By Jim Newell
Heading into last Wednesday’s game, Lake Orion knew they would be facing their toughest league challenge of the season against OAA Red Division leader Troy United.
With explosive offense and solid defense, the Dragons jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, never relinquishing their advantage, earning the 4-2 victory.
T.J. Hirschfield scored the Dragons first goal on a shorthanded breakaway to make it 1-0 just five minutes into the game. Nik Bergamin scored another with just 2:59 left in the first period.
Gabe Potyk made it 3-1 in the third period, scoring the winning goal for the Dragons.
Goalie Reid Marshall continued his strong play in the net for Lake Orion, and has an .899 save percentage.
Head Coach Nick Field is pleased with the team’s play but wants Lake Orion to stay vigilant throughout the remainder of the season.
“I thought we played well for the most part, we definitely were the better team the first and third periods,” Field said. “We had about a 7-minute lapse in the 2nd period in which we had to tread water, so to speak. But overall, we played well as a team, worked hard and were disciplined within our structure and responsibilities which resulted in the win.”
Troy scored a goal in the second period and added another in the third, but the Dragons dominated the opening and closing periods, netting two more goals in the third period.
Lake Orion is now 14-6-1 overall and 8-1-1 in OAA Red division play. The Dragons are one point behind Troy (9-2 in the OAA Red) and five points ahead of third place Stoney Creek.
If the Dragons win their final two conference games, they should clinch their division.
“We are still focused on continued development to try and maximize our potential as we close out the regular season and head into the state tournament,” Field said.
“Our goal first and foremost is to win our conference in which we will need to beat Farmington and Stoney Creek to accomplish,” Field said “We have four games remaining, two very good non-conference opponents in Northville and Flint Powers and then the two remaining OAA Red teams in Farmington and Stoney Creek.”
The Dragons play Farmington at 8 p.m. Friday at the Farmington Hills Ice Arena and Flint Powers at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Detroit Skate Club in Bloomfield Hills. The Powers game is also “senior night.”