OA loses in opening round of High School Hockey Playoffs to WLWU 7-3.
The Michigan High School Hockey Playoffs started with Oxford Avondale United taking on Walled Lake Central Waterford United at Orchard Lakes St. Mary's Hockey Arena. OA was able to get on the board first while killing off a Penalty when Freshman Defenseman Coen Hao took a pass from Sophomore Forward Jake Billis, skated by multiple defenders and sniped a perfect shot that beat the WLWU goalie over his shoulder. WLWU started then to up the pace of attack and were able to tie the game 1-1 at the 6 minute mark, beating Senior Goalie Aaron Angelo on a rebound. WLWU scored again 3 minutes later on a snap shot from point blank range bringing the score to 2-1. WLWU added a late goal with under a minute left scoring on a bad angle shot that glanced off of Angelo's shoulder into the net. The period ended with WLWU up 3-1.
The second period had OA playing great team defense while Goalie Angelo stopped all 11 shots that he faced. OA was able to score on a great play when Junior Defenseman Donovin Thompson skated the length of the ice, getting the puck out to Senior Captain Ben Pratt who fired a shot that Sophomore Jake Billis put in the net on the rebound to bring the score to 3-2.
Both teams took penalties in the 3rd period has the level of physicality increased. OA was able to tie the game at the 10 minute mark when Forward Jake Billis scored on a shot while falling backwards, assisted by Ben Pratt and Coen Hao. OA was able to stop multiple attacks by WLWU until midway through the period when after making the initial save Goalie Angelo and Defenseman Thompson tried to get to the spinning puck, only to push it just over the line giving WLWU the 4-3 lead. WLWU scored again while the teams were skating 4 aside at the 5 minute mark, then scored while on the Power Play 2 minutes later bringing the score to 6-3. They added an empty net goal near the end of the game bringing the final to 7-3 in favor of WLWU.
Senior Goalie Aaron Angelo in his last game made 45 saves on 51 shots. Sophomore Forward Jake Billis led OA with 2 Goals and an Assist.
Though the season was challenge for this young team, they never quit and skated hard against teams with usually double the amount of skaters. We are looking forward to next season as we are expecting an influx of new talent and the continued growth of our underclassmen.
(Photo Cred. - TZR Sports)