By: Joey Battaino
Flint, MI- It was a quiet weekend for the Michigan Warriors, who finished their regular season last weekend with two home victories. Many of the players used their time off to head home to see their families right before the playoffs. The Warriors knew they were in, but what they didn't know was who they would be playing.
The Port Huron Fighting Falcons, who have held last place for the better part of the season, lost it Friday night to the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings after a 7-4 loss on home ice. It all came down to a 2PM matinee in K-Wings country. The turning point in the game came in the second period, when it looked like Kalamazoo forward Brandon Flood had scored on a breakaway, but the goal was washed-out after he ran over Port Huron goaltender Max Milosek. Flood was given an interference penalty and Logan Lemirande scored from Bret Lewandowski to make it 1-0 Port Huron.
In the third, Nico Sierra made it 2-0 Falcons, and it looked like it was set in stone. Then Taylor Burden scored from Danny Hamburg and it was 2-1 Falcons with under a minute remaining. Port Huron goaltender Max Milosek stood on his head in the third. Kalamazoo out shot Port Huron 12-3 in the final period. With Milosek starting the final two regular season games for Port Huron, one would think that he would be Port Huron's starting goaltender going into round 1 against Michigan. Although, you never know. Head coach Billy Warren has split their time pretty evenly this season.
Port Huron held on to win 2-1 and win the North division regular season crown. If history if the North division holds true, than it may not be as easy as people think for Port Huron to make the Robertson Cup in Frisco, TX. Each of the past two years, the regular season champion of the North division has failed to make it out of divisional play. Last season, the St. Louis Bandits, who not only won the division but held the league's best record, fell in the second round at the hands of the Michigan Warriors. And 2 seasons ago, the first place Marquette Rangers (now Michigan Warriors) failed to make it out of the first round losing to Motor City (now Jamestown).
The first round schedule has yet to be determined. We do know that the first two games of the best of five series will be in Port Huron. My guess (pure speculation) is that game 1 and game 2 will be Friday and Saturday April 6th and 7th. Keep it here as we will break the schedule as soon as it becomes known.