We were fully in control, until the end of the first. We ended up outshooting them 15-7.”

But DU regrouped and came out in the second with some fire, scoring the next four goals.

Senior forward Abe Dakroub scored the first DU goal, as senior Jacob Tratar had the lone assist, nearly eight minutes into the second. Just two minutes later, senior Nathan Field tied it up on the power play. Senior Bryce Norwood had the lone assist on Field’s goal.

After two period’s, it was tied at two, but that didn’t stop DU from sustaining that second period momentum into the third. Just 56 seconds into the third, junior Scott Mattern carried the puck into the Grosse Ile zone, and fired a shot on Red Devil goalie Jordan Gilbert. He kicked it aside, but it wound up on the tape of junior Trevor Tom, who fired it home to take a 3-2 lead. Junior Casey Hannon was awarded the second assist.

DU continued to pile it on, and exactly six minutes later, they took a two-goal lead. Field stole the puck in the neutral zone, sped in on Gilbert on a breakaway, deked once to the left and lifted a backhand shot over Gilbert’s glove. Field’s goal was also shorthanded.

It looked like Grosse Ile could give up, but they didn’t.

“I think they (DU) got a little tired in the third period, which kind of showed, and that’s how we were able to get back into it,” said Grosse Ile Coach Jason Durbin.

With less than five minutes to play, Grosse Ile started coming on strong, and with 3:19 left, Bialobrzeski found the net on a shot just to the left of DU goaltender Bryan Donaldson with help from seniors John Gatti and Hunter McGough.

Only down by one, Grosse Ile called a timeout with 1:45 left, and pulled Gilbert. It worked, and tied the game 44 seconds later on a shot through the five-hole by Pflum. Assists to Bialobrzeski’s goal went to Senior Avery Swain and junior Brandon Lippert assisted.

At that point, it was Grosse Ile’s game to lose. Swain took a penalty with just five seconds to play, giving DU a chance for a power play goal to end it in overtime. The Red Devils killed off the penalty, but were unable to kill off the momentum by DU.

In the end, it was a shot by senior forward Brent Benavides from the point. It didn’t hit the net. It bounced off the boards right to Gilbert. It hit his glove, then the post, and finally his skate blade before ending up in the net for the game-winning goal with just two and half minutes left in overtime.

“I thought we showed a lot of resilience to come back and find a way to win it in overtime,” said Dallas. “Early in the year we were getting no bounces, it was nice to finally get one.”

It was a tough loss for the Red Devils, “but nothing to hang their heads on,” said Durbin.

Next up for Dearborn Unified is Divine Child on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 7:40pm at the DISC before heading to Clark Park in Detroit next Saturday at 1:00pm to battle Allen Park.

Grosse Ile has a tough schedule to finish out the season. They face Allen Park, Gibraltar Carlson, and Woodhaven before the playoffs begin.

Last Updated: 2/9/2014 1:42:52 AM EST