On Friday night, February 23rd, the Oxford Avondale United Hockey team traveled to face the Utica High School Hockey team on their Senior night at the Suburban Ice Arena in Macomb. Utica's honoring of their 11 Seniors was spoiled by a OA win!
Utica started the scoring at the 10 minute mark of the first period while on the Power Play, scoring on a rebound that got past Junior Goalie Aaron Angelo to take a 1-0 lead. OA was able to tie the game at the 4:10 mark when Senior Defenseman Shane Brown stole the puck while Shorthanded and scored on a tremendous shot from just inside the Blue Line. OA was quick to make it 2-1 less than a minute later when Sophomore Defenseman JJ Poolton scored, assisted by Junior Ben Pratt, and Freshman Jake Billis. OA made it 3-1 late in the period when Shane Brown scored his second goal of the game, set up by Freshman Brendan Vogler and Junior Zach Rauh.
The physicality of the game picked up in the second period as both teams saw multiple penalties sending their players to the box. Utica scored at the midway point of the period, once again on the Power Play to make the score 3-2. However, less than a minute later, OA made it 4-2 when JJ Poolton scored his second of the game while on the Power Play, assisted by Jake Billis and Shane Brown. Utica made it 4-3 with another Power Play goal that beat Goalie Aaron Angelo, who faced a total of 22 shots on net during the period making save after save.
If the 2nd period was considered physical, the 3rd period was an all-out war as both teams battled with heavy hits and multiple penalties. Utica's aggression seemed to be more under handed as 2 of their players were ejected for unsportsmanlike hits, some after the whistle. At the 7:30 point of the period, Shane Brown completed his Hat Trick with his third goal of the game, assisted by JJ Poolton and Jake Billis to put OA up 5-3. Utica made the game interesting, scoring at the 4:33 mark to make the score 5-4. The final minutes saw multiple off setting penalties, and multiple Utica attacks on net as OA went on to win the game 5-4.
Shane Brown led the way for OA with 4 points (3 Goals, 1 Assist). JJ Poolton had 2 goals and an assist, and Jake Billis had 3 assists. Goalie Aaron Angelo faced 41 shots, making 37 saves to help secure the victory.
On Saturday night, February 24th, the Oxford Avondale United Hockey team recognized the contributions from their Senior Players prior to the game against the Fenton-Linden Hockey team. Seniors Griffin Burk, Shane Brown and Nolan Tatomir and their parents were honored in a ceremony before the game where they thanked their folks and gave words of encouragement to their teammates for the future.
OA was looking forward to this game as they had lost 2-1 to Fenton Linden earlier in the season. OA was able to strike first at the 12:25 mark when Senior Captain Griffin Burk took the puck coast to coast and scored unassisted to give OA the 1-0 lead. This is how the period ended with Junior Goalie Aaron Angelo making 9 saves to keep Fenton Linden off the board.
The 2nd period saw multiple penalties that OA had to kill including two 5 on 3's. Goalie Aaron Angelo shut down Fenton-Linden stopping all 10 shots that he face to keep the game 1-0 as both teams headed into the final period. One note during the period, OA lost Captain Griffin Burk to an injury as he blocked a shot that hit his ankle. He would not return to the game.
Both teams battled to start the 3rd period as Fenton continued to put pressure on Goalie Aaron Angelo to tie the game. OA was able to go up 2-0 on their first shot on goal in the period at the 9:37 mark when Freshman Jake Billis took a great pass from Junior Ben Pratt and put it in the net! Fenton-Linden continued to pressure OA, which had to kill another penalty late in the period. Fenton-Linden pulled their goalie with a minute remaining to give them 6 attackers but Senior Defenseman Shane Brown stole the puck and with 22 seconds left put it into the empty net giving OA the hard fought 3-0 win.
Goalie Aaron Angelo made 26 totals save giving him the shut out win. It was OA's second win in as many nights, and a great way to send off our Seniors in their final regular season game.