"Saturday Night Hockey, nothing beats it"
:Last night the anticipation in the air prior to the opening face off in the Southgate Civic Arena was electric, it was apparent that both teams the Chicago Cougars and the Detroit Fighting Irish were out to prove something. The Cougars that their dominance of the USPHL Midwest East was not going to be side tracked by an Irish team that forced them to overtime the previous night and the Irish an opportunity to prove that they are to be a respected opponent against any USPHL Premier organization. For Irish rookies Perry Fereabend and Jake Perinito as a pair of 16 year olds and 2 of the Younger players in the USPHL it was an opportunity to be part of everything they have been hearing about during recruiting and from the Veterans in the locker room. "Saturday Night junior hockey is the life". and an opportunity to be in the line up against one of the top teams on the Irish schedule this season was now a reality. Both players also were give an opportunity to play in Friday nights 3-2 overtime loss and coaches Dennis Boomer and Sam Shaheen both felt that their level of play and their contributions earned them the right to a line up spot on Saturday night.
The game begin with fireworks in the first 30 seconds of the game as forward Matthew Martin off of a defensive face off in the Detroit End took a pass from Clay Hightower anc with a blast of speed skated the length of the ice and blew a shot past the Cougars goaltender on the short side to put the Irish up 1-0. That goal lit a fire on the Irish bench and it was apparent that the Irish would not repeat the 1st period from the previous night in which they were outshot 36-3. The play was brisk and quick by both teams whom traded opportunities throughout the period and both teams made sure each-other knew that this was no Saturday Night Shinney as the physical play was definitely turned up a knotch. The Cougars answered the bell and the 10:31 mark of the first period on a beautiful goal scored by Brimie as he crossed the DFI blue line and blasted a shot passed screened Irish goaltender Daniel McCarthy. During the first period the Irish penalty killers also continued their excellent job fending off A Major along with several minors during the 1st. Score at end of period One 1-1
The 2nd period both teams hit the ice not giving an inch as both teams defensive and goaltending units continued to dominate the tempo and the control of the game. At the midpoint of the 2nd period Detroit after fending off several minor penalties found themselves again in penalty trouble and the Cougars power play found a way to get the puck past McCarthy to go up 2-1. However the Irish came battling back with some power play medicine of their own as Bradley Scott tipped an Oliver Allen shot from the point that was set up by Captain Clay Hightower sending both teams into the locker room after two periods tied 2-2.
The 3rd period had epic battle written all over it as the Cougars Serbekian converted a Brimie pass to put the Cougars up 3-2 on the power play. Detroit continued to battle back putting pressure on the Chicago defense but Chicago goaltender Young turned away all 14 Detroit shots in the 3rd to preserve the win for the Cougars.
Irish captain Clay Hightower is usually receiving accolades for his offensive accomplishments ,however Coaches Shaheen and Boomer were very quick to compliment and praise Hightower's defensive play during the two game series with Chicago. Clay wanted to be assigned to defending against High Scoring multi talented Matincik whom has averaged 3 points per game this season and is a highly touted NCAA Division 1 recruit . Hightower not only kept Matincik pointless but also managed to have a hand in all 4 Irish goals scoring 2 on Friday and getting 2 assist on Saturday. The coaches also were impressed with the play of Cole Zalewski 2001 La Salle MI whom just recently was acquired from Rochester. The Speedy winger adds a new dimension to the teams offensive strategy and is an extremely effective penalty killer. :\"Cole has been a great addition to our team and makes his prescience felt every time he hits the ice " Coach Sam Shaheen. Goaltender Dan McCarthy played another outstanding game between the pipes turning away 33 or 36 Shots;
As for Fereabend and Perinito well both players playing time was increased as a result of some of the teams veteran player in-disgressions which resulted in game ejections. The coaches reported that they were very happy with the play of both rookies and they now know what the Saturday game is all about as they have experienced it.
Special Thank You's go out to Saturday Nights Guest the Detroit Fighting Irish Youth Team of the Week, The Downriver United Girls High School Hockey Team and Southgate Figure Skating Club Skater Kaitlin Lara
The Fighting Irish return to the Ice this afternoon as they face off against division rival the Midwest Blackbirds game time is 3:30 pm at Southgate Civic Center Ice Arena. The game is part of the Quarters for the Cure American Cancer Society fund raising campaign. You can pledge your quarters per Irish goal on the teams website or at each Irish Home game. For more information on the Detroit Fighting Irish go to the teams website at: