The Petoskey Northmen hockey team rolled into the title game of their own Petoskey Hockey Invitational riding a four-game winning streak.
Unfortunately for the Northmen, they couldn’t make it five in a row.
Walled Lake Northern scored four third-period goals en route to capturing their second straight tournament title at Griffin Arena as they topped the Northmen, 6-2, to spoil Petoskey’s bid for their own tournament win since the 2004-05 season.
“We got beat by a better team,” Petoskey coach Brent Ward said as the Northmen rolled into Saturday’s title game following a 9-1 win over the Metro Area Griffins on Friday. “They (Walled Lake) skate well, they passed the puck well and they had a solid third period.”
The Knights scored first in the first period to take an early lead before the Northmen tied the game at the 10 minute mark in the second period shorthanded from Ken Forton.
Forton then made it 2-1 Petoskey a minute later as he scored on the power play with help from Aaron Cook and Derek Smith. The Knights then scored again to tie it a 2-all with just over two minutes to play in the second.
In the third period, Walled Lake Northern scored four times — all even-strength — to ice the game.
“We took eight penalties in the second period and if we don’t take penalties, we typically had a good outcome,” Ward said. “We just have to play more disciplined hockey. When we do that, good things happen.”
The Northmen outshot the Knights, 23-17. Michael Whittaker was in goal for the Northmen and finished with 11 saves.
On Friday against the Metro Area (Fenton-Linden) Griffins, the Northmen scored six third period goals to end the game via the eight-goal mercy rule with 2 minutes, 13 seconds remaining.
The game was scoreless until early in the second period when Smith scored on a rebound on the power play. Cook and Kevin Hansen picked up the assists.
Just under three minutes later, Brandon Pomranke tipped in a point shot from Nick Trombley to make it 2-0. Skye Pieffer also added an assist before Forton made it 3-0 as his wrist shot from the slot off a faceoff win from Smith rattled off the far post and past Griffin goaltender Joe Foguth.
The Northmen led 3-0 going into the third period.
In the third period, Forton scored his second goal of the game from the point with help from Pieffer to make it 4-0 before the Griffins made it 4-1 as Troy Fulton scored on a rebound in front of Whittaker.
Pieffer then pounced on a rebound in front of Foguth to make it 5-1. Pomranke and Cook added the assists.
Tanner Davis then converted a 2-on-1 chance with a feed from Pomranke to make it 6-1.
Following a goaltender change, the Northmen greeted Daniel McKee with three quick goals as Hansen, Luke Pomranke and Bryndon Worden all found the back of the net. Adding two assists was Cam Ludlow, while Tom Crampton and Mike Forton each added an assist.
Whittaker earned the win in goal as he turned aside nine shots. The Northmen outshot the Griffins, 34-10.
“In the second and third period, we did a good job of screening their goalie and we beat them to a lot of pucks and won some foot races,” Ward said. “We didn’t play well in the first period, but once we got our forecheck going and starting getting to rebounds and got the puck deep in their end, we played well.”
Petoskey travels to the Saginaw Heritage Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 21-22.
Prep hockey: Northmen finish second at Petoskey Hockey Invitational
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