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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Playoff Bound: Warriors 4-3 win guarantees them the 4th playoff spot

By: Joey Battaino

Flint, MI- After Jamestown's loss on Saturday afternoon, it was quite simple for the Michigan Warriors...Win, and they're in. Jamestown has four game remaining but even if they were to win all four, that would only tie the Warriors and Michigan held the tie breaker with a 7-4-1 head to head record against Jamestown this season.

The task was not easy for the Warriors on this night however, they were playing the first-place Port Huron Fighting Falcons in a possible playoff preview of the first round match up. Emotions were high and so were tempers as we had already accumulated 18 penalty minutes, 1:15 into the hockey game. It started with a hit from behind on Nolan Valleau by Mike Economos. Then Logan Lemirande jumped in and James Kline came in. Before you knew it, we had three guys paired off. The one that turned into the main event was Bobby Bodette and Alex Archibald. They paired off and were bear-hugging each other until Bodette was finally able to get off his cage and get some good right hands in. Unfortunately, the Warriors got the extra two minute penalty and Port Huron scored first. Ian Miller scored his 26th of the season at the 2:50 to make it 1-0 Falcons. The Warriors tied the game at 14:12 when Bobby Bodette scored on a breakaway on a great pass from defenseman Travis Hill. At the end of one period, the game was tied at one goal apiece.

In the second, Joey Sanchez picked up the puck at center and fired the puck into the Port Huron zone off the glass. It took a funky bounce out into the slot and Marty Gruse was able to put the puck into an empty net as Falcons goaltender Peter Megariotis had come out of his net to play the puck. It was 2-1 Warriors. Then the Warriors took a 2-goal lead on a goal by Tyler Perpich. It was his first goal since January 7th vs. Traverse City. The Warriors lead 3-1 going into the third.

The Falcons needed only two points to clinch the North Division regular season crown. They finally played like it in the third. Port Huron put 19 shots on goal in the third. They would score twice and tie the game. Logan Lemirande scored from Nico Sierra and Alex Archibald at 11:03 to make it 3-2 Warriors. Then, with only 1:15 to go, Bobby Mantha was whistled for a cheesey hook in the neutral zone. Port Huron vacated their net for an extra attacker and it was six on four hockey. Brett D'Andrea scored with only 25 seconds to go to tie the game. It looked like we were headed for overtime. Here's the call of the final seconds of the game..

Bobby Mantha scored to give the Warriors the lead, 4-3. They would hold on to win. This means the Warriors have clinched the final playoff spot in the North and play either Port Huron or Kalamazoo in the first round.

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